Bay Nature magazineOctober-December 2003

Book Review: California Coastal Access Guide

October 1, 2003

6th Edition, by the California Coastal Commission, University of California Press, 2003, 304 pages, $22.50 (



If you love to hike the coastline, visit tidepools or simply get your feet wet in the surf, make a place on your shelf for the latest edition of the Coastal Conservancy’s guide to the California coast. A vast improvement upon the 1981 edition (the only copy on our shelves), this new edition will keep hikers and beachgoers updated on their favorite coastal trails and ocean vistas. Accompanied by descriptions of all the publicly accessible parks, harbors, beaches, and reserves, charts point out available facil-ities and the presence or absence of dunes, bluffs, and other topographical features. The 127 maps are easier to read and more thorough than before, calling out features such as lakes, coastal access points, trails, and parks left out in the original version. Numerous line illustrations perk up the pages, detailing everything from waterfowl to the principles behind riptides. Interspersed throughout the guide are “Feature Articles,” natural history lessons in everything from tsunamis and surf to redwoods and wildfire.

About the Author

Matthew Bettelheim is a freelance writer and a wildlife biologist with URS Corporation.

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