Los Angeles & Anaheim
(incl. Hollywood, Warner Bros Studio, Disneyland)
It's one of the seven natural wonders of the world and attracts more than 6 million visitors from all over the world annually. It was discovered by Europeans in 1540 by Spanish explorer Don Lopez de Cardenas, a captain in Coronado's expedition. It was declared a national park in 1919.
The 277-mile long, one-mile deep canyon covers a total of 1,900 square miles. One-and-one-half kilometres below the South Rim, the Colorado River flows at an average speed of four miles per hour. Five different Native American tribes presently occupy the region - Hopi, Navajo, Havasupai, Pauite and Hualapai. The Grand Canyon is home to 70 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 25 species of reptiles and five species of amphibians. Travellers can hike on various trails, ride a mule along the rim or into the canyon or drive along the South Rim.
Filaments - the air is
hung with lazy curve and sway.
Over the canyon
these evening glints
call: fling yourself into the still -
you will twist
a bit and float
and fall upon
the breath of red layers
releasing the day's warmth, carrying you out -
there - free as canyon light,
drifty as canyon shadow,
- THEA GAVIN
(incl. Lower Antelope and Horseshoe Bend)
San Francisco, Mill Valley & Mountain View
(incl. Muir Woods, Stanford University, Google and Apple)
Muir Woods is rare ancient forest where coast redwoods reign, many over 600 years old. They have survived fires and floods, and avoided intense logging that took so many other redwoods. These old trees have provided shelter and nutrients for younger trees, other plants, and many animals. Coast redwoods are the tallest living things on Earth. The tallest reaches 379 feet above the forest floor of Redwood National Park. In Muir Woods, the tallest is over 258 feet - about the height of a 23-storey building.
The Coast Miwok are the original people of this land. They lived throughout this area of thousands of years, managing the land and its natural resources. They set fires to enrich the forest and grasslands as natural fires did. As Europeans arrived in the 1700s, they displaced native people from their lands and moved them into Spanish missions. Even here on the isolated Marin peninsula, Coast Miwok lost homeland, were enslaved, and died of mistreatment and European diseases. 90% of them had died by the time of California's gold rush in the mid-1800s.
In 1908, William and Elizabeth Kent donated this small old-growth redwood forest to the public. President Theodore Roosevelt used the new Antiquities Act to proclaim the area a national monument. The park was named after John Muir, who wrote often about the beauty and value of ancient forests.
Today over one million people visit this rare, uncut redwood forest each year.
Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch
World's Tallest Thermometer
Black Bear Diner