May Lake: One of Yosemite High Country’s Best Short Hikes

If you are looking for an easy hike with a fantastic payoff on Tioga Pass, then look no further than May Lake. At a quick 2.4 miles round trip (when the road to the trailhead is open), this hike takes you through beautiful scenery on the way up to a stunning high altitude lake, a […]

Clouds Rest: One of Yosemite’s Best Viewpoints

Sitting at over 1,000 feet above Half Dome, Clouds Rest is one of the quintessential hikes in all of Yosemite National Park. Sure, it doesn’t have the grandeur of completing it that Half Dome has, but having been up both of them, I can say that the view from Clouds Rest is the better of […]

Lembert Dome: Hiking Tuolumne Meadows Famous Granite Dome

When driving Tioga Pass through Tuolumne Meadows, one of the most impressive features of the landscape is the large granite slab that sits right next to the meadow known as Lembert Dome. I have driven by it many times and always wondered what it would be like to look out from the top, so on […]

Channel Islands National Park Guide: Exploring California’s Rugged Islands

The first two Channel Islands, Anacapa and Santa Barbara, were designated as a National Monument in 1938. The National Park as you see it now was created in 1980 when it expanded to include all five of the current islands. The islands are home to dozens of species of diverse wildlife, miles of trails and […]

Scorpion Canyon Loop Trail & Abandoned Oil Well on Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island in Channel Islands National Park has lots of great hiking trails. However, if you are looking to see what the island has to offer on a day trip and don’t have the time/stamina to reach Smugglers Cove, then the Scorpion Canyon Loop is a great option (as is Potato Harbor). Here is […]

Potato Harbor Overlook to Cavern Point Trail on Santa Cruz Island

If you are looking for a great hike on a day trip to Santa Cruz Island and don’t want to take on Smugglers Cove, then this is the hike I would recommend. Potato Harbor Overlook is beautiful on its own, but adding the Bluffs Trail and the Cavern Point Trail to it makes it an […]

Smugglers Cove Hike on Santa Cruz Island: Channel Island’s Most Popular Hike

No visit to Santa Cruz Island is complete without a hike to the beautiful beach on the west side of the island known as Smugglers Cove. This is a good 4-5 hour hike, clocking in at just about 8 miles and it should probably not be attempted on a day trip unless you have enough […]

Santa Cruz Island Guide: Hiking, Camping & Exploring Channel Islands National Park’s Biggest Island

Channel Islands National Park consists of a collection of five islands off the coast of Southern California. The most popular of these is Santa Cruz Island, which is what this guide is about. It is the easiest to get to of the larger islands, and it has lots of great hiking trails and camping spots […]

Carrizo Plain National Monument: Soda Lake, Finding Wildflowers & Exploring the Park

Carrizo Plain National Monument is a beautiful range of mountains and valleys in Central California that has been relatively untouched over the years, helping it to maintain a glimpse of what California used to look like. The sprawling green hills, which are covered in wildflowers during the spring, give way to a lush lowland with everything […]

24 Hours in Death Valley: How to Explore the Park in a Day

Death Valley is a pretty daunting place to plan a trip to. Most people have heard about the insane heat and are not that familiar with the desert, so they never make the trip to this magical spot. I hope this post helps to clear up the common misconceptions about Death Valley and shows you […]