Jumbo Rocks at Joshua Tree NP


Set at 4,400 feet of elevation, Jumbo Rocks Campground in Joshua Tree National Park offers 124 campsites with outstanding views!

Half Dome in Yosemite


Half Dome rises 4,737 feet from the valley floor to reach a final height of 8,839 feet. It was first successfully climbed by George A. Anderson in 1875.  Today, the summit can be reached via a 16 mile (round trip) trail, with the last 400 feet being aided by two steel cables.

Links:    Half Dome day hike     previous related post

Roaring River Falls


Roaring River Falls is a beautiful spot in Kings Canyon National Park.  The short trail to the falls is described as “paved and relatively accessible”.  Two other falls in the area include Mist Falls and Grizzly Falls.

Links:   NPS

Upper Yosemite Fall


Upper Yosemite Fall plunges 1,430 feet before heading into five smaller drops known as the Middle Cascades (675 feet), followed by Lower Yosemite Fall (320 feet) for a total of 2,425 feet.  The top of the falls can be reached by a 7.2 mile round trip trail (2,700 ft elevation gain) known as the Yosemite Falls Trail, which takes 6-8 hours to complete.  The trail begins at the Camp 4 area near shuttle stop #7.

Links:  previous related post1    previous related post2



New Point Loma Lighthouse


In a previous post I featured the “old” Point Loma Lighthouse and now am highlighting the “new” one.  Built down at sea level to better avoid the fog and low clouds, this lighthouse began operation on March 23, 1891.  What a gorgeous combination of green grass, palm trees, beautiful ocean and white buildings.

Links:   history    previous related post

Lower Yosemite Fall


Lower Yosemite Fall is the final 320-foot-drop portion of Yosemite Falls, North America’s tallest waterfall (total height of 2,425 feet).  An easy 1 mile loop trail leads to the bottom of the fall with gorgeous views along the way.  Begin your hike at the Lower Yosemite Fall Trailhead (shuttle stop #6).

Links:    NPS    previous related post

Snow Geese at Sonny Bono NWR


This pic shows hundreds of snow geese taking flight at the Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, which is located at the southern end of the Salton Sea in the Imperial Valley.  The refuge sits at 227 feet below sea level in the Colorado Desert, and is on the Pacific Flyway.  The Salton Sea is the only area in the U.S. to see the Yellow-footed Gull.

Links:    SBSSNWR

Titus Canyon


Titus Canyon is the most popular back-country road in Death Valley National Park.  The road into Titus Canyon begins its 27 mile journey not far from the ghost town of Rhyolite, Nevada and passes by the ghost town of Leadfield.  The road is one-way, east to west, except for the last 3 miles on the west end.

Links:  NPS      DesertUSA


Old Point Loma Lighthouse


The “old” Point Loma lighthouse was active from November 15, 1855 until March 23, 1891 (36 years),  warning ships entering San Diego Bay.  However, its location high atop Point Loma resulted in its beam often being obscured by fog and clouds such that a “new” lighthouse was built down at sea level.  The old lighthouse has been restored and offers great displays including a five-foot tall 3rd order Fresnel lens, the best available at that time.

Links:   NPS

Kelso Dunes


The Kelso Dunes are situated in the southwestern corner of the Mojave National Preserve, covering an area of 45 sq. miles, with the tallest part of the dunes reaching 650 feet in height.  They are accessed down a 3 mile graded dirt road that takes off of Kelbaker Road, not far from the Kelso Depot/Park Visitor’s Center.  Hiking is allowed.

Links:   NPS      previous related post