We were only in Point Reyes for a few days and it was difficult to decide what to do. I was very impressed with how many trail and possibilities for backcountry and day-hiking the park had to offer. Shirin, Liz, and I did a good day-hike starting at the Laguna Trailhead. From there we followed the Coast Trail to Sculptured Beach (see map here). The hike was about 4 km one way and we timed our arrival to Sculptured Beach at low-tide. Sculptured Beach usually has good tidepools, but we did not luck out with the tides. We could still see some great mussel beds. I created two albums of this day-trip, one black and white album and one color-album.
Bryce Canyon National Park is a special place that I was completely taken with. I have never seen colors and rock formations like the ones in Bryce in any other National Park. This exceptional park in Utah is less visited than the Grand Canyon, and perhaps not as grand, but equally spectacular. Through erosion, wind and and water have shaped the Claron limestone into horseshoe shaped amphitheaters, also called hoodoos. My dad and I hiked the park for a couple of days, meandering in between the oddly shaped monuments enjoying the scenery big time. Click here to see pictures from Bryce National Park.
Traveling South from San Francisco we followed California State Route 1 along the coastline. The route is beautiful as it follows the jagged cliffs and the green rolling hills along the coastline. Scattered along the road there are a myriad of small and larger State Parks, and all of these parks have unbelivable hikes and beautiful scenery. Liz and I went hiking in Garrapata State Park and climbed to one of the taller peaks in the area, which gave us a wondeful view of the coastline. We hiked the area during May at a time when tons of wildflowers were blooming. We also explored several other State Parks in the area and pictures are found here.
One of my favorite things about the US is its national parks. I am currently reading the new book by Duncan Dayton and Ken Burns “THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA Companion Book” which accompanies their TV series.
This book gives a picture of the politics and personal devotion involved in the creation of these national parks. After reading the book I will definitely be more aware that these parks may not always be there for us to use unless we do more to protect them. Last May, I visited Sequoia National Park which was unbelieveably beautiful. The park had everything I wanted to see including fantastic sequoias, high altitude peaks, brown bears, and peace and quiet. Visiting the park in May meant that there were still patches of snow at the Wuksachi Lodge at 7000 feet. A day-hike to Panther Peak summit took me to 9000 feet and part of the hike was through snow. The view from Panther Peak was spectacular and well worth the strenuous altitude ascent. Some pictures are posted here.
An important part of my roadtrip in the USA in May 2009 was to explore as many of the amazing National Parks that the US has to offer. This included a trip to the incredible Grand Canyon. In fact, I went there two times in one month. The first time I traveled there with my Catalan friend Jordi, and the next time with my dad. On both occasions we stayed for a couple of days inside the park at the South Rim (National Park Service). Staying inside the park is expensive, although extremely convenient if you want to spend most of your time as close to the Canyon as possible.
Jordi and I spent one day traversing the Bright Angel Trail which takes you down to the bottom of the Canyon. We hiked down to the Indian Garden where we turned around (wikipedia). The hike moves you quickly down and into the Canyon, and at first you are surrounded by other tourists that have come to enjoy the Canyon. However, after about and hour of hiking the density of people starts to disperse and you are suddenly in the Canyon by yourself and can enjoy the peace and quiet. The trip down the right Angel Trail is truely amazing and well worth doing. Next time I go to the Grand Canyon I would like to go to the Phantom Ranch and stay for a night before continuing on to the North Rim. The pictures from Grand Canyon can be found here.