Viewing posts for the category California

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, Agua Dulce, California, USA

Not too far from Los Angeles (less than an hour), lies the magnificent slanted rocks of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area, a 900-acre County Park. Massive rocks pushed up to 50 degree angles greeted us less than a mile from the Visitor Center.  The Vasquez Rocks are a geological wonderland.

Huckleberry Botanical Regional Preserve, Oakland, California, USA

Not too far from Berkeley, you'll find Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve. It is a short, fairly quiet trail, just under 2 miles in distance. Trees here were covered in a layer of green moss in the spring after a wet winter, making the hike very much surrounded by a green fluorescence. It is a mostly shaded hike, so very much a good choice for a warm day. Through the trees, there are peek-a-boo views of the surrounding hills and valley.  You can easily make this a longer hike by connecting to neighbouring Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve.

Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont, California, USA

Not too far off from the freeway, past Ardenwood Historic Farm, there lies a gem that is much hidden to passersby. A beautiful open space that is teeming with wildflowers in the spring overlooking the San Francisco Bay. The recent rains have worked their magic on the hills in this area, making them wonderfully green, dotting them with colorful wildflowers and filling marshlands with water.

Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Oakland, California, USA

Not too far from the University of California, Berkeley is Sibley Volcanic Preserve.  This Preserve in the Oakland Hills features Round Top, a peak consisting of lava and volcanic debris left over from an ancient 10 million year old volcano.
Running freely in Sibley's open space at sunset
Roaming freely in Sibley's open space at sunset


Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, California

During our August trip to Yosemite National Park area, we decided to explore the parts less traveled, mostly to avoid the crowds.  Our first stop was Tenaya Lake, which is located on Tioga Pass Road in Yosemite National Park.  At over 8000 feet elevation, Tenaya Lake is a beautiful alpine lake located in the High Sierra's surrounded by granite mountains.  Formed by glacial action, Tenaya Lake is tucked into the mountains that feels almost tropical. White sand beaches adorn this beautiful lake. The kids had fun making sand tunnels and dams while my husband napped in the warmth of the sun.  It was a relaxing way to spend an afternoon.  We spotted a few people fishing from the boulders on the lake shore.  Nearby is a shaded trail (about 12miles long) that can connect you to the Village area of Yosemite.   Would love to do that hike once the kids are older and more able to handle longer distances.  There is also a 2.5 mile hike around the lake.  We started around the lake but had to go back.  We couldn’t convince the kids to leave behind their sand structures early enough for the entire around-the-lake hike - the sun began setting.  The only bad thing about this spot is that Tioga Pass Road runs on one side of the lake.  From our spot on the white sand, it was easy to ignore the road, we couldn’t hear it at all.  Tenaya Lake's proximity to Tioga Pass Road also makes access easy.