California Mountain Vacations and Weekend Getaways

 

 

California mountain vacations and weekend getaways offer a variety of mountain resorts throughout the state, and include features such as snow skiing, mountain biking and casino gambling..

It's hard to believe you can stand at the beach and look up to the top of the highest peak, knowing that you'll be there within 90 minutes. California is blessed with all the best, ranging from the mountains to the sea, and even the desert. The land of extremes can influence people's thinking so the rule is to thoroughly enjoy and respect mother earth in all her glory. And glorious she is in the California mountains.


From summer lake vacations to winter snow skiing, cross country and sledding, or even gambling, if you think California, you can add mountains to your list of weekend getaways and vacations, right up there with Disneyland and the beaches.


Some mountains to check include several close to L.A. Big Bear Lake offers four seasons of play and has been developed to offer activities throughout the year to lure Southern Californians away from their beaches. Included are lakes for fishing, skiing, parasailing, boat tours and bird watching. But winter turns this summer paradise into a winter wonderland. Mountain High skiing completes a year of fun for anyone who loves excitement and being outdoors.


One of California's lesser known gems are the leaves turning in the autumn in Mono County mountains. With each 1,000 feet of elevation comes a change in color, week by week as a chill sets in the air, causing the trees to turn brilliant reds, yellow, oranges, pinks and lime green. Once that spectacular season that's also popular for trout fishing ends, get ready for snow in Mammoth Mountains. The average snowfall each winter is fantastic, making for white vacations.


Idyllwild offers a mellow mountain retreat that's not too commercialized yet. Close to Los Angeles, this side of "the hill" in the San Jacinto mountain range leads to Palm Desert on the other side of the mountain. Idyllwild features arts, education and pure relaxing in wonderful vacation cabins.


South Lake Tahoe is everything you could want in mountain retreat vacations for weekend getaways. You can fly into Reno and catch a bus from the airport right up to your hotel room. How cool is that? It's awesome. Heavenly ski slopes overlooking Lake Tahoe in a winter snow scene that's crisp and clean. Ski by day, gamble and go to adult entertainment at Nevada Stateline right next to your hotel room.  It's so convenient, it ranks up there among the most user-friendly vacations you'll find at California mountain resorts.


For a spiritual trip (all the California mountains offer connections with nature,) check out Yosemite National Park. It's one of the most breath-taking , "wow" vacations you can ever experience.  Ansel Adams immortalized aspects of the beautiful scenery but even this famous photographer could not capture what's in store for you. Believe it or not, it is one of the few mountains accessible by Amtrak train. There are some transfers and eventually you'll ride a connection bus up to the hotels, but it leaves the driving to someone else so you can spend more time gawking at the rock formations that reach to the heavens.


For the weekend mountain getaway that is exceptional, try a visit to Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Parks--two parks in one, really. While the were founded at separate times, they are connected, allow one entry fee to access, and are operated by the same unit of the national parks system. What is in it for you on a weekend getaway? Well, from L.A. or S.F. you'll arrive in six hours by car (approx.), and be able to see the world's biggest trees--four of them in all! General Sherman is tops, General Grant is the nation's Christmas tree and ranks next, and they are merely a sampling of the splendor of the Sierra Nevada mountains and forests over 7,000 feet in elevation. Looking rather small compared to the mountain peaks you see from this height, you can view Mt. Whitney, over 14,000 feet tall, ranking as the tallest mountain range in the contiguous U.S.


And we nearly forgot about a treasure that's on the road outside of Redding just an hour or two by car. Lassen Volcanic National Park is unbelievable. One of the most pristine parks in the national parks system has a mandate to keep the park in its natural state.  With a map, you'll see geologic formations carrying you through time from volcanic eruptions with evidence of lava flows, to actual plug domes. Some areas are closed during the winter, but when summer comes and the snow melts, you gotta run and go see it while it's open.


So if you think California is just a bunch of sandy beaches and dunes we talk about in over 70% of our web site, don't be swept away by the hype. The real action is the mountains where you'll suddenly realize how beautiful California is, and what a short little blip on the screen we humans are in comparison to these mountains that actually talk, just by their shapes and character lines. You just need to take a weekend to explore, or a midweek vacation, or getaway for as long as you can afford and see the areas of California that aren't so crowded. If you ever deserved a break, the California mountains offer some of the most scenic drives and escapes on the planet.



 

 
 


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