The California desert offers millions of acres of amazing things to see and do. With so much to choose from, where does a person start? We've got eleven ideas here. Did we miss your favorite spot? Let us know.
A Christmas day incident has led to the closure of Jackson Lake for the first three months of 2013. Angeles National Forest officials said that several visitors fell through the ice -- luckily all made it out safely.
The closure forbids visitors from "going into or being upon" the lake through March 31, according to the order signed by Acting Forest Supervisor Rachel A. Birkey. Violating it can mean a fine of up to $5,000 and/or six months in jail.
Can a slight name change draw more visitors to a park? That's what supporters of a bill just approved by the U.S. Senate are saying. On Sunday, the upper house sent name-changing legislation to the President's desk for Pinnacles National Monument, a unit already part of the National Park Service, to become Pinnacles National Park.
Growing up outside Chicago always meant fall seasons full of vibrant color, but when I moved to Southern California, that Midwest robustness just wasn't there (plus: jumping into piles of leaves are a lot more fun than ones of palm fronds dropped by Santa Ana winds). And while there was some color on imported trees like the fall-intensive Chinese Pistache, that wonder of walking down a street dotted with yellow, orange, and red was lost -- or so I thought.
With heavy storms that hit Northern California last weekend, snow has prompted the annual official closing of two major roads in Yosemite National Park, officials announced this afternoon. It's "official" because the roads have been temporarily closed off and on as snow came and went this fall; now with five and a half feet in Tuolumne Meadows, they're closed until spring.
Tioga Road, the only eastern vehicular entrance into the park, and Glacier Point Road, which leads to the majestic view its namesake artery references, will remain closed until warmer temperatures melt snow away. Traditionally, they reopen around Memorial Day weekend.
Elsewhere in the country, people who love camping have to either wait out the long winter months or contend with snow and sub-freezing temperatures. But those of us in or near the California deserts are lucky: we can engage in our favorite pastime year-round. The desert offers winter climates ranging from invigoratingly brisk to just plain warm, and with a little planning you can camp just as comfortably in January as you can in May. Here are some of our favorite places for desert winter camping, ranging from primitive unmarked sites with no amenities whatsoever to campgrounds with hookups and vending machines.
The tech press has been buzzing for the past couple of weeks over the flaws in Apple's new Maps app, and the blowback has been so embarrassing that Apple has issued a formal apology, and encouraged its customers to try other products instead.
In the context of tech reporting, this is an embarrassing faux pas to which Apple seems to be responding appropriately, and it's likely that significant improvements will be coming in the app in due time. For those of us who regularly try to find our way around the California desert, however, the flaws in the iOS 6 Maps app could well prove extremely dangerous.
For several years now, Steven Bumgardner has been producing "Yosemite Nature Notes," a video series that takes one aspect of Yosemite National Park and dives in for a short documentary. Late last month he launched his 19th episode, an awe-inspiring look at the night sky.
"It's been really satisfying," he said when reached by phone last week. And it should be: it took three patient summers of shooting, a total of 30 nights, including a half dozen star parties at Glacier Point atop Yosemite Valley. "Go an entire night; if you're lucky, you only get one or two shots."