Upland author revises popular San Gabriel Mountains hiking guide – Daily Bulletin

When David Harris followed in the footsteps of almost every known hiker in the vast San Gabriel Mountains, he was literally walking in the footsteps of a legend.

The painstaking effort that lasted from about 2017-2020 paid off when Harris’ briefing on John W. Robinson’s popular book, “Trails of the Angeles: 100 Hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains,” was released in March by Wilderness Press as the 10th edition of what some call the Los Angeles Mountains Hiking Bible.

John W. Robinson’s famous “Trails of the Angeles” has received a major overhaul, with new paths and directions to follow in its 10th edition by co-author David Harris. Released in March 2021. (Courtesy of Wilderness Press)

Robinson, who died in April 2018 at the age of 88, wrote the current soft cover guide in 1971, thanks to Harris as co-author, in its 50th year of publication, having sold more than 100,000 copies. The new version retains Robinson’s cool prose and historical nuggets, but adds 18 new hikes and eliminates outdated trails, Harris said.

The book of trails offers a variety of hiking, from easy excursions, 1 mile to five day backpack trips, stretching from the East-West range from Placerita Canyon near Santa Clarita to Cucamonga Peak in Rancho Cucamonga. Each lists specific trailhead driving directions and detailed instructions that show you how to navigate the trail, using landmarks, turning points, photos, and GPS coordinates. An iOS app, etrails, displays traces on a digital map on iPhone or iPad.

Harris, 47, is the author and co-author of seven hiking guides, including “Afoot and Afield Los Angeles County” (Fourth Edition), “Afoot and Afield Inland Empire” and “San Bernardino Mountain Trails” (Seventh Edition). book Robinson’s original stories for pioneer hikers, nature lovers and gold diggers, including waitress Nellie Hawkins tightening hash in a gorge inn immortalized by a mountain top that bears her name.

“I feel so lucky to be following in his footsteps. “I feel obligated to do justice to the work,” Harris said on March 30, 2021, while staying at the Joshua Tree for research in his next book.

Harris, a highlander and father of three, is a professor of engineering at Harvey Mudd College, part of Claremont College. Use spreadsheets to highlight the characteristics of each route, from the length of the hike, to the increase / loss of altitude and the condition of the trail. Many trails in the front country of Angeles National Park remain closed until April 2022 due to the Bobcat fire in 2020. These are marked with an asterisk.

While fires have cut or cut off access to some hiking trails, the Koran pandemic has released tens of thousands of first-time visitors to the Southern California Desert. And some newer points have become fan favorites that he added to the book, Harris said.

“During COVID there was a whole new renaissance of people coming out. “That makes this book a timely publication,” Harris said.

Car lines have been spotted this month in Chino Hills State Park and just last week in Joshua Tree National Park on the day of the week. In 2020, people went on the outdoor trails as a socially remote way of exercising.

“We’ve had a lot of places to overuse, and a lot of people don’t know how to properly care for the land when hiking,” said Casey Schreiner, founder and author of ModernHiker.com, the most popular West Coast hiking site. and author of “Discovering Griffith Park: A Local’s Guide.”

“But the more people are exposed to nature is generally positive,” he added.

In addition to sturdy hikes such as Mount Liebre, Mount Baldy and Mount Wilson, Harris included 18 new hikes, many dotted on the gentler slopes of the cans, focusing on the east side. These include:

David Harris at the base of Eaton Canyon Falls. Hiking has been added to the book. (Photo by Kiby McDaniel)

• Eaton Canyon Falls (Hiking 21), located in the Eaton Canyon scenic area that runs from Los Angeles to Pasadena. “It was not a big deal in 1971, but today it is one of the most popular tracks in the series,” Harris said. Harris cites naturalist John Muir, who said the falls produced “a low sweet voice, singing like a bird.” Face masks are mandatory. Reservations are required at least 24 hours in advance. Email: [email protected]

• Jackson Lake Loop (hiking 84), Off Highway 138 and then Angeles Crest Highway, west of Wrightwood. “In the spring, chickadees sing and lupine, brush and wallflower add color to the forest,” he wrote.

• Claremont Hills Wilderness Park (hiking 87), the wildest wildlife park in the area. Included because it is family friendly and easy to reach. “It’s great to have trails close to where you live, where you can enjoy a beautiful place without having to do it all day,” Harris said.

• Etiwanda Waterfalls (hiking 88), at the Preserve North Etiwanda in Rancho Cucamonga. Aside from the waterfall, “it’s a great place to watch lizards, birds and wildflowers,” Harris wrote.

• Marshall Canyon in La Bern (Hiking 86): “I love this area. “I really like the oaks where you go through shaded tunnels,” he said. He has twice seen bobcats on this trail, he said.

The book includes a folding map of the entire San Gabriel Mountains, with hiking numbers in red. Are hikers still using paper maps?

“I never go hiking without a paper map,” said Schreiner, who often picks up Robinson’s book. “I tell people your phone is great, but if you have a paper map it will never run out of battery or lose connection.”

Harris agreed. “Folding maps are a good way to see the trails at a glance,” he said.

Of course, trail guides also help you find your way on the trail, helping with this special connection to the desert so close but sometimes so far to 22 million Southern California.

“Part of the beauty of being out there is the connection to the earth,” Harris said. “It makes you feel more at home where you live when you look and see these places.”

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