All Stories from Greater California

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    Winter Castle

    All you need is a clear day and a pair of sturdy snowshoes for the 2.25-mile (one-way) hike up to Castle Pass near Donner Summit in Tahoe National Forest. The views from the pass are royally good!

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    Sweet Roll El Dorado

    Step out of the car and onto a biking trail that resembles fall in Vermont. Just 40 miles from Sacramento, the El Dorado Trail in Placerville is a multi-use trail through with 12.5 paved miles.

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    Full Suspension Ahead

    See fall colors and the beautiful Angkula Seo Suspension Bridge on this easy 2-mile loop hike through the Nisenan Tribute Site located just outside of Nevada City. There's plenty of history within.

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    Oh Hill Yes!

    California's closest thing to fall in New England is 40 miles from Sacramento. Apple Hill near Placerville is a collection of over 50 local farms, ranches, trails, and wineries. Tasty times ahead!

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    High Five!

    Hit the High Sierra for a day hike or get a permit to spend the night at one of the Cottonwood Lakes, five sublime oases set in the John Muir Wilderness.

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    Sleeper Hit

    It's all about the water, and the camping, at Utica Reservoir in Stanislaus National Forest, a High Sierra reservoir perfect for kayak explorations and pitching your tent lakeside..

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    Duck, Duck, Goose!

    Try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds. We love Goose Lake Campground, where there are just 14 sites and no motorized boats.

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    The Long and Short of It

    The Lakes Basin is, as you’d expect, packed with lakes. And Long Lake is one of its, well, longest. What’s not long is the hike to it—just 1 mile! This oasis is perfect for lounging.

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    All's Well That's Elwell

    Mount Elwell's peak offers one of the best views of the northern Sierra. With two different routes to hike, it's 7 to 8 miles (round-trip) to the 7,818-foot peak. And it's a challenge!

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    Lookout for This View!

    Sierra Buttes Lookout, at a lofty 8,591 feet, is a memory maker for its pucker-worthy stairway to the tower’s balcony. It's a 5-mile (round-trip) hike to reach it. And the reward? Epic!

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    Big Sky, Lodi

    In winter millions of birds in winter travel the Pacific Flyway, a major north-south migration route that includes a stop at the Cosumnes River Preserve just north of Lodi.

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    The Ryan King

    At 5,456 feet, the summit of Ryan Mountain has the best view in the park. Its brilliant panoramic expanse, spanning desert to mountains, and—bonus—late afternoons can feature a sky tinged with lavender thanks to the low-sitting sun.

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    Sponsored

    North Lake Tahoe's 18 Winter Wows

    See North Lake Tahoe's 18 Winter Wows

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    Star This!

    Twelve miles north of Fort Bragg on the Mendocino Coast, Pacific Star Winery has interesting wines and a picnic area ideal for whale watching.

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    Old SLO Hills

    Hike Johnson Ranch, a sprawling 242-acre open space south of San Luis Obispo and north of Avila Beach where vistas seem to ever unfold in new directions. 

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    Small Craft Morning

    San Luis Obispo Bay is a lovely place to kayak. The highlands backing the bay and a jetty at its western end protect the harbor from tough paddling.

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    Cave Culture

    Cave Landing, a craggy headland between Avila Beach and Pismo Beach, is a storied stretch of the Central Coast that stirs potent reveries in the beholder.

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    Sponsored

    Ahhh-tumn Yosemite

    A private cabin in Yosemite tucked among sugar pines? Yes please! Check out the brand-new Explorer Cabins at Tenaya Lodge.

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    West Side Story

    The west side of Pinnacles National Park feels a bit more rugged, and has fewer people. And it has some of the park’s premier trails and sites, including Juniper Canyon and Balconies Cave.

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    Caves, Condors, Camping

    You’re gonna need a flashlight for this hike, and not because it’s happening at night. Check out a truly dark part of the park by visiting Bear Gulch Cave in Pinnacles National Park.

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