Misadventures in Bumpass Hell: Lassen Volcanic National Park

Kendall Bumpass lost his leg due to this geothermal area; we lost the trail. During the winter and early spring, the Southwest Walk-in campground is the only open camp in Lassen Volcanic National Park. The popular Mill Creek Falls Trail starts right at the campground, near the Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center, and leads to the 75 foot drop.…

A Park for the Masses: Joseph D. Grant County Park

For those in the South Bay, hiking is never far away. Joseph D. Grant County Park is in Halls Valley along Mt. Hamilton Road, a short excursion for most San Francisco Bay Areanites. The parks offers 51 miles of trail; equestrians, hikers, campers, fishermen, and mountain bikers are permitted to enjoy the park. If you…

Pacheco State Park

Most trips outside of the Bay Area involve a drive over Pacheco Pass. We have whizzed past Dinosaur Point many times and often thought of pulling off to see it. However, we never have… until now! Dinosaur Point is located at the end of Dinosaur Point Road in Hollister; it is a boat ramp for…

The Whale of MacKerricher State Park

With no snow in the mountains and warm sunny weather on the coast, we were confused. It is January, no? In either case, we headed up the coast to Mendocino County to soak up the sun. Whale Watching As we prepared for the weekend getaway, we remembered the gray whale migration! Every year these massive creatures swim…

Eureka Dunes: Death Valley National Park

After all the excitement at Ubehebe Crater, we headed North on Big Pine Road toward Eureka Dunes, 1 of 5 dune fields in the park. And let me tell you, the 19-degree nights in Eureka Valley were considerably colder than the 40 degree lows in Death Valley proper. Good thing we brought our freezing weather…

Ubehebe Crater: Death Valley National Park

One of the many roadside attractions in Death Valley National Park is a crater-laden cinder field. Or is that a cinder-laden crater field. Ubehebe and the surrounding craters are maar volcanoes, meaning that they were created when hot magma warmed ground water and the pressure created by the resulting steam was too great. Then BOOM!…

Scotty’s Castle: Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park has an area of 3.4 million acres, 91% of which is wilderness! Hearing these numbers can be daunting to any trip planner but fear not, Death Valley is highly accessible with 785 miles of roads. Roadside camping is typically allowed which means you can often get a great, isolated spot. Keep…

White Sands National Monument and Joshua Tree National Park

White Sands National Monument Dunes?! Sand Dunes?! White Sand Dunes?! Step back! White Sands National Monument rests in a war practice zone. It can be closed due to missile testing and you are advised not to touch un-identifiable objects as they may be unexploded ordinances. Check with the park for scheduled closures. There is not…