Backpacking

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite Valley Merced River WinterIf you love nature and enjoy a little adventure in your life then you must add Yosemite national park to the top of your must-see list. The national park is located on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and crosses 3 California counties. It spans an area of 761,268 acres (1,200 square miles) of mountains, steep granite cliffs, valleys, rivers, waterfall and lakes. It is home to groves of Giant Sequoia trees and many species of plants and animals. It is also home for the American black bear and California brown bears.

Crystal Cove SP

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Crystal Cove state park is both a beach and a wilderness area with many hiking trail.

This 3 mile stretch of beach along the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the newest additions to the state park system. Along with its pristine beaches, it covers 3000 acres of hills, canyons and trails. It also includes primitive campgrounds that only backpackers can get to. A new addition is Moro campground which has some facilities. It sits in between the beach and the hiking trails.

Take a break from all the excitement of the main attractions to commune with nature and forget the hustle and bustle of civilization. Some of the trails are easily handled by young children 6 and up. Younger children may need help.  If the kids complain too much about the hike, remind them about the second part of this excursion: The beach. 

Catalina Island

Catalina Avalon BeachCatalina Island is a short boat ride from Los Angeles or Orange counties, but very far off in ambiance and charm. You can very easily forget you are in California and let your imagination take you to a Mediterranean Island. Visiting the island today, it is hard to believe that it was established as a home for Native American tribes and later as a beef ranch. The development of Catalina into its current status as a tourist destination happened in waves. The person with the biggest influence on the island’s development was the chewing-gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. He purchased the majority of the island around 1919 and got to work improving it.