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Monday, February 6, 2012

Klamath Circle of Parks

Klamath Region Circle of Parks, Northern California and Southern Oregon
(clockwise from top right: Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA; Crater Lake National Park, OR; Oregon Caves National Monument, OR; Redwood National Park, CA

The Circle of Parks in the Klamath Region of Northern California and Southern Oregon includes some of America's natural wonders. In addition to the parks mentioned in the above picture, the Circle of Park also includes the Lava Beds National Monument and Whiskeytown National Recreation Area. Redwood and Lassen are worth staying for a week, but because of limited time and so many places to see, we decided to make the most of our trip by seeing several parks in 9 days trip.
The nearest park in the list from San Diego is Lassen Volcanic National Park. However, it is a 10.5 hour drive, thus, instead of driving directly to Lassen Volcanic, we decided to stop first at Monterey to avoid the long drive in one day both in going to and coming back from the Klamath Region Circle of Parks. 
Day 1 of Trip @ Big Sur, CA
( clockwise from top right: Elephant Seals, Point Piedras Blancas; McWay Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park; North Cove; Point Lobos State Reserve; Cypress Grove, Point Lobos State Reserve)


My favorite part in driving to Monterey is passing Big Sur. Even though Big Sur is not a National Park, but it definitely is one of my favorite places in California. 

2nd day, from Monterey we drove to Lassen Volcanic National Park. On our way to Lassen Vocanic, we passed by farms after farms, and there was one farm that inspired us to stop.
Day 2: Sunflower Farm, somewhere in Sacramento Valley on the way to Lassen Volcanic


There were just acres and acres of sunflower fields as we were driving the road. Our world was filled with unbelievably yellow. 
Around 2:00 pm, we reached Lassen Volcanic National Park and experienced the ancient battle between earth's shaping forces of creation and destruction.


Day 2: Bumpass Hell, Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA
( clockwise from top right: Big Boiler, Turquoise Steaming Pool, Cold Emerald Pool, Snowy Trail to Bumpass Hell )
As we have learned, there are other geothermal features in Lassen Volcanic that really caught our interest, however, because of time and physical constraints, we could not make them. 

3rd day, we explored the rest of the Southern part of Lassen Volcanic National Park. 
Day 3: Exploring Lassen Volcanic National Park
( clockwise from top right: attempt to hike Lassen Peak, Lake Helen, Steam Vents and Wildflowers at Sulphur Works, Exposed Colored Earth )

4th day, From Lassen Volcanic, we moved North to Mt Shasta, enjoying several parks along the way. 
Day 4: North Region of Lassen Volcanic to Mt Shasta
( clockwise from top right: Mountain Cascades @ Lassen; The Face of Mt Lassen; Manzanita Lake; Subway Cave, a lava tube cave )

Our first major stop was at Manzanita Lake, in the Northern part of Lassen Volcanic National Park.
Lassen Peak and its Reflection on Manzanita Lake, Lassen Volcanic National Park

After taking in the calming beauty of Manzanita Lake, we continued proceeding North and stopped at Subway Cave ( a lava tube cave, in day 4 picture above ) in the Lassen National Forest. After Subway Cave, we continued North to Burney Falls State Park.
Burney Falls State Park, CA
( can you find me here? )


Burney Falls is not the tallest nor the widest waterfall in California, but definitely, the most unique waterfall I have ever seen. Most of the waterfalls I saw were the result of a drop off from a running stream, whereas Burney Falls is a combination of drop off and spring water that comes out from the rocks. Around this area, you will see a lot of rocks where spring water comes out. We spent some time here enjoying the water, the sound of the waterfall, and also, tasting the spring water. 
Mt Shasta, CA


After we were done with Burney Falls, we continued North to Mt Shasta area.

5th day, we drove North from Mt Shasta, CA to Crater Lake National Park, OR. 
Day 5: Crater Lake National Park, OR

We reached Crater Lake before lunch, so we had time for shopping ( souvenir ), a real good lunch at the hotel, and photographing. 
" Crater Lake combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs, almost 2,000 ft high; two picturesque islands; and a volcanic past that can not be seen nowhere on Earth." http://www.nps.gov/crla
Sheer Colored Cliffs and Reflection, Crater Lake National Park, OR

The deep blue color of the lake is due to its depth, absorbing all colors and reflecting only blue. As I gazed into its deep blue color, I know I don't have to hunt for more blue pictures for Zen :) . About an hour after lunch, we hiked down to the lake shore to experience the deep blue lake really up close. The hike was probably the most unforgiving trail I ever took because of the mosquitoes :( I guess, California dry weather free from mosquitoes spoiled me a lot and caught me unprepared from all the unforgiving mosquito bites :(  


6th day, from Crater Lake, we headed South to Redwood National Park, CA but stopping along the way at Oregon Caves National Monument. 
Day 6: Oregon Caves National Monument (top), Redwood National and State Parks, CA ( bottom )

Redwood National and State Parks is a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve protecting resources cherished by citizens of different nations. The park is the home of the world's tallest trees and also of some of the oldest living things on Earth.
Having Fun in the Midst of Redwood Forest

Redwoods can reach up to 379 ft high, almost 6 stories higher than the Statue of Liberty. But Redwood National and State Parks is not just about redwoods alone, being right next to the Pacific Ocean, the park offers a lot of outdoor activities other than hiking and river rafting.
 The Life @ Sea, Redwood National and State Parks, CA

The park also offers a great site for marine mammal watching ( saw some seals and sea lions on shore) such as whales, seals and dolphins, tidepooling (we got there at low tide and enjoyed the tidepool, above picture ), and it hosts a lot of wildflowers and other plant species. It also is an estuary for salmon, and sea birds. Elks abound in its meadows as well, really a nice place for wildlife watching. 


7th day, we explored further what Redwood National and State Parks offer, and then left the park and drove South to Mendocino. 




Day 7: Exploring Redwood National and State Parks
( clockwise from top left: Elks, Blue Jay, Wild Raspberry, Klamath Cove )


We took the Coastal Drive and Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway, did little hiking in the Tall Trees grove and in Big Tree. Then, we took a relaxing hike at Fern Canyon, 
Fern Canyon, Redwood National and State Parks, CA


one of the amazing beauties from nature I found. The canyon has 30 ft walls, dripping wet and full of ferns. This site had been used in Jurassic Park movie series. After Fern Canyon, we left Redwood National and State Parks and drove South to Mendocino taking the Avenue of the Giants.

8th day, we left Mendocino for Monterey, our final stop before finally heading back to San Diego.
  8th Day: Drive from Mendocino to Monterey
( clockwise from top left: Big River Lagoon, Mendocino; Navarro River Redwoods State Park; Sea Lions @ Pier 39, San Francisco; The Golden Gate Bridge)


Actually, we were supposed to take Highway 1 from Mendocino, stopping at Point Reyes National Seashore before proceeding to Monterey, however, we took the wrong turn, and we ended up driving 101 instead of 1, and we ended up arriving in San Francisco early enough which was not part of the plan. We walked around and enjoyed downtown San Francisco before finally heading to Monterey for the night.


9th day,  we're not getting enough of the ocean probably, since the water was too cold for diving and exploring, we started our day making a visit to Monterey Aquarium before heading back to San Diego.
9th Day: Monterey to Home
( clockwise from top left: Khai photographing the jelly fish at Monterey Aquarium, Jelly Fish, Me enjoying the wildflower filled trail at Big Sur, Big Sur from Nepenthe Restaurant )


Luck was on our side during the trip, since when we left San Diego, the sky was so gray and drizzling, when we arrived, it was also drizzling. Yet, during our trip, we had blue skies in Lassen Volcanic and Crater Lake, places which usually gets more rain than Southern California :) 
Hope you enjoyed taking a trip with us.
- Betchai

13 comments:

  1. oh! betchai, the sunflower farm is feast to the eye.oh! and the manzanita lake and the other two lakes are so calming. and oh! the bumpass hell and its geothermal features, i can almost feel the steam!!

    thank's bethchai for letting me experienced the great outdoors thru your lenses!

    simply amazing!!!

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  2. I sure did enjoy living through your wonderful journey, and incredible pictures. I was at Monterey Aquarium in December, 09!

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  3. Kimchai! I love the photo of you "Having Fun in the Midst of Redwood Forest"- he he
    and of course everything with blue!
    Crater Lake National Park, OR
    is so bluetiful!
    in the "Sheer Colored Cliffs and Reflection, Crater Lake National Park, OR"- the color blue glistens so amazingly!

    all the photos are actually sooooooo beautiful!...i have to mention the Fern Canyon, Redwood National and State Parks, CA
    ....so alive in green!

    I love everything! thank you again for sharing your joys with us!

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  4. i've enjoyed every fraction of a second spent with your trip, betchai! i'll never get tired of expressing my deepest gratitude for never failing to share your God-given gifts with us... you were right when you said, God knows you better than you do. you might not have the same gifts we have which i need not mention but you have a remarkable gift we always dream to have...

    btw, can you teach me how to group photos? hehehe! ikaw lagi teacher ko pagdating sa mga ganyang bagay. take your time to respond, busy din naman beauty ko silip-silip lang dito. thanks in advance! :)

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  5. thanks a lot Eng, Icy, Zen and Cher.

    @ Cher, all I did was reduced the size of each photo in paint to a very small one which would be good enough to group them into 4. Then, I open another paint window, then, copy and paste the small pictures to the new paint window (see to it that it has bigger working space, more than 4x the size of your reduced pics). If there are empty space left (white space) after pasting the 4 pictures, I highlight the 4 pictures ( using the select menu, yung broken square na symbol second from the top left) and crop it so that no white space will appear.

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  6. betchai, you definitely passed by our area! all photos are enticing! great shots, great adventure!

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  7. thanks a lot Ayie, sorry I missed the opportunity to have some of your delicious cheesecake :)

    You're welcome Cher, hope it is easy enough to group pictures :)

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  8. Betchai... I been back and forth to your post for days now. I have to look at it one by one and enjoy every piece of information and the photos. Traveling and photos are also my enjoyment, but I do not have the luxury of time right now to do it. I can't wait for the time to face-to-face see these places - I will definitely use this post when I do my travel plans. For now i will enjoy all these amazing pictures and continue on dreaming to visit some of these places some day.

    I can't believe how many places you visited in so little time. Hayyyy Betchai I am sooooo jealous !

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  9. Bethchai again well done dear! ;)

    i love all of your pictures Beth, specially the Bumpass Hell it reminds me of Volcano Solfatara ;) but there's no snow there, thank you again Beth for sharing us your travel adventures! i wish someday i could visit those places too ;)

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  10. hello Chay and Car, thanks a lot.

    @ Chay, did not know me reply ka pala dito, minsan hindi ko run ma-tsi-tsek yung mga comments. Sige Chay, when you make this trip some time, let me know, I can have some better changes for this one and can give you alternatives which you prefer :) may ready ka na na itinerary :)

    @ Car, thanks so much. I have not been to Volcano Solfatara, am sure it is steaming with adventure too :)

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  11. ay! dapat na yan mailimbag para maibenta na ang kakodakan na yan ni kimchai. super ganda!

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  12. hi betchai. my husband and i are planning a trip to Klamath Circle of Parks and we came across your pictures. they are beautiful. i was wondering what time of year you visited and also if you happen to know the name of that sunflower farm? we would love to visit the farm during our trip.

    happy new year!

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