Rainbow Basin is a National Natural Landmark in the Mojave Desert outside of Barstow. Its geological rock formations include a mirage of brilliant colors. The basin is also a rich fossil bed with findings of horses, camels and even flamingos! Enjoy a trip through time in this untouched landscape. A one way dirt road winds through the scenic canyons. *4 wheel drive recommended
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is the largest museum of its kind in the west. Operating since 1913, the beaux-arts building and rotunda is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There is something for everyone to enjoy with more than 35 million artifacts spanning 4.5 billion years. From the new 'Dinosaur Hall' with over 300 real fossils to the history of the 'Becoming Los Angeles' exhibit, a visit will inform and delight.
The Borrego Badlands in Anza Borrego Desert State Park are a wonder. Miles and miles of desert vista await among rugged golden canyons. The water sculpted lands are a fossil paradise where sea turtles, sharks, bears, ground sloths and camels once lived.
Crystal Cave is a beautiful cave in Sequoia National Park and one of 240 known caves in the park. Amazing polished marble chambers and formations decorate the walls and ceilings. At a constant 48 degrees, Pleistocene era fossils and minerals are protected among stalactites and stalagmites. Crystal Cave is a must see and a great way to discover the subterranean of Sequoia.
The La Brea Tar Pits within Hancock Park in Los Angeles has been one of the world's foremost fossil sites. Fossils from the Pleistocene Epoch reveal the story of what once roamed Southern California from the mastodon, saber-toothed cat, camel and ground sloth. Preserved insects, plants and micro-fossils have also been discovered which have led to important scientific research. The adjacent George C. Page Museum displays the prehistoric fossils in its working museum.
Tar Pits Park, part of Carpinteria State Beach in Carpinteria, is a natural asphalt tar pit lake on the Central Coast. There are only 5 known in the world with three in Southern California. The Native Chumash have used the tar to waterproof their canoes for thousands of years giving Carpinteria its name 'carpentry shop'. Hundreds of fossilized mammals have also been found here frozen in time.
The San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) is one of Balboa Park's great treasures. Founded in 1874, it is one of the oldest scientific institutions in the west and the oldest in Southern California. TheNAT has a great selection of exhibits including dinosaurs, fossils and skulls but the new Coast to Cactus exhibit is a reason to visit in itself.
Coast to Cactus showcases the astonishing diversity of Southern California from its beaches, canyons, mountains and deserts. This variety of terrain is known as a biodiversity hotspot because of its high concentration of species. It is one of only 35 in the world. This interactive exhibit reveals the great beauty of what makes SoCal so special!