Take a hike! New hiking guidebooks feature local trails

Hiking guidebook author John Soares with life partner Stephanie Hoffman on top of Mount Eddy. Submitted photo by Joy Taylor

It’s summer, prime time for hiking to those high mountain lakes for a cooling swim, and for climbing those high peaks for far-reaching vistas. Veteran outdoor writer and life-long trail trekker John Soares has two new just-off-the-press hiking guidebooks to help you pick the best routes, and he’s giving a presentation about local trails at the Mount Shasta Library on Monday, June 25, from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m.

“I first began hiking as a little kid in the foothills near Anderson in Shasta County, where I grew up,” says Soares. “With the encouragement of my older siblings and my parents, I started backpacking in the Trinity Alps in my teens and soon expanded my range to the rest of Northern California.”

His love of hiking sparked an outdoor writing career that began in the early 1990s and has led to the recent release of his new books: “Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions” and the fourth edition of the all-color “100 Classic Hikes: Northern California,” both published by Mountaineers Books in Seattle.

Soares says, “Day Hiking was a true labor of love for me. It covers my home territory, where I’ve been exploring my entire life.”

“Day Hiking: Mount Shasta, Lassen & Trinity Alps Regions” has 125 hikes stretching from Redding to Yreka and from the Trinity Alps through the Russian and Marble Mountain Wildernesses to Lava Beds National Monument and Lassen Volcanic National Park. Mount Shasta is smack in the center.

“100 Classic Hikes: Northern California” contains the top day hikes and epic backpacking trips in all of Northern California. Its southerly boundaries are the Bay Area and Mokelumne Wilderness in the Northern Sierra Nevada. It includes foothill, beach, and redwood trails, along with treks through classic Sierra scenery in Desolation Wilderness and around Lake Tahoe, in addition to the territory covered by the Day Hiking title.

Both books have detailed trail descriptions and maps, along with driving directions and information about trail length, hike difficulty, and elevation gain, plus other useful info such as whether or not you can bring your pooch.

Soares has a particular love for the wild country of Siskiyou County – and the Mount Shasta area in particular. He first explored the area as a teenager and summited Mount Shasta at age 20. “I spent a lot of time here when researching previous books. I wound up spending the summers of 1999 and 2000 in the area, and then I lived in Mount Shasta and Lake Shastina for 7 years. I hiked whenever and wherever I could, and it’s still my go-to region for hiking. For example, I recently went backpacking in the Duck Lakes drainage in the Russian Wilderness.”

John will discuss his favorite day-hiking and backpacking routes during his visual presentation at the Mount Shasta Library this Monday, June 25, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. A Q&A and book signing will follow, and the books will be available for purchase. Contact the Mount Shasta Library for more information at 530-926-2031 and also visit John’s website: https://NorthernCaliforniaHikingTrails.com.