As you enter Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California, Moro Rock looms overhead, thousands of feet above the highway. This large granite dome is a spectacular geologic feature that can be enjoyed from above or below. A concrete and stone stairway leads over 350 steps to the summit where views open up from the foothills and San Joaquin Valley to the west, to deep into wilderness to the east. View from the top of Moro Rock by Cheryl Dickinson (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Set between the jagged peaks of the Sierra Nevada and the geologically complex Inyo Mountains, California’s Alabama Hills is the perfect place for rock climbing, horseback riding, mountain biking – and for films buffs, touring “Movie Road.” Since the 1920s, more than 400 movies have been filmed at the Alabama Hills, and Movie Road allows visitors to walk or drive along the sets of many of their favorite blockbusters. Filmmakers love to use the steep hills, natural arches and windows found throughout the area to evoke far away places, including Afghanistan in Iron Man, the Himalayas in Gunga Din and a Spanish Estate in Gladiator. Photo by Michele James (www.sharetheexperience.org).
Add Bodie Hills to your travel bucketlist for its wildflowers, wildlife and a one-of-a-kind ghost town. California’s Eastern Sierra region is a dramatic transition zone between the snow-capped granite spires of the Sierra Nevada and the endless sagebrush covered uplands of the Great Basin. A trip at the right time of year will reward visitors with a diversity of wildflowers. Because of their high elevation, wildflower blooms are later here than much of California – typically arriving in May-June on the lower slopes and into July on the highest peaks. Pictured here is the “Dry Lakes Plateau” where ephemeral lakes fill with snowmelt. Photo by Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management, @mypubliclands