EXPLORE

California is a place unlike any other. Where else in the world can you go from beach to forest to desert to mountains in just one day? Preserving these natural wonders is a KRUCIAL part of keeping Mother Earth alive and thriving. In August 2020, a dry lightning storm started multiple massive wildfires that threatened many of California’s precious forests. We came close to losing Redwood National Forest, and even closer to losing Big Basin National Park.

You can make a difference by choosing brands with initiatives in natural, regenerative farming. If we all work to stop climate change in its tracks, we can enjoy these natural spaces for many years to come. Now, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of California’s best natural features, starting with the California Redwoods.

CALIFORNIA REDWOODS

The California redwoods are a sight unlike any other. Towering trees shrouded in fog simultaneously bring feelings of peace and jaw-dropping wonder. Redwood National Park, located in Northern California, spans a total of 131,983 acres. It was established as a national park on October 2nd, 1968, making it over 50 years old. In 2019, over 500,000 visitors flocked to the California coast to see the redwoods.

Did you know? California redwoods are not only the tallest trees in the world, but also some of the oldest.

Redwood California
Redwood California

BIG SUR

Big Sur is a glorious stretch of wilderness that lies on the coast of California. From dramatic seaside cliffs and chilly beaches, to quiet redwood forests and windswept mountain ranges, Big Sur has a lot to offer. The region consists of a number of state parks as well as the Ventana Wilderness, which can be used for camping, backpacking, and hiking.

Did you know? In 1937, Highway 1 was finally completed after 18 years of construction. Now, the Scenic Highway coastal drive is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Big Sur.

LAKE TAHOE

Vast, shimmering waters surrounded by majestic snow-capped peaks makes Lake Tahoe a very special place. While most of the lake is location in California, one-third of it actually rests in Nevada. Lake Tahoe is not only one of the deepest lakes in the world (the max depth has been measured at 1,645 ft), but at 2 million years old, it is also one of the oldest lakes. Ever heard people talk about how clear and blue Lake Tahoe is? That’s no exaggeration. Water from the lake has been tested and found to be 99.994% pure.

Did you know? The Washoe tribe originally named the lake “Da ow a ga,” which means “Edge of Lake.” The name “Tahoe” came from a mispronunciation of “Da ow.”

JOSHUA TREE

Watching a color-infused sunset over a sandy expanse of desert dotted with the uniquely bulbous Joshua trees is a must-have for any bucket list. Located deep in Southern California, far to the east of populous Los Angeles, is Joshua Tree National Park. While it has only been officially designated a national park since 1994, it’s an extremely popular place (almost 3 million visitors a year) to camp, hike, climb, and gaze at the stars.

Did you know? Covering almost 800,000 acres, Joshua Tree National Park is bigger than the state of Rhode Island.

EL CAPITAN

Standing face-to-face with the towering granite monolith, it’s easy to see how El Capitan earned its name. Early Native Americans named the rock “To-to-kon oo-lah,” which loosely translates to “the chief,” then Spanish settlers called it the same name in their language: El Capitan. Located in Yosemite National Park, El Capitan is one of the main tourist pulls to the area. At over 3,000 ft high, it’s easy to understand why this natural monument tugs at the heartstrings of hikers and climbers alike.

Did you know? Just a few times a year, when conditions are just right, the setting sun shines on Horsetail Falls (located on the easter side of El Capitan) and produces a “firefall” effect. The stunning visual illumination is reminiscent of an old Yosemite tradition of dumping hot embers over the top of Glacier Point in the 1800s.