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.
Sunrise Scenic Byway is San Diego's most scenic drive. At 24 miles, this drive winds 6,000 feet high through Cleveland National Forest and Laguna Mountain Recreation Area with green meadows, forested peaks and stunning desert vistas that overlook Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Enjoy Fall colors, Winter snow and Spring wildflowers making it a four season destination.
Big Trees Trail is an easy 2/3 mile walk that winds through Round Meadow in Sequoia National Park. With its towering giant sequoias and lush green meadows, it is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the Giant Forest.
Stonewall Peak in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is one of the highest peaks in San Diego at 5,730 feet. A four mile out and back trail takes you to the summit and provides sweeping 360 degree views of the Laguna Mountains, Palomar Mountain, San Jacinto Peak, Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and the Salton Sea. This moderate trail climbs 1,000 feet and begins at Paso Picacho. The final ascent includes a mild sense of acrophobia with hand rails which adds to the adventure.
Mount San Jacinto State Park is the crown jewel above Palm Springs. Reached by the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, this alpine park provides stunning views of forested rocky peaks that drop to the Coachella Valley below along the Desert View Trail. Mount San Jacinto soars at 10,834 feet and is the second highest peak in Southern California. With most of the park designated wilderness, modern life will fade away as you enjoy the splendor of the wild.
Mirror Lake is a seasonal lake in Yosemite National Park that peaks in the Spring after a great snow melt. An easy, 2 mile round trip hike takes you to the base and is a great way to see what Yosemite looked like thousands of years ago when an entire lake covered the valley floor. In the summertime, it becomes a giant green meadow.
Palomar Mountain State Park is a beautiful conifer forest park high in the mountains of San Diego County. Pine trees soar among grassy meadows and provide sweeping overlooks of the valleys below. With peaks above 6,000 feet, it is a great place to escape the valley heat in summer and enjoy a chilly and sometimes snowy winter. Luiseño Native Americans lived and hunted here seasonally while gathering acorns. Many of the facilities were built during the Great Depression by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Crescent Meadow was named the 'Gem of the Sierra' by John Muir. Trails wind along this perfect meadow of Sequoia National Park which provides necessary habitat to keep the gentle giants alive. This pristine alpine sight will leave you breathless.
Tharp's Log is a hollowed giant sequoia tree in Sequoia National Park. Led here by the Yokuts Native Americans, Hale Tharp was the first modern pioneer to discover the Giant Forest. He lived in this log 'cabin' in the summertime from 1861 to 1890, the year the park was established. Adjacent Log Meadow was the perfect spot for Tharp to raise his cattle. This National Register of Historic Places Landmark is a great mild hike for any visit to the park.
The Trail of 100 Giants is a beautiful Giant Sequoia trail high in the Sierra Nevada. Part of Giant Sequoia National Monument, a 1.3 mile trail meanders through sequoias at the long meadow grove. These gentle giants are estimated to be about 1500 years old and can be a great, less crowded alternative to Sequoia National Park.