Sources Offer Guides to Many Areas and Interests

Times Staff Writer

California, in all its recreational splendor, is a vast playground for outdoor activities, from camping and hiking to hunting and bicycling. One way to keep up on what’s happening--and where--is to take advantage of free or inexpensive maps published and distributed by government agencies and special-interest associations. The following is a sampling of maps available:

California Division of Mines and Geology: 107 S. Broadway, Room 1065, Los Angeles, Calif. 90012, (213) 620-3560. The state office of Mines and Geology offers a geologic map popular with hikers, builders, prospectors, rock climbers and rock collectors. The color-coded map identifies mineral deposits, oil, fossils and earthquake faults. You can even determine whether the ground on which you plan to buy or build is solid enough to hold the structure. Available over the counter or by mail for $8.

U.S. Geological Survey: Federal Building, 300 N. Los Angeles St., Room 7638, (213) 894-2850. The federal branch for geological map distribution offers maps of a more general nature for the sportsman or vacationer. The most popular is a detailed topographical map, available for $2.50, which identifies urban parks, hiking trails, access roads, fire lanes, dams, rivers and boundaries separating private and public property. It also allows mountain climbers to determine the steepness of slopes. Over the counter at the downtown office, or by mail (along with maps of every state): Branch of Distribution, U.S. Geological Survey, Building 41, P.O. Box 25286, Denver, Colo. 80225.

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area: 22900 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, Calif. 91364, (818) 888-3770. The park headquarters provides maps, ranging from 25 cents to $4.95, with detailed information on Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Topanga Creek State Park, Point Mugu State Park and others. General maps for 25 cents include trails, fire roads and mountain peaks; more complex maps give exact elevation lines, compass points and terrain descriptions for $2.50. By mail, or over the counter Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.


Wine Country: The Wine Institute, 165 Post St., San Francisco, Calif. 94108, (415) 986-0878. This nonprofit trade association of California wineries offers a free tour booklet. Listed by county, entries include addresses, hours and phone numbers. Send a self-addressed, No. 10 envelope with 45 cents postage for “California Is Wine Country,” or get one over the counter. Poster map of wineries also available. Also, Thomas Bros. Maps’ California Road Atlas and Drivers’ Guide includes map and listing of wineries; retails for about $16.95.

U.S. Forest Service: 1824 S. Commerce Center Circle, San Bernardino, Calif. 92408-3430, (714) 383-5588. Each district office has maps of hiking trails, campgrounds and picnic information for its area. A map of state and federal trails is provided for the San Jacinto Wilderness, because state and federal jurisdictions overlap. Get the “Hiking Map of the San Jacinto Wilderness” for 75 cents at the Idyllwild Ranger Station, or write to the station: P.O. Box 518, Idyllwild, Calif. 92349. Also available are the San Bernardino National Forest map and the U.S. Geological Survey’s topo map of the Mt. San Jacinto Peak quadrangle, each for $1. The forest map includes all five districts of San Bernardino National Forest, from Cucamonga Peak to Santa Rosa Mountain.

L.A. City Parks: Public Information, Department of Recreation and Parks, 200 N. Main St., Room 1350, Los Angeles, Calif. 90012, (213) 485-5555. The L.A. City Recreation and Parks Department divides its parks into three regions (Pacific, Metropolitan and Valley) and provides a map for each. Maps include street maps designating park locations and detailed charts that include park size, hours, addresses, museums, historic sites, facilities (golf course, pool, tennis courts, gardens, community buildings) and special attractions (classes, events). In addition, a

detailed map


of Griffith Park pinpoints its facilities, including the L.A. Zoo, Travel Town and the Observatory, along with trails and picnic

facilities. Maps are mailed free or distributed over the counter.

Coast Guard: Aids and Applications, (213) 499-5410. Anyone taking to the water should have a chart that shows depth, obstacles, buoys and other information to help navigate the way. The Coast Guard offers a list of authorized chart dealers and also publishes the weekly Local Notice toMariners, which details changes in the charts. Charts are available at most marinas or nautical supply stores. For information on chart dealers or the weekly notice write: Cmd. (OAN), 11th Coast Guard District, 400 Ocean Gate, Long Beach, Calif. 90822.

Visitor Information Center: 695 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, and Janes House Square, 6541 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles. Free brochures and a visitors guide offer information and maps showing restaurants, night spots, hotels, tours, attractions and points of interest around the city. Also included is a sample trip itinerary, a calendar of special events and transportation information, including a map and terminal information on LAX. Write the Greater L.A. Visitors and Convention Bureau at 515 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, to receive free information. Call: (213) 624-7300.L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce: P.O. Box 3696 Terminal Annex, Los Angeles, Calif. 90051-1696, (213) 629-0602. A free chamber brochure, Publications/ Information Services, lists maps and publications that may be useful to anyone trying to relocate in the area or just wanting to know the city better. Maps separate areas by ZIP code, depict major streets, designate zoning, list high-rises, offer renter information or show population trends. One publication provides everything you need to know about transportation services and facilities, from where to land your company plane to catching a bus. Covers L.A. five-county area detailing harbors, airports, railroads, freeways and mass transit.

L.A. Conservancy: 433 S. Spring St., Suite 1024, Los Angeles, Calif. 90013, (213) 623-CITY. The Conservancy provides maps and illustrated brochures of more than 20 walking tours of Los Angeles, such as “Mecca for Merchants,” “Miracle Mile,” “Cruisin’ L.A.” and “Arlington Heights: A Tribute to the Craftsman.” Each brochure is $2. Booklets with more extensive information, such as “Art Deco Los Angeles,” are $7.50. A list of tours is available over the counter, or write or call to receive it by mail.