New History Book about Spain's California Conquests and Peninsula Missions: Reviews

Oct 2014
Baja California Land of Missions is 240 pages of historical stories about the people and places where Spain attempted to colonize the peninsula of California. The book includes details, combined with maps and photographs, along with historic drawings of events, people, and places. The padres who were documented at the twenty-seven missions are listed as well as the benefactors who contributed to the building of the first seventeen missions. The GPS waypoints for all the mission sites are provided along with directions and kilometer markers.



Baja California Land of Missions

As a writer and a 20-year full-time resident of Baja California Sur I’ve had a chance to become acquainted with the author and his life-long love affair with the peninsula and its missions. It was that unflagging love of adventure and travel that caused him to amass an amazing library of current and historical documents about the peninsula and the missions which he shares with uncountable numbers of Bajaphiles through affinity forums and social media groups.

Baja California Land of Missions is a unique and handy summary of existing data about a place and time which defies examination and description; some of the planet’s harshest landscapes where alone a few hardy souls dared to challenge and rare crumbling 300-hundred-year-old manuscripts which tell a garbled tale of daunting travel in the new world.

The book chronicles the missions on the peninsula. Readers will learn more about the missionaries, the storied Camino Real, the process, the setbacks, the suffering and those who plan to travel the mission chain will feel the centuries slipping away with the guide book in hand. It will surely become the Vade Mecum of this historical and archeological museum; the 800 miles of stunning cathedrals and relic ruin foundations that lured Mr. Kier and so many others to take the path rarely chosen.

David’s friends and followers will buy two copies: one for the car, jeep, backpack, saddlebag and another for their home library where it will be safe, protected and cherished so it can become the perfect gift one day for their kids and grandkids – history books are rarely complete as new findings become available but this book is truly an heirloom edition because so little evidence remains to be uncovered. The book may hold its historical certitude and relevance for many decades to come. Don’t miss this one.

George Bergin


“With his great passion for Baja California history, especially its mission history, author David Kier is well qualified to write a concise yet comprehensive guide to the missions founded on the peninsula by the Jesuit, Franciscan, and Dominican Orders. This handsome and handy volume represents a fine attempt to achieve that goal, provoke discussion, and place the Baja missions in a broader historical and geographical context.”

Graham Mackintosh, Home


I have written two books and numerous articles about Baja and wish this book was available when I was doing my research. Inveterate Baja buff David Kier has created the consummate guide to the historic missions of Baja California. He explains and/or dispels long-established rumors and guesswork about the missions and the dedicated padres who established them. The fine maps and photos help make this book an easy to digest reference guide.

Greg Niemann, Greg Niemann

Here is a scan of the first printed cover:

The book was designed as a chronological history story of the events related to the establishment of the missions on the peninsula, from 1535 to 1855, using the details as provided by those who lived during those years, whenever possible.

The contents pages:

Here is a sample of data on one of the twenty-seven missions from the new book:

Oct 2014
Nice Review from Canadian professor...


I just received a copy of your new book, "Baja California: Land of Missions.” Thank you for all the hard work that went into this volume. It is certainly the best book written on the subject. You have done an excellent job in researching the material. I learned a lot about the history of all the missions and how they are tied together.

I am a retired professor of historical geography. I served 12 years as the head of the department of Geography at the University of Calgary in Canada and for some 35 years as a professor.

Over the last few years I have made several trips to Baja California and have traveled the peninsula from one end to the other. On these trips, understandably, I visited nearly all the old missions, but not San Borja.
Dr. L. A. Rosenvall

Oct 2014
Happy to field any questions! The history of California is quite fascinating and involves so many different groups of people...
Oct 2014
Anyone in Southern California on July 14, 2016 who would like to see and hear more about the missions or get their book signed...

David Kier Lecture: Baja California Land of Missions

Discover Baja is pleased to present a lecture by David Kier, author of the new book “Baja California Land of Missions” on Thursday, July 14th, 2016 at 7:00pm in San Diego.

Join us as we learn about where and when the Spanish missions were founded on the Baja peninsula. The missions are an important part of California history and many of the Baja missions or mission sites are still accessible today. This will be a treat for history buffs, adventure seekers and Baja lovers!

Copies of “Baja California Land of Missions” will be available for purchase and signing.

Thursday, July 14th, 2016
7:00 pm

Liberty Station – NTC Command Center
Meeting Room 1
2640 Historic Decatur Road
San Diego, CA 92106
Directions to NTC Command Center

$3 for Discover Baja members. $5 for nonmembers. Please RSVP to or 800-727-2252.

More information about David Kier and “Baja California Land of Missions”
Oct 2014
9 months have passed since the book was published. Many distributors in California and Mexico have been selling this work and I hope more people who seek the history of California will enjoy my book. We ship the book worldwide to anyone seeking this colorful history of Spanish and Mexican California missions on the peninsula now called Baja California. Old missions
Thank you for your interest!