Southern California on the Beach

The closer to the beach you get, the more expensive the camping gets, so our stay here was quite short. We spent a couple nights in state parks along the ocean, but the noise from trains and cars led us to continue on south. A few highlights from our short stay around San Diego county were La Jolla cove and Mission Trails State Park.

Death Valley

Entering the Death Valley via the Jubilee Pass is a great drive scenic with no body else on the road. Only after Badwater, the lowest point in the Unites States (85m below sea level) the crowds are starting to appear. The size, the dryness and the heat (105F/40C) in the valley is impressive. There are huge salt flats, canyons and colorful hillsides to explore. There is a Painters Drive leading through the most impressive parts. The hills are covered in all kinds of colors by the different minerals. Continue reading “Death Valley”

Grand Canyon, Mojave Desert

After a rather disappointing experience in Zion I drove straight to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Against all my expectations the Grand Canyon area is not warm end of September. One of the reasons for that is that the North Rim is at about 2400m elevation. Another fact I didn’t really know was that the Grand Canyon is not just one canyon but a huge area with many side canyons leading into the main canyon carved by the Colorado river. Continue reading “Grand Canyon, Mojave Desert”

Nevada and Great Basin National Park

To get to all the famous National Parks in Utah and Arizona from California one has to cross Nevada. Most of Nevada is part of the Great Basin which is basically a series of mountains and valleys. However, the valleys aren’t nice lush meadows and creeks but huge, mostly flat dry land. I decided to take the US50 dubbed the “loneliest road in America”. The driving itself is very uneventful, even though there is more traffic then the name of the road suggests but one can get lost pretty nicely by leaving the US50 and hit one of the county roads. Continue reading “Nevada and Great Basin National Park”