Viewing posts for the category Interesting Natural Feature

High Peaks-Tunnel Trail Loop, Pinnacles National Park, California

Last weekend we explored an ancient volcano a couple hours south of the San Francisco Bay area. The ancient volcano was cut into two by tectonic forces about 20 million years ago. Two thirds of the volcano eventually became Pinnacles National Park while the other side of it became the Neenach Formation almost 200 miles south. The side that we explored is on the Pacific Plate, which is slowly drifting north, while the Neenach Formation is on the North American plate, slowly pushing westward. As an active volcano, Pinnacles Volcano stood 8000 feet tall and 15 miles long, located almost 200 miles south of where it is now, where it's other half still stands today. The “Pinnacles” that we encountered were massive fingerlike projections made of dark rocks reaching for the sky, along with rounded rock formations just as massive. These rock formations were caused by the erosion by ice, water and wind.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Big Sur, California

South of Point Lobos State Reserve, about an hour's drive down Highway 1’s winding road, you'll find a view that might be familiar. I had seen the classic picture of Big Sur many times - waterfalls dropping onto a white sand beach just feet from blue-green waters of the ocean. A short hike (less than a mile) led me down to this beautiful view.

Point Lobos State Reserve, Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

If you are looking for a beautiful hike along California's Big Sur coast, this is one you cannot miss! There is something beautiful waiting to be seen at every corner, be it interesting rocks, tide pools, seals or sea lions, blue-green coves, sea caves or just ocean waves crashing onto coastal rocks. This is by far the best coastal hike I've done.

Desolation Wilderness, South Lake Tahoe, California

We have been hearing about Lake Tahoe often but this was the first time we made a trip out there. We wanted our first trip there to be an overview of the entire area, to see everything from above. I had seen pictures of views from Maggie's Peak and decided that would be our hike of the day. 

Devil’s Kitchen and Boiling Springs Lake, Lassen National Park, California, USA

Devil’s Kitchen, Lassen National Park, California

If you want to walk amongst hot springs, fumaroles and mud pots, this is the place to go to. At 4.2 mile round trip, it is a little longer than Lassen’s more popular Bumpass Hell hike. At the end of the hike, there was a boardwalk that allowed us closer views of the colorful pools, smoking hot springs and gurgling mud pots.  This is another place where I feel that pictures just don't do justice to what really stood before us.