Being the third largest US state by area, and often referred as the Golden State, California offers something for everyone. It’s a place where dreams come true, and there are opportunities for everyone. From glitzy Hollywood and attractions like Disneyland, beautiful beaches in Malibu and the vineyards of Napa Valley, through to the hills of San Francisco, and the diverse capital, Sacramento. California will satisfy every need of every tourist, visitor, or inhabitant.
But, the state offers a lot more than the unnatural structures made by man. Outside the major cities, you can find a broad range of the most beautiful landscapes, wilderness, and unbelievable topography. The eight National Parks in the state offer a lot of activities for the outdoor junkie, they’re full of unique scenery, places, and natural structures.
For someone like me, an adventure enthusiast, California is the right place to go and explore. There are places for every kind of outdoor adventure you could imagine. From Mount Shasta in the north to the Joshua Tree in the south, 600 miles of coastline in the west to the fabulous Sierra Nevada in the east.
If you want to explore more of the natural world in California, here is a list of activities you can do here.
1. Rock climbing in Joshua Tree National Park
The amazing Joshua Tree National Park offers beautiful landscapes and many fascinating rock formations. The rock structures, combined with lots of trails, makes this place a great destination for rock climbers of all skill levels. Challenge yourself to some pro-level rock climbing, or take some basic lessons and improve your skills.
2. Fly over Napa Valley with a Hot Air Balloon
At an altitude of 3,500 feet, you can this beautiful land from a different perspective. Enjoy the great wine region, while drifting over it, and gaze upon the vast valleys and hills filled with grapevines. The experience is amazing, and you will love the adrenaline while being surrounded by great views.
3. Snow sports, Lake Tahoe
If you are more into winter sports, then you should definitely visit one of the ski resorts around Lake Tahoe. The beautiful sparkling lake is surrounded by amazing mountains which offer lots of places for winter sports.
One of the seven ski resorts is the Squaw Valley, where the 1960 Olympic Winter Games took place. Apart from the classic winter sports, you can enjoy many other activities like sleigh rides, sledding, and tubing, take snowmobile tours, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, as well as many more activities. Seeing the crystal blue lake from above is breathtaking.
4. Kayak around the Channel Islands
Want to feel how centuries ago, the tribes navigated through the clear waters around the great Channel Islands? Then you should get into a kayak and paddle around these untouched islands and explore the many gems they offer. From the Arch Rock on Anacapa Island to Santa Cruz Islands Painted Cave – which is the world’s largest sea cave, the place is full of breathtaking sites and well worth your time. Enjoy some physical exertion while exploring hidden coves, wildlife, and watching resting sea lions and seals.
5. Hike the Lost Coast
If you want to isolate yourself, relax, and be with your thoughts, then hiking the Lost Coast is the activity to do. The 35-mile-long trail goes along the most remote coastline in the US, through forests, over beaches, rocks, creeks, and many other natural terrains. On the trail, you’ll have the chance to gaze at the most beautiful sea views. It’s one of the most adventurous and beautiful trails in the states.
6. Climb Mount Shasta
For the more extreme sports enthusiast, Mount Shasta offers great opportunities for mountain climbing and extreme hiking. Climb to the volcanos highest point – 14,162 feet, and feel like you’re on top of the world. It’s amazing to see the volcano from a distance, standing there like an enormous lonely pyramid, but getting to top of it is even more amazing. But, if you think the climb will be easy, you’re wrong. Getting to the top requires some good skills and equipment so be sure you’re well prepared for it.
If you plan to visit California soon, remember that there’s a lot more to see beyond the Hollywood glitter. Forget the scripted and faded image of this state, and focus on the many beautiful places it has to offer, from redwood forests, mountains, deserts, valleys, to the hundred of miles of amazing coastline.
The country offers great places for hikers, backpackers, and campers. Follow this link to find out which National Parks are the best for camping.
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We live in a beautiful world, get out there and enjoy it.
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