Spotlight: Northern California

If you’re planning a trip to California (especially Northern California) there are some top notch spot you must visit. From well know mountains to hidden lakes, These are my favorite places for adventure and photography.  Here are a few places you really don’t want to miss.

1.  Point Reyes, CA

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Point Reyes National Seashore is a cape on the Northern California coast about 45 minutes north of San Francisco.  Point Reyes is a great place to walk on the beach, camp, picnic, and do many other activities.  Here there are several cool things to see, from old abandoned boats (like the one pictured above) to the old lighthouse on the cliff above the ocean.  This a place you definitely should go explore.

2. Mt. Shasta National Park

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The 2nd largest mountain in California has a lot to offer.  At 14,179 ft it’s not an easy climb, but if you’re looking for an adventure, climbing this sleeping giant would be one for the books.  The area also has many other fun things to see and do.  Lake Shasta, and the Lake Shasta Caverns are just 20 minutes south.  Check out the quaint town of Mt. Shasta right at the base of the mountain, or head 10 miles south to Dunsmuir to see numerous waterfalls.

3. Castle Crags State Park

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Castle Crags state park is also located in the Mt. Shasta area and is home to these very tall and “craggy” cliffs.  The views in this state park are breathtaking, both looking up at the cliffs from the base of the hike, and looking out at the view from the top.  If you’re looking for a longer day hike, take the Castle Lake hike. Castle Lake is one of the most beautiful mountain lakes I’ve seen.  Tip:  If you plan on hiking here in the summer, bring extra water.  Much of the hike up into the cliffs has no shade and summer temperatures can be over 100.

4. Whiskeytown Lake

 

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This is the place to be during the summer.  Since temperatures in the Northern California valley can be high, this is a refreshing place to cool off.  There are also numerous hikes and mountain bike trails in the mountains around the lake that give amazing views.  Whiskeytown Lake is only 15 minuets from Redding, CA.

5. Lassen National Park

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Lassen National Park is by far my favorite place to go explore and camp.  Lassen is considered by many to be California’s “lost” park, but if you’ll take the time to go you won’t regret it. Lassen is considered a volcanic park for it’s many dormant volcanoes that are inside.  If you really want to see the beauty of Lassen NP, head into the back corner of the park where you’ll find, Cinder Cone, the Painted Dunes (pictured above from the top of cinder cone), enormous lava beds, Butte Lake, and numerous camping areas.

6. San Francisco, CA

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I know, I know,  San Francisco doesn’t really fit in with my outdoor adventure theme going on here, but if you haven’t been to this beautiful city, you really need to pay SF a visit.  The outdoor culture around SF is great with all it’s beaches and mountains.  Plus it’s a great city to get cool pictures in.  There are so many amazing places here, just go explore this city for yourself and see.

 

 

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