After inspecting the seashore from the town nestled in the middle of California’s Lost Coast, it was time to explore the mountains that rise up from the coast. These mountains are the reason that this stretch of prime waterfront land is “lost” (to development). From Shelter Cove we drove up the winding mountain road that I Read More →

Last year’s Rim Fire, named for the “Rim of the World” vista point in Stanislaus National Forest was the largest recorded wildfire in the Sierra Nevada. An illegal campfire set by a hunter started the blaze that burned for over two months and consumed over 400 square miles of forest in the Stanislaus National Forest Read More →

Trails through the Sierras connect Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks to Yosemite National Park, but to drive there one must go through Fresno. We drove into Fresno planning to spend the night in a Walmart parking lot and head into Yosemite in the morning. From what I had heard, every campsite in Yosemite is reserved months Read More →

We arrived at Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks on a Saturday in early April. The park was still in winter-mode, with most of the campgrounds closed for the season. The one campground on the Sequoia National Park side that was open was completely full (unsurprising, as it was a Saturday). Another campground on the Kings Read More →

The proposed hiking plan that led us to Idyllwild, CA was a very ambitious 11 mile, 4,400 foot elevation change round-trip to the peak of Mount San Jacinto. While we love challenging hikes, the trailhead for this hike was 6 miles down the highway and we also love not driving the van in the middle Read More →

When we visited San Diego my friend who lives there was out of town, so we agreed to meet for a hike on Mount San Jacinto, east of Los Angeles, the following weekend. Mount San Jacinto State Park has two campgrounds and the adjacent San Bernardino National Forest also has some campgrounds. Out of all Read More →

Many people have recommended Joshua Tree National Park to visit, so we drove here from Flagstaff. The 340 mile drive was the longest we have driven in a day in months. It was tiring but we made it to nearest campground just as the rangers were closing up. By this point in our trip we Read More →

At the top of Wasson Peak in Saguaro National Park we met two local women also out for a hike. I asked them if they could identify the various mountains in the distance, and the more knowledgeable of the pair obliged by pointing out Santa Catalina Mountains, the Rincon Mountains, and the Santa Rita Mountains. Additionally, they Read More →

I was surprised when the ranger at the Sabino Canyon Visitor Center recommended the “Prison Camp” campground for our stay in the Coronado National Forest. Despite the unappealing name, we headed there because of its location on the trail we planned to hike. An interpretive sign at the campground explains why the campground is called Read More →