Author Archives: Andrew Wojtanik

Sibley Volcanic Loop (Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, CA)

Despite being located on the Ring of Fire, it is easy to forget California’s volcanic past. Beginning roughly 8-10 million years ago, what are now the Berkeley Hills of the East Bay were the epicenter of a series of volcanic … Continue reading

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Ohlone Wilderness Trail (Ohlone Regional Wilderness, CA)

Excellent two- or three-day backpacking option in the East Bay, connecting Del Valle Regional Park with Mission Peak Regional Preserve. Continue reading

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Steep Ravine – Matt Davis Trail Loop (Mount Tamalpais State Park, CA)

The Steep Ravine – Matt Davis Trail Loop in California’s Mount Tamalpais State Park is a longer and more popular variant of the Steep Ravine – Dipsea Trail Loop (described in an April 2015 post). Though not as expansive as … Continue reading

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Falls Trail Loop (Mount Diablo State Park, CA)

The East Bay, for all of its wonderful hiking, is not known for its waterfalls. Flowing streams, let alone tumbling cascades, are scarce amid the largely scrubby, chaparral hills that separate San Francisco Bay from California’s vast Central Valley. After … Continue reading

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Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, CA

Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in Keene, California is a small National Park Service site dedicated to the life and memory of the most famous leader of the California farm workers movement in the 1960s and 1970s. Nestled in a … Continue reading

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Hole-in-the-Wall Nature Trail (Mojave National Preserve, CA)

The Hole-in-the-Wall Nature Trail in California’s Mojave National Preserve is a boon for those looking to identify some desert plants: the short jaunt, which connects the Hole-in-the-Wall Information Center to the nearby campground, includes more than a dozen identifiers. Who … Continue reading

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Rings Loop Trail (Mojave National Preserve, CA)

The Rings Loop Trail at Mojave National Preserve’s Hole-in-the-Wall area meanders through Banshee Canyon, a wild, narrow notch named by early settlers for its howling desert winds. Though only 1.4 miles, this brief circuit packs a punch, passing through desert … Continue reading

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Kelso Dunes Trail (Mojave National Preserve, CA)

Mojave National Preserve in southern California boasts a wide array of desert ecosystems, from pinyon-juniper woodlands, to Joshua tree forests, to cactus-yucca scrub, but there is perhaps none more iconic than the massive desert dunes scattered across the 1.6-million acre … Continue reading

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White Rock Canyon – Arizona Hot Spring Canyon Trail Loop (Lake Mead National Recreation Area, AZ)

Nestled in the depths of a slot canyon downriver from Lake Mead and the Hoover Dam, Arizona Hot Spring boasts sizzling temperatures of 85-120 degrees year-round. On weekends in winter and spring, residents of the Las Vegas area flock in … Continue reading

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Badwater Basin (Death Valley National Park, CA)

At 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America and a main draw for visitors to California’s Death Valley National Park. Situated 18 miles south of the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, visitors can walk … Continue reading

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