California has SO many national parks, and even though we've been to many, we have not visited all of them. For this summer's road trip, we made a point to hit Redwoods, Lassen Volcanic, Pinnacle AND Channel Islands National Parks (in that order, but spread across 2 weeks). I'll spare you the overload and break this into 2 posts: Northern and Southern CA National Parks.
Redwoods NP is on the northern coast of California and is known for forests full of the world's tallest living tree: the redwood.
Redwoods can reach nearly 380 feet, standing taller than the Statue of Liberty (305 feet). Their bases are 22 feet in diameter, bigger than some bedrooms and living rooms! They can live up to 2000 years, so it's no longer they grow to be so massive.
We drove through the whole park, even the permit-only road (Tall Trees), stopping to do about 10 miles in hikes. Trillium Falls and Stout Grove were our favorite hikes.
We came for the plant life, but were treated to some wonderful wildlife sightings. Where else can you say you spotted a whale, a black bear cub and a Great Horned Owl in the same day?
Justin is the best spotter in the world, even without binoculars!
From Redwoods, we made our way to Lassen Volcanic National Park. It was a little early in the season for exploring Lassen when we visited the last week of May. The road was still covered in snow, so you could only get 10 miles in or so from the North entrance (and the same from the South entrance).
There are tons of hydrothermal sites with bubbling mud pots and steaming fumaroles, but it was all inaccessible to us. Instead, we hiked among the lava rocks, exploring Manzanita Lake and Chaos Crag, totally about 6 miles. With the little we saw of the park, we already know we want to return!
Stay tuned for our account of Southern CA National Parks!
Labels: National Parks, Outdoor Recreation, Road Trips