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California: The State that really does have it all!

When it comes to geography and landscapes California really does have it all. Whether it’s a beach holiday, mountains or deserts that you are after you are bound to find some of the best in California. But the greatest thing is, its possible to get all of the above in on just one trip!

Beaches:
The Californian coast is over 1200 miles long however it does mostly consist of rock-strewn beaches and cold waters. However if you head to southern California you can find picturesque sandy beaches and warm surf.

Laguna Beach is located in Orange County, Southern California. In between San Diego and LA there is a seven-mile stretch of sandy beach for you to enjoy!

La Jolla Cove, San Diego is a smaller but unbelievably picturesque cove. Boasting sandstone cliffs and small summer surf and impeccable visibility, making it perfect for both swimming and snorkelling.

Santa Catalina Island is one of California’s Channel Islands and has plenty of options when it comes to beaches. Including Descanso Beach that offers a two-tiered private beach best for swimming. Whilst Two Harbour beaches possess scenic views of the harbour and also the possibility to hike or kayak to explore the surrounding crystal clear waters and array of secret beaches.

Mountains:
Mountains cover over half of California’s land. There are two ranges, The Sierra Nevada and the Coast Ranges. Between them there are many National Parks in which you can see the best of the US’s Mountains and natural beauty.

Yosemite National park is not only famous for its magnificent waterfalls but also its copious amount of giant ancient sequoia trees huge, lakes, clear streams, mountains and glaciers. Viewpoints are also in abundance including Glacier point that is arguably one of the most breath-taking views in the park. Tunnel View is one of the most famous views of Yosemite in where you can see El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall rising from Yosemite Valley, with Half Dome in the background.

The Santa Lucia mountain Range is situated in costal central California; it is home to Cone Peak, which at 1572 meters is the highest peak in proximity to the ocean in the whole of the lower United States!

Deserts:
There are three main deserts in California each with unique ecosystems and habitats. All based in Southern California offering dramatic scenery and a your very own taste of the Old Wild West.

Mojave Desert
Surrounded by the Tehachapi Mountains to the North West and the San Gabriel and San Bernardino Mountains to the South. The Mojave is also home to Death Valley National Park where you can find yourself at the lowest point in North America at 282 feet below sea level at Badwater.

Colorado Desert:
Starting where the Mojave ends in the North the Colorado Desert runs right through to the Mexico Border. The Colorado is home to some of the most unique plants, animals and insects, which are found nowhere else on earth. Joshua Tree National park is a popular tourist destination found here and Coachella Festival is held here annually!

The Great Basin Desert:
Known as the only cold desert in the USA, it’s also the largest! With much higher elevations and larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow! The Great Basin has trees that are over 5000 years old these Bristlecone Pines are the oldest living organisms in the world. The Great Basin is also home to The Lehman Caves.

Further Reading
http://cashmancuneo.net/biomes/calcoast/calcoast.html
http://www.visitlagunabeach.com/
http://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/island-info/beaches
https://www.nps.gov/yose/index.htm
https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/viewpoints.htm
http://www.desertusa.com/mojave-desert.html
http://www.seecalifornia.com/desert/colorado.html

 

February 08, 2017 — Celia Whitmarsh