Visitors who come to California and often brought to the same tourist destinations such as Hollywood and Disneyland. Little do they know that California is a mecca of outdoor activities. California has the highest mountain the in the continental US to the lowest elevation in Death Valley and everything else in between. Growing up as a boy scout I fast grew fond of the variety of settings California has to offer.
Here are a few of my favorites.
Joshua Tree National Monument – Joshua Tree is a high desert landscape that boasts some of the clearest nights you’ll see anywhere. Avid star searchers come out here when there are meteor showers or if they just want to star gaze. Wildlife here is abundant as you’ll see Big Horn Sheep, Coyotes, Badgers, reptiles and if you’re lucky, a Jaguar. Boulderist will find Joshua tree heaven. With places such as Indian Cove and Jumbo rocks, you’ll find rock climbers from all over the world climbing freestyle.
When camping in Joshua tree, you should always bring plenty of water because there are no streams or running pipes available. A good cushioned insulator under your sleeping bag will also come in handy. Don’t be fooled by this desert landscape. If you’re not there in the summer, it can get very cold in the evenings and it can snow at some extreme days.
It is estimated that only around 10 percent of the population of the United States is able to see the night sky in its natural, unpolluted state. No wonder visitors to Joshua Tree National Park are awed and astounded when they get their first glimpse of the night sky.
Tour the Milky Way
Camping away from city lights gives many of us city dwellers a chance to see the sky as we have never seen it. A great way to introduce someone to the “dark sky” is to tour the Milky Way with binoculars. http://www.nps.gov/jotr/planyourvisit/stargazing.htm