The highlights of this driving itinerary include majestic mountain peaks, endless outdoor opportunities and unusual natural and man-made destinations such as Mono Lake and the ghost town of Bodie. Try to spend at least a week exploring the area!
For some people, New Years Eve is about partying and drinking but for us this year it was all about hitting the road and having an outdoor adventure (as it had been awhile).
At first we couldn't decide between Joshua Tree and Mammoth Lakes but after seeing the mass of crowds headed for Joshua our decision was made easier. The majestic Eastern Sierra's it was!
A couple of weeks ago we climbed Mt Whitney. At 14,508ft, Mt Whitney is the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. The trail itself is 21 miles (33km) with 6000ft elevation gain and is not to be taken lightly.
I had wanted to climb Whitney ever since I was seventeen when I had stumbled across Galen Rowell's 'The Art of Adventure' at a second hand bookstore back in Australia, where nobody even knows where the Eastern Sierra's even are.
Mt Whitney - Fast Facts
DISTANCE: 22 miles/ 33 km
ELEVATION GAIN: 6000 feet
TIME: 12-20 hours (depends on fitness level)
BEST TIMES TO HIKE: Summer and Fall
The historic Columbia River Highway was the first scenic highway in the United States and is designated a National Historic Landmark.
The highway is about 75 miles long between Troutdale and the Dalles in Oregon and travels through the Columbia Gorge, transitioning between temperate rainforest to dry grasslands in only 80 miles.
The area is best known for its high concentration of waterfalls but is also a popular destination for hiking, mountain-biking, fishing, watersports and sight-seeing.
The Columbia River Gorge is the perfect day trip from Portland on a hot summer's day or worth road tripping out to spend a week or two to fully explore the area.
When people think of waterfalls to visit in Oregon, Multnomah Falls is usually the first one that comes to mind. Multnomah Falls is Oregon's tallest waterfall and is also the most visited natural attraction in Oregon and with good reason! Multnomah Falls is stunning but did you know there are over a dozen other amazing waterfalls you can visit all on the same stretch of road that is the Scenic Columbia River Highway?
Road tripping the Oregon coast in February was a spur of the moment decision. We were in Portland trying to figure out our next move - which was going to be heading straight to the Californian border then hugging the coastline from there. It was the middle of winter and we had been avoiding living out of the van (road tripping in the cold just ain't fun) and wanted to find some warmer weather asap... But we thought to ourselves, why waste the opportunity to see a beautiful coastline?
When it comes to surfing in California, it gets no better than the Santa Cruz surf scene! Globally recognized as “surf city,’ this area of the beautiful California coastline boasts some of the best waves on the west coast and thousands of dedicated surfers travel from across the world just to get their boards in the water here.
Fort Bragg is a sleepy little ex-logging town located in Mendocino County on the Northern California coast, not too far from the famous gigantic Redwood trees of Avenue of the Giants.
Fort Bragg’s coastline is littered with cove after cove and headland after headland making you think that around the next point will be the perfect setup with pumping waves, but this just isn’t the case.
Most of the beaches are sand bottom and seem to struggle to hold banks. However, there are a few places that hold big waves in some pretty sketchy spots. Towing-in would be more appropriate if you were wanting to tackle some of these waves.
Road trips are easily the best American pastime; from jaunts into the Great Smoky Mountains to the classic Route 66 family adventure, to visiting America's Best National Parks. It is with great happiness that it’s picking back up as one of the country’s favorite ways to get out of town and escape into travel mode. But unlike yesteryear, there’s plenty of apps to help get rid of the blues when driving across country, whether you’re going on a solo journey or taking the whole crew. So before you head out, make sure you’re a little download happy, and check out these picks!
Highlights of this California coast road trip include stops at famed Glass Beach, Avenue of the Giants and charming Ferndale. Take in breathtaking coastal vista's, relax in quaint seaside towns, and hike in impressive coastal redwood forests. This is a five day driving itinerary that allows you to fully explore the area. If you have more time we recommend spending a little longer with at least two nights camping amidst the Redwoods.
Fort Point is a left hand point break which breaks under the Golden Gate bridge. To me, this spot was more of a novelty to surf but as it turns out, this spot actually gets pretty good and I was lucky enough to get some good waves here.
The first two days I was there it was pretty much flat but they were predicting a big WNW swell which was what Fort Point needed to break. On the third day I was there the swell arrived but I missed the morning window due to the tide getting to high.
This wave is very tide dependent and breaks best on a medium to low tide. I waited it out through the top of the tide which was around 2:30 pm. Slowly but surely as the tide started running out waves began wrapping around the point from underneath the Golden Gate Bridge. I waited and waited and finally threw on a wetsuit at 5:00 pm. I ran out to the top of the point and jumped off the rocks beneath the bridge. With fading day light, I managed to catch a few fun waves before it was pitch black and I had to navigate my way in and up the extremely slippery rocks.
We were slowly making our way down the PCH just south of Mendocino when we made a last minute decision to hightail it down to San Francisco because we had found out that a band we really liked was playing that night.
We left the sleepy coastal towns behind and headed out to US-101 making it just outside the city of San Francisco in around four hours. We stopped at McDonalds to use the free wifi and double-check the venue address but to our dismay I had mixed up the location and the gig was actually in Oakland.
We don't know a lot about Oakland but had heard from many people it was a place best to avoid. We thought about risking it but we were most worried about the van as it is our home and our whole life in it.
Devastated we found ourselves at an In 'N Out ordering ourselves a couple of double doubles. We easily could have spent another week cruising, camping and surfing down the Northern California coast!
Have you got a trip planned to San Francisco? Is it your first time visiting?? Well then you're in for a treat! Because this small city (yes, I say small because San Francisco is only 50 square miles, tiny in comparison to sprawling L.A.) packs a big punch! Which is a good thing for you because it means you can see a lot on your first visit to San Francisco.