Red Rock Canyon | KCET
Red Rock Canyon
Located just of highway 14, Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs, buttes and spectacular rock formations. The park is not only rich in natural beauty, but has a deep human history as well. From the native Kawaiisu Indians, who left petroglyphs, to the 1880s 20-mule team freight wagons that stopped for water. There are also the remains of 1890s-era mining operations, and the area has been the site for a number of movies.
Huell tours the Victorian residence in Martinez where the naturalist John Muir lived from 1890 to his death in 1914, and meets the special folks who are responsible for preserving this important site. While living there, Muir laid the foundations for the creation of the National Park Service in 1916.
The Trona Pinnacles are one of the most unusual geological features in California. The unusual landscape consists of more than 500 tufa spires, some as high as 140 feet rising from a dry lake bed. The Pinnacles have been used as a backdrop fort hundreds of movies and TV shows.
Huell also visits Fossil Falls and Little Lake in the Owens Valley.
Rescued from future development and a history of oil drilling, the 42-acre Madrona Marsh Nature Preserve in Torrance is one of the last remaining vernal marshes in Southern California. The non-profit, volunteer organization Friends of the Madrona Marsh fought vigorously throughout the '70s and '80s to save this delicate natural habitat. Although Huell's visit shows us a great success story, he also learns that the restoration is ongoing.
Huell travels to the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in the East Bay. It was once a thriving coal and sand mining area, and is now a great place to bike and hike while taking in the beautiful landscape filled with blue oaks, manzanitas and carpets of springtime flowers. Huell also stops by the Underground Mining Museum and also hikes to the remains of the mines.
Huell meets up with Harry Medved, author of "Hollywood Escapes," a book about movie locations in California. Harry tells Huell all about the long history of Leo Carrillo State Beach, and why it is probably the most filmed beach in the world.
Huell visits the Whitewater Preserve located just off the 10 freeway near Palm Springs. This amazing oasis contains 2,851 acres surrounded by the Bureau of Land Management San Gorgonio Wilderness and is part of the Wildlands Conservancy’s 33,000-acre Sand to Snow Preserve System. Included is and old trout farm and lodge that have been transformed into a visitor facility. There is also a picnic area, group campground, and a trailhead that is only a half-mile from the Pacific Crest Trail in the San Gorgonio Wilderness.