The Alabama Hills Recreation Area is a stunning mirage of rocks and hills in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. Metamorphosed volcanic rock up to 300 million years old as well as biotite monzogranite up to 85 million years old create the wondrous assortment of shapes and arches. Hiking, photography and stargazing are some of the best ways to enjoy the land. Many films were shot here since the 1920's including 'How the West Was Won' and 'The Lone Ranger'. A scenic drive along Movie Flat Road will take you to exact locations for famous film scenes.
Tioga Road is a scenic drive through Yosemite's High Country which offers several vista points, waterfalls, lakes, hiking opportunities as well as the unforgettable Tuolumne Meadows. It is a great escape from the crowds of the valley and is usually open from June through September. The drive also takes you to some of the last great undeveloped land of the west.
Borrego Palm Canyon is a stunning 3 mile hike in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Gorgeous rocky waterfalls surround this lush Palm Oasis, the largest in the park while more than 80 migratory birds use it as a watering hole alongside Desert Bighorn Sheep. Visit after a rain for gushing falls and cooler weather.
Located on the edge of the city, Mount Rubidoux (1,331 feet) is one of Riverside's iconic landmarks. The oldest outdoor non-denominational Easter Sunrise service in the United States started here in 1909 and would draw 30,000 people at its peak in the 20's. The mountain features a famous cross dedicated to Mission founder Father Junípero Serra as well as a World Peace Bridge. It is now a city park with more than 3 miles of hiking trails providing stunning views of Riverside and the Inland Empire.
Highway 1 through Big Sur is known as the 'Most Beautiful Drive in the World'. This 90 mile stretch from San Simeon to Carmel is 'The Greatest Meeting of Land and Sea' on Earth. The Santa Lucia Mountains drop majestically to the ocean creating a dramatic rocky coast. Vista points at each bend provide stunning overlooks to get out and enjoy the view. Drive slow and spend the day admiring one of California's great wild places.
Giant Sequoia National Monument was created on April 15, 2000 to preserve the remaining Sequoia Groves and forest outside of the National Parks. Highway 190 provides a scenic drive high in the Sierra Nevada to the Sequoia's with stunning mountain vistas and recreational areas along the Tule River.
Hudson Ranch Road is a scenic drive through Los Padres National Forest from Highway 33 to Frazier Park. Sweeping views of the Central Valley, Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Emigdio Mountains and the Chumash Wilderness are revealed at each bend. Visit in the Spring for dramatic green hills covered in wildflowers.
Mariposa Grove is the largest Sequoia grove in Yosemite National Park. Its most famous resident 'Grizzly Giant' is estimated to be 1900-2400 years old, and is the 25th largest in the world. Abraham Lincoln famously protected these trees on June 30, 1864 as an Act of Congress. Stunning trails wind through this enchanting forest of gentle giants.
Dante's View is the best place to admire the expansive view of Death Valley. At 5,475 feet, the vista sits on the crest of the Black Mountains and looks to the Valley, Panamint Range and Badwater Basin with its white salt flats. On a clear day, the highest point in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney (14,494 feet) can be seen alongside the lowest point Badwater (-282 feet).
Tuolumne Meadows is the serene and stunningly beautiful alpine meadow of Yosemite's High Country. At 8,600 feet, it can be reached by the scenic Tioga Road in the summertime where the Tuolumne River flows among draping peaks. The meadows mark the northern border of the largest stretch of road-less wilderness in the continental United States allowing you to escape in solitude.