California has an astonishing range of wildlife and wilderness – here are just a few of the best mother nature has to offer…
Yosemite National Park
Unesco World Heritage Site, America’s third oldest national park. Best time to go: June to
September. A jaw-dropping beauty makes it even Switzerland look like God’s practice run…
Pacific Crest Trail
The most ambitious long-distance route ever conceived. It ranges 4245 kilometres from Mexico to Canada, passing through 24 national forests, seven national parks, 33 wilderness areas and five state parks. It would take six months to hike the entire trail. But also day and weekend hikers can plan short trips on accessible segments pf the trail as it wends its way through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park, Yosemite National Park, past Lake Tahoe and Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Mesquite Flat sand dunes
Near the Stovepipe Wells these sand dunes extend far into Death Valley. You can walk out into the scenic dunes, bunt only do this when the sun is low in the sky, which also makes dunes more photogenic. It’s even more fun on a fullmoon night.
Catalina has a unique ecosystem and it is one of California’s major diving and snorkelling destinations. Kayaking is also great around Catalina.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Dramatic volcanic landscapes, emerald forests and mountain-lake camping. Entering the park is to suddenly step into another world – onto another planet. The Venusian scape here offers a fascinating glimpse into the earth’s fiery core.
San Juan Trail
Near San Juan Capistrano, Orange County in the Cleveland National Forest you can find one of the state’s best single-track rides. The San Juan Trail covers over 30 kilometres of exquisite single track through delightfully scenic and rugged wilderness with not a shred of intervening fire road or pavement.
South Fork American River
Originally known for its proximity to Sutter’s Mill (the site of California’s first gold discovery), Coloma is now renowned for its world-class white-water rafting. You can book half-day and full-day trips. South Fork American River is rather a beginner’s river.
It is the best place for elephant seal spotting during the whole year, but especially during peak season when you can see upwards of 7500.
Gray Lodge Wildlife Area
An hour north of Sacramento lies a reserve on 9,100 acres that’s home to more wintering waterfowl than everywhere along the Pacific Flyway: great clouds of geese, ducks, herons, and egrets. Look the ground for river otter and iridescent blue-bellied lizards.
Man-made, this calm turquoise lake surrounded by lush meadows and tall pines may not be natural, but it is a wonder. Once little-visited, Lake Almanor (near Chester) is now a burgeoning mini Lake Tahoe. There are a lot of activities like boating, water-skiing, camping and trout fishing possible.
BLOC Hotels London Gatwick
They say it’s better to travel than to arrive. We think both are important. With BLOC you won’t have far to travel at all. We’re waiting to welcome you just steps from Gatwick South Terminal departures. Any closer and we’d be on the runway.
Our brand new 245 room hotel offers ‘Sleep Haven Zones’, family rooms, a business floor and Presidential Suite. Park at the terminal through one of our exclusive deals; check your bags with your airline and take your overnight bag to the room; send an email with free WiFi; relax on your sumptuous king-sized bed, watching one of our HD LED TVs; freshen up in a monsoon-drench shower wet room and seamlessly check out to arrive at your gate in a great mood to enjoy your holiday or business trip. So much more for less.
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