Recommended Guidebooks

Conservancy staff and board recommend several San Diego guidebooks and field guides that will assist you in enjoying the reserve and its vast diversity of habitats, plants, and animals. 


Walking San Diego, by Barbara Moore
Moore is a former board member of SELC, and recipient of the board's "Lifetime Achievement Award" for her renowned contributions to natural history interpretation. Walking San Diego is the ultimate guide to the best destinations throughout the County to escape from the hustle and bustle of everday life and explore the tremendous natural beauty of San Diego, and San Elijo Lagoon.

Afoot & Afield in San Diego County, by Jerry Schad
Often referred to as the "bible" of San Diego hiking, this comprehensive guidebook describes a multitude of outings in San Diego's desert, mountain, and coastal regions, ranging from short walks to day hikes and overnight backpacks. Included are great trail descriptions of San Elijo Lagoon.
  San Diego, by Phillip Pryde
This is an invaluable, one-volume reference to San Diego's unique history, natural features, and geology of the region. Natural history subjects include natural resources, agriculture, climate, and the environment. The fourth edition is completely revised and updated to cover the latest in the region's development and planning.

Trail Runner's Guide, by Jerry Schad
If merely walking along the trail is too slow a pace for you, San Diego outdoor recreation expert, Schad, offers a great overview of trail running opportunities in San Diego County, including popular hikes for trail running at San Elijo Lagoon.


  Sibley's Birding Basics, by David Allen Sibley
This is an ideal book for any beginning birder with helpful hints on what to look for, and with beautiful color illustrations.
  Introduction to Birds of the Southern California Coast, by Joan Lentz
This is an invaluable introduction to bird life in Southern California and the many iconic species seen at San Elijo Lagoon.
  The Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America, by David Allen Sibley
An absolute must-have for anyone interested in nature, this handy field guide will help you identify most any bird you see in the reserve.
  San Diego County Bird Atlas, by Phil Unitt
The ultimate reference work on birds in San Diego, this tome of information contains vital facts on every bird ever recorded in San Diego. Key contributors include former SELC board members Andy Mauro and Barbara Moore.


  Trees and Shrubs of California, by Stuart and Sawyer
Terrific introduction to trees and shrubs of California, including those found at San Elijo Lagoon, with black and white illustrations and color plates.
  Field Guide to Western Trees (Peterson Field Guides)
A classic field guide covering all the trees of the Western US and California.