Category: california

Random acts of kindness. Simple gestures. Your kind actions go a long way. #WorldKindnessDay gives us all a reason to celebrate.

These affectionate island foxes live on six of the eight Channel Islands off the coast of southern California – and are found nowhere else on Earth. As a subspecies of the gray fox, they are the smallest foxes in North America, but the largest native predator on these islands. The story of the island fox is a conservation success story, where many groups worked together to ensure their survival – it continues to be an amazing example of recovery. Photo at Channel Islands National Park courtesy of Chris Brinkman.

Rays of sunlight create a mesmerizing glow that illuminates Yosemite National Park in California. Spectacular autumn colors decorate the trees, enhanced by the morning’s soft light. As we shift from busier seasons into quieter ones for most of the national parks, take a minute to reflect. Winter is coming, and it’s sure to be its very own incredible adventure. Seasons may shift, but the resonating beauty offered at Yosemite continues to ignite the imagination and hearts of many. Photo by Menchor Cuizon (  

Certain places evoke a specific feeling. Redwood National and State Parks in California definitely qualifies. “When I think of the Redwood forest, I think of giant trees, lush green ferns, fog and beams of light shining through the forest canopy. This is exactly the feeling that I set out to capture during a recent trip to the Redwoods. While driving through the Del Norte Redwoods, I saw the light bursting through the trees, so I quickly pulled the car over, jumped out and ran into the forest, hoping that the light would last long enough to capture a few images,” said photographer David Dinette. We think he got it. Photo courtesy of David Dinette.

Heading east out of Los Angeles, everything just starts to open up. Wide valleys and desert plains run out to distant mountain ranges. There’s a lot of room to roam. Mojave Trails National Monument, California spans 1.6 million acres and includes ancient lava flows and fossil beds, and spectacular sand dunes. The mysterious beauty is no mirage. Photo by Kyle Sullivan, Bureau of Land Management.

Watch out! A baby horned lizard found at San Diego National Wildlife Refuge in California may be tiny and cute, but it has a secret weapon. When threatened, they intimidate attackers by squirting blood from their eyes as a defense mechanism. It’s not only confusing to predators, but it can also taste terrible. That’s just one thing you won’t be able to forget this National Reptile Awareness Day. Photo courtesy of John Martin, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

A landscape of mystery and wonder, the Volcanic Tablelands were formed by a cataclysmic eruption over 700,000 years ago. Spreading out across Owens Valley in California, the tablelands are now known for resilient wildlife, world-class climbing and ancient Native American petroglyphs. These dramatic drawings range from 1,000 to 10,000 years old and help tell the stories of America’s first people. They represent a priceless cultural treasure, especially to the Paiute-Shoshone. All visitors to the area are asked to treat the petroglyphs with respect and Leave No Trace. Photo by Jesse Pluim, Bureau of Land Management ( @mypubliclands ).

Happy Birthday to Yosemite National Park! On this day in 1890, Yosemite became our 3rd national park. This spectacular landscape was first protected with the Yosemite Grant Act in 1864, which set aside 39,000 acres of Yosemite Valley and the Mariposa Grove to the State of California. When President Abraham Lincoln signed that legislation, it was the first time in U.S. history that land was designated for public use and preservation. For more than a century, millions of people have been inspired by this special place. Photo by National Park Service.

Happy 129th birthday, Sequoia National Park! Standing in the company of giant sequoias and looking up, what do you feel? For many, it is both a magical and dizzying experience. Established in 1890, Sequoia National Park in California was the first park created to protect a living organism. Trying to capture these magnificent trees in photos is difficult, as they can grow as tall as a 26-story building, averaging between 180 and 250 feet tall. Warning: you may be overwhelmed by the beauty of these towering trees. Photo of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks by Gourab Sabui (

Trace the coastline, enjoy a sunset or listen to the waves crash along Baker Beach, part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California. The mile-long Baker Beach is at the foot of rugged serpentine cliffs with excellent views of the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. At nearly 81,000 acres, Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the nation’s largest national park unit in an urban setting and was the most visited park in 2018. Photo by Michael Stultz (

For waterfall lovers, there’s no better place than Yosemite National Park in California. The roar of the water, the feel of the mist and a glimpse of a rainbow give us a thrill and a sense of romance. The 317-foot tall Vernal Fall is a popular destination in the park, with views from the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail. Please use caution when hiking. The trails are steep and slippery. A safe visit is a fun visit. Photo courtesy of Mark Bouldoukian.