Tag archives for California

When Where You’ve Been Isn’t on a Map

Introducing Way Finding, a new column about our sense of wild places “Where did you come from?” The woman was small, no older than 30, I’d guess, in a big floppy hat and holding a tall walking stick, making her appear, for a moment, wizardly. She’d passed my companions without saying a word, and when…

Beneath the Golden Gate, a Rare Break Draws (Experienced) Surfers

San Francisco may be a mecca for foodies, musicians, artists, techies, and skateboarders, but when it comes to surfing, the spots are, well, limited. And by “limited” I mean, “there’s really only consistently one that’s actually in the city, Ocean Beach.” Which is why, when the conditions are just right and the swell is hitting…

Did Surfing Legend Kelly Slater Build the World’s Most Perfect Wave?

And what does it mean for surfing? As his technological feat is revealed, the surf world contemplates a game changer. A perfect, head-high, barreling wave has just been discovered. It doesn’t depend on the weather, or the swell, or even the ocean itself—and it’s always flawless. The first to surf it? Sporting icon and 11-time…

California: Rock Climb Lassen Volcanic National Park

Scale exquisite, vertical rock in a wilderness setting. What Is It? Lassen Volcanic National Park features a giant volcanic dome, hot springs, and a variety of secluded, high-country cliffs and outcrops that provide excellent climbing for all levels. Spend the weekend scaling cracks, arêtes, and crags that rival those of Yosemite. You’ll find that the…

A Last Canyoneering Adventure in California’s Eaton Canyon?

The San Gabriel Mountains tower far above their surroundings, dwarfing even one of our  most expansive creations. The massive metropolis of Los Angeles sprawls just to the West, reaching high for the sky but nowhere near the height of those peaks. Push a little further and the truly infinite expanse of the Pacific Ocean quietly…

Suffering for the Fun of It

This summer, The North Face climbers Cedar Wright and Alex Honnold decided to enchain all of California’s 14,000-foot peaks, which wouldn’t be that notable, except for the fact that they were going to try to do it without cars. Over the course of three epic weeks of pain and suffering, the quirky duo who—had never done…

Hiking the John Muir Trail: Going Out to Go In

“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” ~ John Muir Drawing wild-eyed wanderers and scruffy-haired men from around the world, the 211-mile John Muir Trail has a reputation of immeasurable proportions. Making its way onto the proverbial bucket…

Climbing Mammoth Lakes With the Old Gang

You don’t normally think of Mammoth Lakes, California, as a climbing mecca. I’d never been to Mammoth, in fact, before last September, when the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC) invited me to be their “keynote speaker,” where I held forth about the joys and woes of 33 years of freelance writing. During those few…

Tahoe’s Quintessential Hike – Tahoe Rim Trail

See our Best Trails guide, including World’s Best Hikes: 20 Epic Trails. Situated at 6,225 feet (1,897 meters) above sea level, California’s Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America. While Lake Tahoe has always provided boundless recreation opportunities, only recently has it been possible to circumnavigate the crest of the lake on…

Singletrack High: Upcoming Film Explores NorCal Students’ Love for Mountain Biking (Video)

Many kids in America stop riding bikes in high school. When splashing through puddles and racing around the park is no longer cool, two wheels get traded in for four. But for hundreds kids in northern California, the ride never stops—it gets faster. These are the student-athletes of the NorCal High School Cycling League. They…