10 Northern California Views That You Should See
California is a legendary place for many outdoor lovers. The land offers such a diverse collection of natural playgrounds. Will you spend a few minutes to enjoy some of the views? Listed below are ten destinations begging to be explored.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite is known for its magnificent granite cliffs and glaciers. It also features high standing waterfalls and clear streams, not to mention the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Breathtaking cliffs and valleys give reason to pause with respectful observation.
As the winter snow begins to melt in spring, waterfalls pour from the cliffs causing hikers to stare for hours. In this majestic park, you will find the tallest waterfall in North America. Just more than 2,400 feet tall, Yosemite Falls comes flying over a series of cascading cliffs and eventually tumbles down into the valley.
The number of running waterfalls in the park fluctuates depending on how much snow has accumulated in the high country and how long it takes to melt. Each year, millions of people visit this park seeking moments of outdoor leisure. A significant fraction will spend time in Yosemite Valley where Yosemite Falls, Ribbon Fall, and Sentinel Fall may be seen.
Observant eyes will find fauna and flora under preservation throughout the park. Rare plants decorate the area and fill the meadows with crisp, fresh air and shade where you can relax with ease. Yosemite became the third U.S. National Park in 1890 and earned the title of World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1984.
The Hoover Wilderness borders Yosemite National Park to the northeast. As a hiking destination, this area offers something uniquely spectacular to trekkers. The site rests on 48,600 acres of land with many, many trails heading into it. Trails venture from Walker Meadow, the Buckeye Creek area and the Tioga Pass Road.
If you have picked this area, be sure to stop at some of these spots:
- Virginia Lake Basin- Seasoned hikers will tell you how refreshing it is to see water stirring nearby or tumbling from above during any journey. There is something about water that gives you the strength to go on, as if you had just begun.
- East Walker River- See the headwaters of this river at the Hoover Wilderness. It's divine!
- Sawtooth Ridge- This is both a site and a trail. It connects Mountain Evans and Mount Bierstadt. If you are a first time backpacker, or in need of a break from the strenuous this is the path to use. It is classified as easy to moderate.
Emigrant Wilderness borders both Yosemite National Park and the Hoover Wilderness. It is located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains and rests as a portion of the Stanislaus Forest. The scenery is comprised of volcanic ridges, lakes, and granitic hills. This area shows post-glaciated features with sparse vegetation.
If you are looking to camp or hike in the summer, be sure to start your journey early in the day because thundershowers are common in the afternoons. You will find several dams to view here as well.
Lassen National Park
Lassen Park is as a result of volcanic activity. We have all heard fascinating stories of what volcanoes can do. This is the place to make confirmations of such activity. It features hot springs and sulfur vents and plenty of natural scenery. Among the rocky masterpieces of past volcanic activity in this park, you can follow the trails to enjoy lush forests and large bodies of water.
You can witness geological activity underway in sections that are marked for observation only. High temperatures underground are responsible for mud pots, steam vents, and hot springs. Lassen offers hectares of land, where these geothermal features may be seen. You will see signs and fencing indicating where you may stand for viewing.
Muir Woods National Monument
The name captures it, ‘The Woods’! This site is plush and thick with ancient coastal redwood trees. It is situated near Mount Tamalpais State Park. Its proximity to the Pacific Ocean makes it foggy and wet, a contributing factor to the fast and constant plant growth. The fog helps keep the redwoods watered, especially during the dry season.
If you are hiking in winter, be sure to dress in warm clothes. Winter rains are common October through March and can be almost frozen! Summers are dry save for the fog trapped within the growth.
In this magical forest, you will find redwoods towering greater than 200 feet and predating the Renaissance Era. In fact, the redwoods are the main attraction for Muir Woods National Monument. The woods remain a home to many bird and animal species. Plants love to grow underneath this forest, and you are sure to enjoy every bit of your hike here.
Indian Rock Park
Indian Rock is a good place to visit if you are looking for an entry-level rock climbing adventure. It was not initially meant to be a park, but a real estate corporation working in the area dedicated it in the early 1900s. As a gift to the City of Berkeley, this public park has an intriguing history that boasts of rock climbing origins and American Indian culture.
Standing near the rocks resting at the top, you will find several iconic views, including the San Francisco Bay Bridge. You will see the vast lands that stretch from Richmond, California in the north, to the University of California in the south.
Eureka is a small, seaport town for which the attractions are a mixture of history and nature. You can enjoy a cruise, go fishing on a guided boat, or visit the Maritime Museum. Get views of Humboldt Bay, and visit local gift shops and eateries.
Burney Falls has a 129-foot drop, and is visible from along the Pacific Crest Trail. It has not been listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, but it is uniquely spectacular! Water cascades down the widened path of this fall into the pools below year-round.
Lake Tahoe has a therapeutic view. It is a topaz body of water surrounded by striking boulders and rocks, inviting both swimmers and onlookers to enjoy a moment in its presence. If you come during winter, the scene is sublime, as the rocks are often covered in snow. Tahoe should be on your California bucket list. Activities here include skiing, gondola rides, lake viewing from peak tops, and tube runs.
The coastal community of Mendocino offers plenty of leisurely walking as you enjoy its magnificent views. The remoteness of the location contributes to the enjoyment. This small inlet area has a mixture of both old world charm and modern day culture. Gift shops and coffee shops welcome visitors with a breeze right from the ocean. Be sure to go inside and find your personal favorite.
Northern California is packed full with iconic nature views and rich historical features! Cherish it with your time and with your heart.