California

Warm, sunny, sandy beaches, rising quickly to the Sierra Nevada mountains that contain some of the wonders on this continent, including Yosemite National Park and the magnificent stands of giant redwoods, dropping to the east to the huge basin deserts of the West, including the Mojave and Death Valley. An amazing range of sights and experiences, whether you travel South to North or West to East. The experiences are waiting for you.
2016
We will again be running two Death Valley camping-style strips in the spring. These are REI trips, operated by another guide service, Steve Kasper, but we usually do two every spring. You can find all of the available dates, the complete itinerary, cost, and sign up on REI’s web site at Death Valley Hiking and Camping. And while browsing around, note that Steve also offers a lodge-based version of the Death Valley trip. Our dates our noted below, but whichever one of us you travel with, we know you will discover the secret sides of Death Valley on a trip to remember forever.
CALIFORNIA has so much to offer, its hard to pick a favorite – or to see them all. For us, California also has people… and we try hard to find the places that the crowds don’t know about, or can’t easily get to. We have done Mt Whitney, its immensity alone keeps the thundering herds away, but our favorites are the deserts of the South, from Joshua Tree National Park, up through the Mojave National Preserve, and to the huge Death Valley National Park. This area alone can soak up a lifetime of exploring!
A trip you may find Jody or one of us on is Death Valley Hiking, an REI Adventures tour that is run by another Southwestern guide that we often work with, Steve Kasper. This is a 6-day trip, starting and ending at the airport in Las Vegas. There are two versions of the trip, the winter tours are lodge-based in the heart of the Park, while the spring trips, scheduled to try to capture the bloom of the desert in the spring, is tent-based trip, but is it a base camp with day trips, not a full backpacking trip, so that more time is spent exploring instead of setting up and tearing down campsites daily. For complete itnerary, dates for 2013, pricing, and to sign up, visit REI Adventures trip web site.
California Places: Redwood National Park, Lava Beds National Monument, Lassen Volcanic National Park, Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon National Park, Giant Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia National Park, Channel Islands National Park, Death Valley National Park, Joshua Tree National Park, numerous National Recreation Areas and designated Wilderness Areas, plus a National Seashore and 3 National Marine Sanctuaries. There are also approximately 17 National Forests within the state.
There are lots of great places to visit in California, ranging from the coastal beaches, to Pacific coast rainforest, to high mountains, to deserts – but many of them are simply crowded. Our favorites are Mt Whitney because of the challenge, and Death Valley (on the CA/NV border on the radar map above, NE of Santa Barbara), because its treasures are hidden and less visited. Easiest access to the deserts is from Las Vegas.