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Paul Wagner spent the first summers of his life in the Sierra, where his father was a ranger. Since then, he has hiked thousands of miles in the mountains, and his website,, has become a reference for outdoor enthusiasts.


He has won international awards for his non-fiction books, and his Dan Courtwright mysteries have won critical acclaim. 

"Clever and captivating. Wagner pulls readers along on a trail through the mountains, keenly observing a world in which the greatest threat, of course, is humans... An excellent excursion for armchair mountaineers."

Sasha Paulsen, The Napa Register


Top Fifteen Adventure Books to Read:

"With Danger: Falling Rocks, Paul Wagner offers a captivating and witty tale of trouble in the wilderness that's ideal for the armchair mountaineers and keen hikers among us.  One of our top fifteen outdoor reads!"

-- Julien Heron, Outdoors Generations


"Danger: Falling Rocks" gives us a vibrant feel of the high Sierra, a charming new mystery hero, and an engaging, fast-moving mystery written with energy and a nice touch of wit. Paul Wagner's love of the outdoors and his experience hiking and camping takes readers right into the mountains. The zippy writing keeps the story moving along the Sierra trails, through the lineup of interesting, quirky characters, and down the winding mystery path until the satisfying end. It's a great summer read, whether or not you can find your way into the wilderness."

- Rick Kushman, best-selling NY Times author and co-host of Bottle Talk from Cap Radio in Sacramento


"This is an enjoyable read and reflects a lifestyle that not many people are blessed to lead. As a practitioner of this way of life and a pursuer of wilderness settings, this reading has my seal of approval."

- Chip Morrill, ex-US Forest Service Wilderness Ranger and White Water Guide

Albicaulis Books was created to publish my series of mystery novels set in the High Sierra, and featuring US Forest Service Ranger Dan Courtwright. The name Albicaulis means white bark--a species of pine that lives in the high elevations of the Sierra Nevada.


The first book in the series, Danger: Falling Rocks, was published by Val de Grace books in Napa.  

When a financial tycoon insists that his family join him for their annual backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada, some of his children are not enthusiastic about the idea. And that’s before people start turning up dead.

Ranger Dan Courtwright is first on the scene. And with his friend, Sheriff Cal Healey, he sticks with it to the terrifying finish, which is a real cliffhanger.



Subsequent books are now being published directly by Albicaulis Books. The second in the series is Bones of the Earth, released in January of 2022.

When a pair of hikers discover what they think are human remains, Ranger Dan Courtwright is skeptical. Then he sees the bones inside the hiking boot.


What follows leads Dan on a tangled path through the history of his section of the Stanislaus National Forest as he digs up the clues to a decades-old crime. And those lead him right into the terrifying face of evil.

Holes in the Ground, (July 2022) The hikers passing through the Emigrant Wilderness on the Pacific Crest Trail may or may not be who they say they are. With trail names, who can tell?

But when a body is discovered in an abandoned mine, Ranger Dan Courtwright finds himself in the middle of a much bigger story, and it is up to him and Sheriff Cal Healey to get to the bottom of it.

This is the third book in the Dan Courtwright Mystery series set in the Sierra Nevada. 

Granite Gorge, (November, 2022) There are five trails that lead into the Granite Gorge of the Mokelumne River, but none of them connect to each other. It seems as if there are five ways in, and no way out.


But when Ranger Dan Courtwright offers to help restore some of those old trails, he discovers more than he expected. And is lucky to get out alive. The fourth book in the Dan Courtwright Mystery series. 

High Sierry Quarry, (June 2023) When a young woman hiker is reported missing, the Forest Service takes part in the search. But the more Ranger Dan Courtwright learns about the case, the less sense it makes to him. And the more dangerous things get for everyone involved, especially Dan. All of which leads to confusion, consternation, and murder.

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