Category Archives: National Parks

Crater Lake National Park – Oregon

Crater Lake National Park is on of the finest, prettiest lakes  I have ever seen. It is breathtaking, jaw dropping, and a few more synonyms of incredible. The deep deep blue, and the contrasting beauty surrounding the lake makes for a scene that is etched into my brain. The volcano inside the volcano combines to add up to lasting images.

The volcano in the volcano is the  little island that’s in the middle of the lake. It would be easy to wordsmith with superlatives and drone on and on about this wonderful  park.  It is best to leave part of the wow factor to the visitor. I always recommend stopping at every turn out to enjoy each vista’s particular light, color and terrain. Most of the turnouts require a bit of a walk that is uphill to view the lake and capture those precious digital images.

Crater Lake is a Caldera

As a volcanic creation there are rock formations around the edge in tall spires in some places. There are views of the island and forest that contrast beautifully. There are reflections of the lake on the blue water that can be so clear as to be a beautiful picture upside down or right side up. I enjoy these types of photos and often hang them upside down to see who really looks in detail at the art. 

Crater Lake Lodge

The thrill of the Lodge awaits your visit. As the altitude of the lake is 6,178 foot, the rim around the lake is between 7,000 and 8,000 foot. Note also that the lodge on the lake is booked far in advance, so plan ahead to enjoy one of the planet’s beautiful jewels. It is so beautiful that if I lived closer by I’d be coming a lot more often and just gazing into Crater Lake.  Awesome.

Be aware that the roads close seasonally when there is significant snowfall.

General Sherman Tree

The General Sherman Tree, listed as the largest living thing on earth, makes it a must see on everyone’s bucket list. Well it is impressive, and the tree definitely has pull for visitors. It is Located in Sequoia National Park above Visailia and east of Fresno, it is easy to find. A winding road is definitely worth the drive. To visit the tree there are two options.

General Sherman - World's Largest

General Sherman – Just Ahead

I like to think of the options as the easy way and the harder way. As the elevation is nearing 7,000 foot, oxygen is short, and for city dwellers, even short walks can be difficult. For those who are sedentary, pay attention, and you will be happier on your trip.

General Sherman – The Harder Way

General Sherman Tree - Largest Living Organism

World’s Largest Living Tree – General Sherman

– For the walkers – The longer way is to go to the Sherman Tree main trail and parking. Sounds like
the right thing to do doesn’t it? This will lead you to a what they say is a half mile trail to the Sherman Tree. It is down hill to the tree, and I think it is a lot longer than a half mile down to the tree. It is then about 3 miles back up the exact same trail to the parking lot. Up hill with lots of steps and at over 6,000 foot elevation, this will be very difficult for those unaccustomed to altitude. For the Hikers, it will be a short jaunt.

General Sherman – The Easy Way

Go to the Giant Forest Museum and park across the street. Enjoy the museum for a bit and then Continue reading

Fort Funston

Fort Funston - California Coast

Fort Funston Coastline Panorama

Driving down the Great Highway as one follows the road along the far west of the city of San Francisco beaches abound and parking is scarce. Vistas of the ocean are everywhere, and one wonders what the rents might be on ocean facing apartments or even the cost of the homes viewing the ocean. Dream on. Dream on. The Great Highway ends in a few miles and Skyline Boulevard continues along the coast. One comes by Lake Merced on the east side of the road and on the ocean side is Fort Funston. It does not look like a Fort. There do not seem to be any military buildings. Wait, the sign says Fort Funston National Park. Continue reading