From top to bottom, investigate its incredibly beautiful coastline to the deep woodlands and deserts found here too. Stay at hundreds of fantastic California RV Camping Resorts across the way and you’ll enjoy the best California has to offer at California Camping.
Sure, California’s fantastic coastlines and towering redwoods of the northern area of the state receive all of the attention, but in southern California, deserts dominate the landscape. Northeast of Los Angeles, the Mojave Desert encompasses over 15,000 square miles. Although not every portion of the Mojave is excellent for a leisurely picnic lunch (think hot), this”large” desert comprises several mountain ranges and is situated well above sea level. Both of these factors are what give the Mojave its own distinctive ecosystem, allowing for an assortment of wild inhabitants. Native birds like the roadrunner and cactus wren often share space with exotic migratory birds such as vireos and flycatchers. Coyotes and kit foxes prowl the desert mountains, as do more docile creatures like bighorn sheep and wild boars. Like many deserts, the Mojave is vulnerable to extreme weather.
At the southern end of the region, before the Mojave Desert becomes the Sonoran Desert, is located Joshua Tree National Park. This 734,000-acre desert refuge is home to some of the nation’s most unusual and photogenic plants. The Joshua tree is the biggest of the yucca plants and has thrived in this area of the country. Some two dozen kinds of bird regularly create the Joshua tree house and the tree has an intricate role in the ecology of the desert wildlife. The park itself provides a 40-mile driving tour where you can meander through the gentle desert landscape and find loads of photo opportunities.
But do not let the name scare you off – the place is not out for you. In actuality, Death Valley is the most visited desert park in the country. The valley’s floor, which is located almost 300 feet below sea level, finally gives way to sparkling painted hills and 10,000-foot snow-capped peaks. Due to the enormity of this park, driving is essential and lots of the park’s attraction are spread out. But after a destination is chosen and the rig is parked, Death Valley offers countless miles of hiking trails that you soak up the dramatic scenery. Make Sure You visit Telescope Peak at the park’s Emigrant Canyon. This summit is the park’s highest, reaching over 11,000 ft and offering some wonderful views.
As you go north and from California’s southern desert region, the Sierra Nevadas beckon visitors with its large selection of activities and natural beauty. This 430-mile stretch of granite cliffs and snowy peaks delight people with many parks and attractions, including eight national forests, three national parks, and 14 jungle areas. Any trip to the Sierra’s wouldn’t be complete without visiting at least one of the area’s other national parks: the Sequoia, Kings Canyon, and needless to say, Yosemite.
The 402,000-acre Sequoia National Park is the country’s second oldest park after Yellowstone. Driving through Sequoia National Park is an adventure in itself. Follow Mineral King Road since it follows the Kaweah River for 25 miles before reaching the scenic Mineral King portion. General Highway is another winding drive which will bring you to a stand of trees in which four of the five world’s tallest could be found. Give a salute to the lofty hardwood. North of Kings Canyon is located California’s most famous national park, Yosemite. Crowds can be, well, annoying, so select your season well (spring and autumn are best). Yosemite’s vastness and many isolated areas make this a very pleasant visit and a must for the RVer cruising through California.
For much more dramatic scenery head east of Yosemite only a few miles until you get to Mono Lake. Among the oldest lakes in the usa, Mono Lake brings all kinds of wildlife into the area, such as unusual sea birds that come seeking food resources that inhabit the lake’s salty water. But the truly significant element of Mono Lake is the calcium-carbonate rock formations located on the lake’s shoreline, porous spires rising from the salty water, standing like eerie sentinels protecting the coastline.
From here, choose among many paths north, all of which are quite scenic, until you get to the Sierra foothills and the Lake Tahoe area. Set along the California-Nevada border, Lake Tahoe has become an immensely popular holiday area, particularly for skiers. Lake Tahoe rewards its visitors with fantastic scenery, relaxing hikes, and tons of other outdoor pursuits year-round. It’s easy to escape the developed beaches of Lake Tahoe. The western side of this lake provides two state parks, Emerald Bay and D.L. Bliss, each with miles of linking hiking trails and memorable surroundings. The lake is a miracle also. At over 6,000 feet in elevation, this mountain lake is among the greatest in the world.
Northern California remains one of America’s most popular and attractive regions. Yes, there is more here than San Francisco, though that’s a excellent place to start things off. While having only a portion of the populace of southern California, the northern areas offer the most varied and remarkable landscape in the American West.
The Lava Beds National Monument is 47,000 acres of hardened molten lava, making for interesting landscape. To go to the Lava Beds National Monument is really a special adventure. The area was a hotbed (literally!) These days, the flows have subsided, but in their wake, a boon of almost 200 caves and grottoes, many of which are available for exploration. Whether you are an experienced spelunker, just starting out, or just interested in this underground world, Lava Beds National Monument is entertaining, nonetheless.
While both of these adjacent parks, situated just north of the Lava Beds, play host to a vast selection of permanent and migratory birds, the region is famous for its migratory bald eagle population, generally considered the country’s largest. Do not forget the binoculars.
Directly west of those wildlife refuges, along the California coast, clustered together are several redwood areas that make for wonderful stops. While Redwood National Park anchors the region, the coastal drive can be lined with different areas featuring northern California’s star attraction, the mighty redwood.
Continuing along the California coast, about an hour north of San Francisco, is located the Point Reyes National Seashore, a royal peninsula that juts out into the Pacific Ocean. Scientists consider the delicate sediment found here will one day disconnect itself from the California mainland. Here is a hint: Try to not be there when it does. But before that day, the area is easily accessible and offers excellent benefits for wildlife enthusiasts. Nearly 500 kinds of birds call Point Reyes house, or at least throughout their migratory travels. Dozens of mammals, including many marine types, can readily be found here too.
If you do nothing else, ensure to travel Highway 1, among the most scenic drives in the whole world. Here, the journey is as good as the destination, though Big Sur won’t disappoint. This area has inspired generations with its tantalizing views and dazzling sunsets. Due to the many RV parks and campgrounds that compose the area, Big Sur easily affords days of leisurely outdoor pursuits.
Just if you want to escape the RV for a day trip, leave your rig behind in Ventura (wave into the Woodall’s office) or Santa Barbara and choose a chartered boat to explore the Channel Islands. Sea lions frolic across the islands’ beaches. Whales cruise for meals just offshore. A plethora of shorebirds roost about the islands’ high ground. Santa Cruz Island is the largest and ecologically diverse of all of the Channel Islands.