Are you searching for some unusual places in theworld to travel? We have two unique areas in mind for you. Pinnacles national park is home for the once upon a time nearly extinctCalifornia Condor. The park features a campground and over 30 miles of hiking. From Pinnacles, it is a short drive up to northern California to Lassen Volcanic Park where visitors will experience terrain on the mild to wild side. You will definitely need to look out for bears!
Formed by ancient fiery volcanoes split in half by the San Andreas Fault, stands the magnificent spires of the nation’s newest national park. Located in San Benito County and 80 miles south of San Jose stands a spectacular jewel in the crown of the national park service. The rock formations produce an otherworldly effect. Visitors to the park hike through chaparral, oak woodlands, wildflowers, canyon bottoms, and caves laden with thousands of bats. The unique rock formations have become home to peregrine falcons, golden eagles, red-tailed hawks, and the once nearly extinct California Condor. With thirty years of captive breeding, monitoring, and tiring preservation efforts, the number of condors is over 400 with over 200 that fly free in California.
Pinnacles national park is home to 27 active adult and juvenile condors that have commingled with 35 condors from the Big Sur area. In essence, they have become one central California flock. With some luck, you may see a few circling over the tops of the peaks in search of carrion. The optimal time for seeing a Condor is either early in the morning or early in the evening. There is one main campground on the east side of the park. Pinnacles has over 30 miles of hiking available. Some of the hiking is quite difficult so wear your best hiking boots and be sure to bring plenty of water.
Located 45 miles east of Redding, curious explorers will discover the world’s largest volcanic dome. A National Geographic article stated that on June 14, 1914, three men ascended the slopes of Lassen Peak to find out why an otherwise dormant volcano had begun to rumble sixteen days prior. As they were peering into the crater, they felt the ground begin to shake. With rocks hurtling through ash filled air, the three men turned to run down the steep slope. One of the men was struck by a rock, knocking him to the ground. They thought they were dead men but the volcano stopped just as quickly as it had begun and all three men survived. The mountain has been quiet since 1917.
Take a scenic90-minute drivethrough the park and discover the ecological variation of the landscape due to previous volcanic activity. Lassen features 150 miles of hiking trails with levels of difficulty from easy to difficult. Get yourself ready for an easy 1.5 miles easy hike to Kings Creek Falls. Or meander along the 11 mile Cluster Lakes Loop, with no change in elevation, passing by thirteen mountain lakes and ponds. The more adventurous may want to ascend the slopes of Mt. Lassen on Lassen Peak Trail to the 10,457 ft. summit, where you can look into the crater, but even more impressive is the panoramic view. Lassen Volcanic is a campers paradise with eight campgrounds that range from developed to primitive. Four of the campgrounds are for motivated early arrivals and four available with a reservation. Lassen volcanic offers biking, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, and the Manzanita Lake Camper Store to restock food and supplies.
Meaningful adventures are waiting for you now.
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