The California Field Atlas

The California Field Atlas
Paperback, 5.5 x 7.5, with 300 full-color maps and illustrations, 608 pages.
ISBN: 9781597144025.

By Obi Kaufmann

#1 San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller

Winner, 2018 California Book Award Gold Medal (Notable Contribution to Publishing)

Winner, 2018 NCIBA Book of the Year Award (Regional Interest)

Finalist, 2018 Northern California Book Awards

Honorable Mention, Publishing Professionals Network 47th annual Book Show (Trade/Image Driven)

This lavishly illustrated atlas takes readers off the beaten path and outside normal conceptions of California, revealing its myriad ecologies, topographies, and histories in exquisite maps and trail paintings. Based on decades of exploring the backcountry of the Golden State, artist-adventurer Obi Kaufmann blends science and art to illuminate the multifaceted array of living, connected systems like no book has done before. Kaufmann depicts layer after layer of the natural world, delighting in the grand scale and details alike. The effect is staggeringly beautiful: presented alongside California divvied into its fifty-eight counties, for example, we consider California made up of dancing tectonic plates, of watersheds, of wildflower gardens. Maps are enhanced by spirited illustrations of wildlife, keys that explain natural phenomena, and a clear-sighted but reverential text. Full of character and color, a bit larger than life, The California Field Atlas is the ultimate road trip companion and love letter to a place.



"Kaufmann lives on the corner of imagery and science, inviting readers to reimagine the state through maps and charts of the diverse topography. [...] Every California household should have a copy of his 608-page atlas." San Jose Mercury News
“A revelation. Kaufmann educates and delights the reader simultaneously.” Mike Sonksen, Entropy
“Transcend[s] the genre of nature writing.” Monterey County Weekly
“A modern-day masterpiece.” Kit Stolz, Santa Barbara Independent
“If you're looking for freeways or pathways, expressways or BART lines, this book can't help you. If, on the other hand, you're looking to get lost in the flora, fauna, and natural habitats that exist across California beyond the I-5, this is a wonderful little guide.” AFAR
“[A] gorgeously illustrated compendium.” Sunset
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About the Author

Obi Kaufmann

Obi Kaufmann

Obi Kaufmann is the author of The California Field Atlas (2017, #1 San Francisco Chronicle Best Seller), The State of Water: Understanding California’s Most Precious Natural Resource (2019), and The Forests of California: A California Field Atlas (2020)The Coasts of California (2022), and The Deserts of California (2023) all published by Heyday. When he is not backpacking, you can find the painter-poet at home in the East Bay, posting trail paintings at his handle @coyotethunder on Instagram. His speaking tour dates are available at, and his essays are posted at

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the page above are "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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