Monthly Archives: May 2011

Point Reyes Lighthouse Parking Lot View

Even before you consider going to Point Reyes lighthouse at Point Reyes National Seashore, be sure to pack your best windbreaker and an extra layer of clothes. The Point Reyes lighthouse is the windiest and foggiest point on the Pacific coast and even on a sunny day, the wind can send chills through your body (and may provide the opportunity to see double waves). I arrived on a beautiful sunny day, but with wind gusts up to 40 miles an … Continue reading

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Marble Ridge Crystal Cave Sequoia National Park

Even before you get to the entrance of Crystal Cave at Sequoia National Park (CA), there are sights to see. In order to reach the Crystal cave entrance, there is a half mile walk down a paved path that descends the equivalent of a 30 story building (which also means you need to walk up it once the cave tour is over). Half way down you come to a sign that talks about Marble Ridge which can bee seen across … Continue reading

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Rings Trail Hole In The Wall Mojave National Preserve

The Rings Trail at Hole in the Wall at Mojave National Preserve. (CA) gets it’s name because the only way to get out of the Hole in the Wall courtyard area is up some steep rock faces. To help make this possible, metal spikes with rings on the end have been hammered into the rocks: When you first see the rings, you will be tempted to try and place your feet into the ring to help you up. This doesn’t … Continue reading

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Hole In The Wall Courtyard Mojave National Preserve

After passing the Petroglyphs along Rings Trail at Hole in the Wall in Mojave National Preserve (CA), you have another quarter mile before you will see the lava rock walls Hole in the Wall before you: As you get closer to the cliffs, you will enter into a courtyard like area where the walls tower over you on three sides While the hike itself only takes about 45 minutes, you will want to put aside much more time so that … Continue reading

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California State Parks Closure List 2011

Due to budget cuts, the California State Parks system announced a plan to close 70 of its 278 parks. The first parks will start to be shuttered in September 2011 and all 70 slated California state parks should be completely shut down by July 2012. The following 70 California state parks are on the list to be closed: Anderson Marsh State Historical Park Annadel State Park Antelope Valley Indian Museum Austin Creek State Recreation Area Bale Grist Mill State Historic … Continue reading

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Cinder Block Tree Emerald Bay State Park California

As you reach the bottom on Vikingsholm Trail and it begins to level off, there is a quite unusual sight — a cinder block tree to your left. I’m not sure exactly what the purpose of this would be, but assume that it was a way to protect trees from further damage and rotting many years ago. When I visited, Emerald Bay visitors center was still closed for the winter season so there were no park rangers around I could … Continue reading

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Petroglyphs Hole In The Wall Mojave National Preserve

The Rings Trail loop at Hole in the Wall in Mojave National Preserve (CA) begins at the far end of the visitor center parking area. About a quarter mile into the hike, you will see a large boulder next to the trail which has a number of petroglyphs on it: I always get confused what to call these when I see them (petroglyphs or pictograms), so I had to finally took the time to figure out the difference between the … Continue reading

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Vikingsholm Trail Emerald Bay State Park California

If you have the time, you definitely want to take the 1 mile hike down Vikingsholm Trail at Emerald Bay state park to the the water’s edge. While there won’t be any issues getting down the trail, you will eventually have to hike back up and the grade is fairly steep. You definitely need to be in decent shape to do it, but the rewards are well worth it. As you begin to hike down Vikingsholm Trail, you will quickly … Continue reading

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Hole In The Wall Mojave National Preserve

One place that I would definitely recommend when visiting Mojave National Preserve (CA) is Hole-in-the-Wall which is perfectly named. A few million years ago, the eruptions of a nearby volcano covered the area with a mixture of lava, gas and ash. As the ash cooled and the gas began to dissipate, the gas bubbles within the cooling lava expanded forming large holes. These large holes in the lava, which have been further enlarged through natural wind and water erosion, give … Continue reading

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Vikingsholm View Emerald Bay State Park California

One of the main reasons that you want to drive California highway 89 around Lake Tahoe is so that you get a chance to see Emerald Bay state park. There are two main lookouts over Emerald Bay: Vikingsholm and Inspiration Point. While there is a lot more to do than look at the Emerald Bay view from the Vikingsholm stop, if you are in a rush with little time, the Vikingsholm view stop is one you’ll definitely want to make … Continue reading

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