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.
Vernal Fall in Yosemite National Park drops a stunning 317 feet along the Merced River. The falls can be accessed from base to top by a strenuous 2.4 mile hike along Mist Falls Trail where a refreshing mist will soak you alongside a mirage of rainbows. Visit in the Spring and Early Summer for a roaring dance of water.
Kings Canyon Scenic Byway (Highway 180) travels from Giant Sequoia Groves down into the heart of the Sierra Nevada Wilderness. The canyon is the deepest in North America and will keep you on your toes as you make the mountain-hugging descent. Stop at Junction View for a stunning panoramic vista. Once in the canyon, the drive follows the impressive Kings River, several waterfalls and lush forest surrounded by towering granite peaks.
Tunnel View overlooking Yosemite Valley is one of the most iconic scenes in Yosemite National Park. Its vantage point includes breathtaking views of El Capitan, Bridalveil Fall and the Half Dome. Late afternoon light through sunset is the best time to photograph this lovely vista. If arriving to the park from Wawona Road, this stop is also the first view of the valley making it a famous spot.
Tokopah Falls is the tallest waterfall in Sequoia National Park at 1,200 feet. A stunning 1.7 mile trail each way follows the Kaweah River up the high country of the Sierra Nevada to the base of the falls. Crowds will fade as you surround massive granite cliffs covered in pristine forest. Go in the Spring for the most thunderous falls.
Glacier Point is probably the most beautiful spot in the Sierra Nevada Mountains at 7,214 feet. Located more than 3,000 feet above Yosemite Valley, the vista provides jaw dropping views of the iconic sites including Yosemite, Vernal and Nevada Falls and the prominent Half Dome. Glacier Point Road takes you to the overlook and is a beautiful drive.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park on Big Sur's Highway One is a jaw-dropping stretch of coastline. Julia Pfeiffer Burns was a pioneer woman of Big Sur and provided early tourists with food and lodging. The 80 foot McWay Falls drop directly to the beach and is one of the most photographed spots on the Pacific Coast.
At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in Yosemite National Park. Water passes through three gorgeous tiers before making its final plunge to the ground. It is one of the most iconic sights of the National Park Service and the 6th tallest in the world.
Nojoqui Falls is a beautiful waterfall in the Santa Ynez Mountains of Santa Barbara. Dropping 100 feet, the water flows over a sandstone wall covered in a wonderland of maidenhair ferns. Nojoqui Falls, pronounced 'no-ho-wee', is a hidden gem that not many people take the time to visit. *Unfortunately the trail to the falls is currently still closed from a December 2014 landslide, while the park remains open