Viewing posts for the category California

California, USA

I am learning that California is pleasantly diverse and geologically quite remarkable.  From volcanoes - both active and ancient, to earthquake geology to fossil beds  to deep blue glacial lakes, scenic rugged coastlines, natural rock columns and towering granite domes and walls, California is one place I can spend many years exploring and still not be completely satisfied that I have seen it all.  Here are our explorations thus far....

Rings Trail, Mojave National Preserve, California

This hike was an exciting one, though short in distance.  The trailhead we took was off the parking lot loop (Not the picnic area) which led us past some petroglyphs, over some short desert brush, and under giant light colored rocks dotted with many many holes.

Trona Pinnacles, San Bernardino County, California

If you are looking for an otherworldly landscape, this is the place for you. A skyline made up of about 500 tall tufa spires dotted the barren landscape as we walked in an ancient dry lakebed named Searle Lake. Searle Lake was one of many lakes filled with glacial meltwater connecting the Sierra Nevada to Death Valley as glaciers melted from the Sierra Nevada mountain range.  According to one of the information boards, half of  all of earth's minerals are found on this lake bed, one of which is trona, the park's namesake. 

Sequoia National Park, California

Sequoia National Park

Venturing into Sequioa National Park is venturing into a land of ancient giants.  As we drove up Generals Highway from the south, we encountered many a giant around every corner, some as part of a family of giants, others as lone giants.  We couldn't wait to park and start our hike once we reached the Giant Forest Museum. Luckily, there were many trails for us to stand in awe of these trees as old as 3200 years old.  Of course, despite its name, Sequioa National Park is not just about giant sequoias.  We managed a trail or two into different environments as well, walking through snow to reach a mirroring subalpine lake, and walking through dry foothills to a cascading waterfalls over marble rock. 

Mount Rose, Lake Tahoe, NV

Our hike to the top of the second highest peak in Lake Tahoe was one alongside many blooming wildflowers. The first 2.5 miles was fairly flat. The trail was mostly clear with short sections over icy snow that had not yet melted. A waterfall greeted us at the end of the first 2.5 miles.