Grant Will Help Friends of the Desert Mountains Upgrade Hiking Trails

Blooming desert wildflowers served as the perfect backdrop for Friends of the Desert Mountains to receive the $25,000 Coachella Valley Spotlight grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. Each year more than 20,000 valley residents and visitors enjoy the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Visitor Center, off Highway 74, and hiking...

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Spectacular bloom expected at Anza Borrego Desert State Park

  A spectacular bloom of wildflowers is underway at Anza Borrego Desert State Park in California, and by the middle of March, it’s expected to just get better and better, according to park officials. The area has been deluged with rain this season and the Borrego Desert is full of green with flowers in stages of both bud and blooms, a press release issued by...

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‘Widow makers’ close popular California trails

You see that big tree looming over you? Or over your house, your car? Or along the trail at your favorite park? It could be what we call a “widow maker.” That is, a big tree (or limb) about to fall. Saturated soil that can’t hold upright the weight of big trees has led to a stunning array of downed trees in parks, backyards, front yards… in other words, everywhere....

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A Guide to Kings Canyon National Park

Best known for its groves of Sequoia trees, Kings Canyon National Park spans a significant portion of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. But it’s not just these giant trees that attract visitors to the so-called Land of Giants, and neighboring Sequoia National Park. Deep canyons, lush valleys, snow-capped peaks, and terrain ranging from 1,000 to 14,000 feet...

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Anza-Borrego Foundation has helped protect the California desert for 50 years

Dropping into Southern California’s Anza-Borrego State Park from a twisting ride down Montezuma Valley Road, you get the sense Anza-Borrego is a world unto itself. A world of ancient fossils and mysterious mirages, lush palm oases and hidden waterfalls, ocotillo forests, remote hiking trails and captivating wildlife from tarantulas and chuckwalla lizards to golden...

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New hiking route connects Los Angeles to 67 miles of backcountry bliss

One of the newest backcountry trails in the West skirts the busiest city in the country. The thoroughfare, dubbed the Backbone Trail, stretches about 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains that ring Los Angeles, and opened in June after more than 50 years in the making. The trail, which connects Point Mugu State Park in Malibu to Will Rogers State Historic Park in...

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Hiking the metal mountains of Scott Mountain Crest

The lovely forested peaks of the Scott Mountain Crest in Siskiyou County, California, are most frequently enjoyed from two vantage points — the popular Kangaroo Lake Campground on the north side of the crest, and from the Pacific Crest Trail on the south side of the mountainous ridge. Both of these viewpoints offer ample scenery, and with a little effort one can enjoy...

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An astounding 102 million trees have now died in California

Forest managers have never seen anything like it. Across California, an astounding 102 million trees have died over the past six years from drought and disease — including 62 million trees in 2016 alone, the US Forest Service estimates. Once-mighty oaks and pines have faded into ghastly hues of brown and gray. The biggest worry is that these dead, dry forests will become...

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California is about to find out what a truly radical climate policy looks like

California has long prided itself on being a world leader on climate change — and with good reason. Within the United States, California is No. 1 (by far) in solar power and No. 3 in wind power. It boasts the third-lowest carbon dioxide emissions per capita behind New York and Vermont. Since 2000, the state has managed to shrink its overall carbon footprint slightly even...

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Collaborative Project May Impact Weekday Hiking on Pacific Crest and Summit Lake Trails

Crew members from the American Conservation Experience (ACE), the Truckee Trail Foundation (TTF) and the Tahoe National Forest are working diligently to set the foundation for a major work day involving over 200 employees from Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). The project will reconstruct sections of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) north of California Old Highway 40 past...

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10 miles of hiking trails at Bothe-Napa Valley State Park

In 1872, Dr. Charles M. Hitchcock bought a thousand acres of Rancho Carne Humana and built a country home along Ritchey Creek. He called it “Lonely.” Nearly 150 years later the beautiful trails along the creek remain as California’s Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. But you won’t be lonely there anymore. Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is one of the most-frequented hiking...

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New Mount Diablo hiking guide unlocks secrets of hikes

Many visitors are lured to Northern California’s Mount Diablo by its imposing presence – an ancient rock fortress between the Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley. Visitors come for panoramic views and challenging hikes or rides. But some have gotten sick and even died after underestimating the difficulty of some treks and overestimating their own abilities to...

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New Sections of California Coastal Trail

Just in time for the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, June 4, 2016, Mendocino County in Northern California will open two new hiking trails. The 2.3-mile Peter Douglas Coastal Trail routes hikers through redwood groves known as Shady Dell featuring trees with branches that have split off into candelabra shapes. The land, just south of Sinkyone Wilderness...

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New Sonoma County hiking trail opens up along San Pablo Bay

Sonoma County, California’s newest hiking trail officially opened May 15, 2016 just a few hundred yards from the often backed up and typically frustrating Highway 37. The Eliot Trail, located at the edge of tidal wetlands near where Lakeville Highway meets Highway 37, gives travelers an experience opposite to the nearby roadway. The two-and-a-half mile trail offers...

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This disease has killed a million trees in California, and scientists say it’s basically unstoppable

Healthy forests are especially important at a time of climate change — they’re an incredible tool to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Dead forests, on the other hand, can light the spark for wildfires, which are already showing a long-predicted uptick in activity. In California’s coastal forests, health is anything but good. Since 1995, a fungal pathogen that...

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Featured National Recreation Trail: The Aliso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trail, California

The Aliso Creek Regional Riding and Hiking Trail is a well maintained class-one bikeway and soft recreational trail extending from the foothills of Orange County, California to the boundary of Laguna Beach. The continuous fifteen miles of asphalt bikeway designed for multi-use travels through five south county cities. The soft trail mirrors the asphalt bikeway path on...

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Hiking Anza-Borrego is trek into desert paradise

Don’t let the name Hellhole Canyon scare you off. In early March the 6-mile hike in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park is alive with striking desert blooms, a lush palm oasis and hidden waterfalls. Sure, the start of the route into the sun-beaten canyon is hot. Flowering indigo, beavertail cactus and desert dandelions buzz with insects along the seemingly misnamed...

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Hiking near the waterfalls of Marin County’s Cataract Trail

The sound of rushing water floods your ears even before Cataract Creek is fully in view, descending the northern flank of Mount Tamalpais, California amid a riot of boulders, lush moss, graceful ferns and arching trees. Prepare to be amazed by this magical place, where each step along the trail reveals some new variation on the blend of rocks and water responsible for a...

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Obama designates new national monuments in the California desert

President Obama has set aside more of America’s lands and waters for conservation protection than any of his predecessors, and he is preparing to do even more before he leaves office next year. The result may be one of the most expansive environmental and historic-preservation legacies in presidential history. On Friday, February 12, 2016 Obama designated more than 1.8...

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Video Shows Frightening Scale of SoCal Gas Leak

Two environmental advocacy groups have released an aerial video of the ongoing natural gas leak that’s plaguing Porter Ranch, CA and it’s startling. This is known as the Aliso Canyon methane leak, the worst environmental disaster since the BP gulf oil spill. The video, shot using a specialized infrared camera aboard a helicopter, released this week by the...

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Slow-motion methane disaster

In the hills above suburban Los Angeles, a man-made natural disaster of sorts has been unfolding for nearly two months. One can’t see it or hear it, and it’s not leaving a trail of dead animals and plants in its wake. It’s potentially catastrophic, nonetheless. On October 23, 2015 workers at the massive Aliso Canyon subterranean natural gas storage...

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California’s Historic Drought Is Now Officially Even More Historic

It’s been at least half a millennium since California has been this dry. The snow in the Sierra Nevada mountains — which provides nearly a third of the state’s water supply — is the lowest it has been in 500 years, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change. The researchers compared blue oak tree rings during known time periods of precipitation,...

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Truckee time travel: Hiking into history

The fastest way to see California’s iconic Donner Pass is to cruise Interstate 80 between Truckee and Reno. But if you really want to experience the environment and culture of one of the state’s most scenic and historically significant places it helps to get your feet dirty. And one way to get the most out of a trek through the region is to participate in the Donner...

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The Perfect Itinerary for Sequoia + Kings Canyon National Parks

California is fortunate to be home to nine national parks, more than any other state. With such a plethora of natural and national treasures, it may not come as a surprise that two of the state’s most spectacular parks, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, are often overlooked. While typically referred to together, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are actually two...

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Keeping Alive The Korean Love For Hiking, Thousands Of Miles From Korea

Mountains cover 70 percent of the Korean peninsula, and in South Korea, an estimated 1 in 3 Koreans goes hiking more than once a month. Over the past few decades, hiking has become way more than a weekend activity. It’s part of the Korean national identity. Across the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, second- and even third-generation children of Korean...

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Toxic Fracking Water Being Used to Water Crops During California Drought

Many crops in the drought-stricken state of California are actually being irrigated with fracking wastewater. Fracking is the process of drilling down into the earth before a high-pressure water mixture is directed at the rock to release the gas inside. Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the rock at high pressure, which allows the gas to flow out to the head of...

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Tuolumne Meadows area offers gateways to high country

In just a mile on level ground, you can reach a spot that can change the way you feel about things for a long time. From the trailhead for the Pacific Crest Trail near Tuolumne Meadows, you can amble north for 20 minutes or so to a pristine meadow sprinkled with lodgepole pine, where a high mountain rim frames your moment in time. Unicorn Peak (10,910 feet), Cathedral...

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Enjoy rewarding hike at Palomar Mountain trail, courtesy of Canyoneers

The Palomar Mountain Observatory Trail is one of only four National Recreation Trails in San Diego County, California. From the tree-shaded, well-maintained trail there are bucolic vistas of grassy meadows with grazing cattle. It also provides a chance to visit the Hale Telescope and the world-class Palomar Observatory. It is easily accessible and is a rewarding hike...

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Lost Coast Trail unveils California’s remote side

The 52-mile Lost Coast Trail runs about 255 miles north of San Francisco. It was named the Lost Coast because of depopulation in the area in the 1930s and because the terrain is too steep and rugged to build a road. If you look at a map, you can see how Highway 1 heads inland north of Fort Bragg. There are two distinct sections of the Lost Coast Trail. The northern...

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Drought kills 12 million trees in California’s national forests

Rangers in the San Bernardino National Forest call them “red trees.” Instead of the typical deep green color, large swaths of pine trees now don hues of death, their dehydrated needles turning brown and burnt-red because of the state’s worsening drought. “Unlike back East, where you have fall colors, here it’s because the trees are dying,” said John Miller, a spokesman...

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