The Journal of San Diego History
Spring 1976, Volume 22, Number 2
James E. Moss, Editor


David J. Weber, Book Review Editor

Guidebook to the Mountains of San Diego and Orange Counties. By Russ Leadabrand. Los Angeles: Ward Ritchie Press, 1972. Bibliography. Illustrations. Index. Maps. 126 pages. $2.95.

Reviewed by Walt Wheelock.

This was originally published as A Guidebook to the Sunset Ranges of Southern California (1965). At that time it included the San Jacinto and the Santa Rosa mountains of Riverside County. These have now been removed and reissued as the Guidebook to the San Jacinto Mountains of California, thus deleting eight chapters of the original publication (however the frontispiece and the back cover of the new edition appear to be Tahquitz Rock, located on a southern ridge of San Jacinto Peak). A new chapter has been added, “South of Interstate 8,” covering the mountains just north of the Mexican border. Otherwise the text appears to be unchanged.

A section has been added: “A Portfolio of Historic Photographs” selected from the files of the Title Insurance and Trust Co., San Diego. In addition, a large number of additional photographs have been included, making this the most lavishly illustrated of all of the Leadabrand guides.

As usual, this book is written in Leadabrand’s easy-reading style and will find continued widespread readership among casual tourists.

Much of the material appearing in these guides originally appeared in Westways, a publication of the Automobile Club of Southern California, and hence the material is strongly slanted toward the motorist. Two brief sections describe a few short trails, all located near highways and all in canyons.

This reviewer has always thought that mountains consisted of mountain peaks, which are there to be climbed and enjoyed. None of Leadabrand’s “Trails” ventures onto the ridges or summits. However, buried in the text, is brief mention of routes to three summits, High Point, Stonewall Peak and Cuyamaca Peak. Two of these are reached by paved roadways, so this guidebook can not be considered to be oriented toward mountain climbers.