Beautiful and Free: Natural Wonders of Northern California That Are Worth Seeing
Many don't mind paying to enter California's wonderful national parks. After all, this money goes towards maintaining the beauty of the parks! However, sometimes you are in the mood for a simple walk, during which you don't want to worry about admission tickets or parking fees. Here are some of the natural wonders of Northern California you can see for free. Only in Your State.
1. Mount Shasta
Visible from virtually anywhere in Northern California, the beauty of Mount Shasta cannot be underestimated. Rising above the landscape at 14 feet (179 km), it is considered the fifth highest peak in the state of California and definitely one of the most beloved. The mountain's mysterious power over people is nothing new. The knowledge of Mount Shasta has been used by the Klamath tribes for thousands of years and is still the site of sacred rituals among the region's indigenous tribes to this day. There are endless ways to enjoy everything this incredible mountain has to offer. Hiking, wildlife watching, fishing - all this can be done in the area of the mountain. From hiking and cycling in summer to snowmobiling, skiing and sledding in winter, there is always something to do.
2. Redwood National Park
The most famous natural wonder of Northern California is the sequoia forests. There are many places in the region to enjoy the majestic beauty of the tallest trees on Earth, but Redwood National Park is one of the best. Aside from these beautiful trees, the park also boasts vast prairies, oak forests, rivers, and 40 miles (over 64 km) of rugged coastline. National and Redwood State Parks are free except for some daytime use areas. No admission fees are required to drive the scenic roads or visit the combined state and national parks, making these locations ideal for a carefree adventure.
The crown of Hyperion, a roughly 600-year-old coast redwood tree, rises more than 379 feet in a remote part of Redwood National Park, California.
It's the tallest tree on earth.#Hyperion pic.twitter.com/ZrtPP9jq7s
- ∼Marietta Davis (@ThisIsMarietta) March 4, 2021
3. McCloud River Falls
Fans of waterfalls should definitely visit the McCloud River Falls outside the city of the same name. Finding each waterfall of the three cascades will be an unforgettable adventure in a beautiful setting. They are easily accessible via the McCloud River Three Falls trail. The trail follows the river and leads directly to the lower, middle and upper waterfalls. Although the waterfall is not the largest in the area, its unique beauty is certainly worth a visit.
Lower McCloud Falls is most popular for swimmers with its 12-foot broad plunge into a large pool. The first of the three McCloud River Falls is connected by one trail and feature large rocks perfect for sunbathing and relaxing. #VisitRedding #ShastaCascade #UpStateCA @VisitCA pic.twitter.com/iIBFx56350
- Visit Redding (@VisitReddingCA) April 23, 2019
4. Sanctuary of the Trinity Alps
As the second largest wilderness in California, the Trinity Alps is a place that will be awe-inspiring to anyone lucky enough to explore it. Known for their carved granite peaks and alpine lakes, they cover an area of 500 acres (000 ha). There is no fee for visiting the sanctuary and it is open all year round. However, it should be borne in mind that some trails may not be accessible during the winter months. In summer, trails such as Canyon Creek are very popular and visitors should plan their visit accordingly.
- Public Land Lover (@publiclandlvr) July 1th, 2019
5. Point Reyes National Coast
Point Reyes National Coast, located on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County, is a nature reserve on the coast of Northern California. Aside from breathtaking ocean views, Point Reyes also boasts rocky headlands, sandy beaches, hillsides, woodland ridges, and over 1500 plant and animal species! There is no better place to enjoy the beauty of the magnificent coastline. The entrance is free.
Do Nothing For Two Minutes
Take a minute, turn up the volume, as we take you to Point Reyes National Seashore in California, a safe home for Tule Elk, hunted nearly to extinction in the 1800s. Videographer: Lee McEachern. https://t.co/2GJBp8Qzft pic.twitter.com/LC5pEUR6HS
- CBS Sunday Morning 🌞 (@CBSSunday) June 9, 2019
6. Sacramento River
California's largest river, the Sacramento River, flows south for 400 miles (644 km) from the Klamath Mountains to San Francisco Bay. Aside from its stunning beauty, the river is incredibly important to much of California for its water supply and hydropower. The river provides water for more than half of the state's population and supports the most productive agricultural areas in the country!
🔈Sound on for the full effect! 🔈
- US Fish and Wildlife, Pacific Southwest Region (@USFWS_PSW) April 4, 2019
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7. Lake Tahoe
The pearl of California's Sierra Nevada mountain range, Lake Tahoe is a natural wonder unlike anything else. In size, second only to the five Great Lakes (and the second deepest after Crater Lake), Tahoe is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Northern California. Although much of the lake's coastline has been lined with resorts and parks, you will find that there are many places where you can enjoy the crystal clear beauty of the lake for free, such as Van Sickle's Bee State Park, Commons Beach Park or Lake Forest Beach. ...
Cruising Through Lake Tahoe 🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/3irqwwQCCT
- World Tourism 🌎 (@WorldTourisms) May 4, 2021
8. Cypress Tree Tunnel
The famous Cypress Tree Tunnel is technically part of the Point Reyes National Coast, but it's such a cool place that it's worth mentioning separately! You may have seen pictures of this unique place on the web, as it is one of the most photographed natural wonders in Northern California. Made up of Monterey cypress trees, the tunnel is unmatched at sunset when light hits the trees at this beautiful moment.
Cruising through the Cypress Tree Tunnel. Video by Donny Barnec. pic.twitter.com/ZOo9NyKwKO
- Active NorCal (@ActiveNorCal) January 31, 2019
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