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Wilderness Press :: Authors :: Jerry Schad
Jerry Schad

Jerry Schad

Jerry Schad's several careers encompassed interests ranging from astronomy and teaching to photography and writing. Schad was the author of 15 books, including a college-level textbook for introductory physical science courses and the top-selling Afoot & Afield series of hiking guidebooks that cover nearly all of Southern California. Schad’s outdoor column, “Roam-O-Rama,” was published weekly in the San Diego Reader 1993–2011, and his San Diego Reader blog, “Outdoor San Diego,” kept San Diegans up-to-date on a variety of natural events in the sky and on earth. In the months preceding his death at age 61 from kidney cancer, Schad worked tirelessly and with courageous joy and spirit to complete his last book 50 Best Short Hikes San Diego.

Jerry Schad
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101 Hikes in Southern California, 3ed
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101 Hikes in Southern California, 3ed
Jerry Schad and David Money Harris


Trek the diverse terrain of Southern California, from desert to beach to mountaintop, on an easy stroll or overnight adventure, with this ultimate guide to the 101 best hikes in the Southland. This updated and revised edition of one of our best-selling guidebooks includes 12 new hikes and updated information for hikes from the previous edition. All trips have been rehiked for this update. Each trip includes a map, photos, trail highlights, and symbols to tell you the basics of the trip at a glance. Each map also now includes key GPS coordinates.

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50 Best Short Hikes San Diego
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50 Best Short Hikes San Diego
Jerry Schad


50 Best Short Hikes: San Diego is the first book in a new version of a series Wilderness Press initially launched in the 1990s. This 50 Best title sports a fresh, modern design while maintaining the original concept: It's a guidebook for busy outdoor lovers who want beautiful hikes to experience in limited spurts of time.

With all of its trail distances tallying only 1 to 8 miles, 50 Best Short Hikes: San Diego showcases routes that can be completed in just an hour, a morning, or an afternoon. But these capsule distances are anything but dull or monotonous. Instead, myriad terrains beckon within these pages. Some trails wind along the coast, others weave through the canyons, and still others ascend mountains or meander into forests.

Because of the attainable distances and the diverse land- and seascapes presented here, 50 Best Short Hikes: San Diego also appeals to hikers with physical limitations and to families with small children. All readers will appreciate the wealth of information about each trail area's varied history, geology, and amenities.

As a longtime resident of San Diego and an avid outdoorsman, the author shares his favorite panoramas and pocket nirvanas in this Southern California region. He knows the nooks and crannies of his destinations, and he corrals them into this easy-to-follow, practical-to-use book.

He divides San Diego into 5 micro-regions, with an overview map of the entire area. Then each individual entry includes a detailed map, directions to the trailhead, an at-a-glance info box, and personably written descriptive text. Design, information, and the author's writing style make this a compelling resource for local residents, and a keepsake for visitors.

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Afoot & Afield in Los Angeles County, 3ed
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Afoot & Afield in Los Angeles County, 3ed
Jerry Schad


With a total of 200 trips, Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County now covers virtually every hike worth taking within an hour’s drive of the urban edge of Los Angeles or its close-in suburbs. Hit the trail and discover Pacific tidepools; dramatic sandstone formations in the Santa Monica Mountains; valley and ocean views from urban open spaces such as Griffith Park; and a wealth of rock-ribbed canyons and cascading waterfalls in the San Gabriel Mountains. Written by Southland hiking guru Jerry Schad, this guidebook contains both the beta and the inspiration for getting active in the hundreds of miles of trails in the LA area. Each hike includes essential information and explicit driving directions. For ease of use, all hikes are grouped into 29 chapters (regions) within the county, each with its own chapter map and introductory information. The third edition features 24 new hikes, emphasizing exploration of L.A. County’s newest urban-edge parks and open spaces.


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Afoot & Afield San Diego County, 5th edition
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Afoot & Afield San Diego County, 5th edition
Jerry Schad & Scott Turner


Since 1986, Jerry Schad’s Afoot and Afield: San Diego County has been the premier trail guide for hikers, backpackers, and mountain bikers. It describes routes ranging from brief, family-friendly hikes to multiple-day overnight trips in remote regions of the backcountry, providing equal weight to the scenic and recreational value of each trip. Each route features at least one or more significant botanical, cultural, or geological highlight with detailed information about what makes each one special. The book’s lengthy history as the preferred hiking guide for the region creates trust and recognition in its readers, while the variety within the book caters to a wide population of recreational enthusiasts.

Current coauthor Scott Turner has fully updated the book by re-hiking each of the routes contained within the book and adding (up to) 30 new routes to ensure that information for each trip is fully current.

Market price: $24.95
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Afoot and Afield: Orange County, 4th Edition
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Afoot and Afield: Orange County, 4th Edition
Jerry Schad and David Money Harris


This completely updated and expanded new edition in the Afoot & Afield series is the classic guide to the hiking opportunities throughout Southern California’s Orange County. Featuring more than 100 trips from serene summits to sparkling beaches, Afoot & Afield Orange County covers the Laguna Coast, Newport Beach, Crystal Cove State Park, the Chino Hills, Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, the Santa Ana Mountains, and more. Trips ranging from short strolls to rigorous daylong treks are all within a short car trip of the Southland’s cities. Every trip was re-hiked by author David Money Harris for this updated edition.

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Top Trails: Los Angeles
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Top Trails: Los Angeles
Jerry Schad


    The award-winning Top Trails series is known for its highly visual, easy-access guides that describe the very best trails of a given area as selected by a local expert author. Top Trails Los Angeles, by Southland hiking guru Jerry Schad, describes the best trails for the greater Los Angeles area. From the Santa Monica Mountains to Angeles National Forest, from Orange County to the San Bernardino and the San Jacinto Mountains, this guidebook showcases the “must do” trails in every region suitable for walking, hiking, running, and mountain biking.

    Each trail has a custom map, “don’t get lost” trail milestones, elevation profiles, and the full range of trail features so hikers, cyclists, dog walkers and stroller users know exactly what to expect. This new edition covers nine new trips, bringing the total trip count to 57. New trails include Corral Canyon in Malibu, Sycamore Canyon Waterfall, Oat Mountain in the Santa Susana Mountains, and Cobal Canyon Loop near Claremont.

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Trail Runner's Guide San Diego
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Trail Runner's Guide San Diego
Jerry Schad


Trail runners are taking off across the nation, abandoning hard pavement for the dirt. San Diego County, with a great year-round climate and a multitude of trails, is an ideal locale for the sport. The vast undeveloped lands in and around San Diego provide endless choices for runners. You can follow riparian canyons, where sycamores, live oaks, and climbing vines shade the trail, or cover long distances on desert tracks, flanked by flowering cacti and spiny agave. Run along Southern California's wildest stretch of beach, between foamy surf and sheer cliff, or loop around an inland reservoir through aromatic chaparral. For rigorous workouts, climb rocky trails up 6500-foot interior mountains.

In the only trail-running guide to the area, veteran trail runner--and best-selling author--Jerry Schad describes 50 of his all-time favorite runs in and around San Diego. Selected for their proximity to the city and suburbs, as well as for scenic beauty and range of difficulty, the routes in Trail Runner's Guide San Diego offer choices for locals looking for new runs, visitors who want to explore the area's trails, and beginners just testing the dirt.

--Routes from 2 to 16 miles include loop, out-and-back, and shuttle runs
--Runs on sandy paths, rocky trails, smooth fire roads, and scenic sidewalks in the coastal, inland, mountain, and desert landscapes of San Diego County
--Trips with difficulty ratings, trailhead-access information, detailed trail descriptions, and maps
--Clothing, gear, and nutrition suggestions for trail runners

Many runs feature ""Hot Tips"": where to watch the sun set and the full moon rise at the same time, what time of year you'll enjoy the best views on the coast, where to see great wildflowers, and which runs you should avoid in the summer.

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