In today’s world full of technology, stress and mod cons our adventurous spirit has gone into hiding. It can probably be found hiding under a blanket of spreadsheets and to-do-lists, the most adventurous we get is trying to cross the road during rush hour.
The 'City by the Bay', San Francisco, is a favourite with visitors to the United States. More relaxed than its Western USA neighbours Los Angeles and Las Vegas, this seaside city offers. We've compiled a list of essential things to do on your first visit to San Francisco.
This month, regular guest blogger Will Hide explores how buzzing Las Vegas can be an unlikely springboard for active adventurers...
“A little bit of this town goes a very long way,” said author and journalist Hunter S Thompson once about Las Vegas. You may or may not agree. For every person who fears and loathes the city, there’s another who just can’t get enough and goes back year after year. Even my family is divided.
The Grand Canyon sparks ideas of a vast expanse going on as far as the eye can see, barren, dry and lacking mercy in a harsh environment; yet blessed with incredible vistas and chameleon colours, which change with the rise and fall of the sun.
Travelling through red rock desert is something which brings millions of people to the Southwestern United States every year. It is truly a spectacular place to visit, and as varied as any region in the country. I don’t think I have ever run a trip through this region which didn’t leave people in awe. Until you have been here it's hard to understand just how diverse the desert can be. A complex geologic history, differences in elevation and the amazing forces of erosion have created vastly different landscapes all within a few hours of one another. We celebrate these different places by designating many of these areas as national parks and many more as state parks. These levels of protection are there to preserve these areas for generations to come.
Hidden away in the northwest corner of Yosemite National Park is one of my favorite places to visit during the busy summer months. Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is a man made lake, which fills the Hetch Hetchy Valley. The O’Shaughnessy Dam constructed between 1915 and 1922 block the Tuolumne River creating a source of drinking water via canals and aqueducts for the entire San Francisco Bay area. It also provides a passage from the parking area at Hetch Hetchy to one of the most easily accessible, yet pristine and quiet spots in the entirety of Yosemite.
Our day starts at the Grand Canyon North Rim. We’ve been staying at the lodge, enjoying the spectacular view, 5 star dining, and peace and quiet for two nights; tonight we will be staying in the heart of the Zion Canyon. As if these two parks, one in morning, and one at night weren't enough, today I have decided to stretch our day to capacity and include Bryce Canyon National Park.
Monument Valley is the heart of the Navajo Nation. In the dozens of times I have visited over the years, every single time has been an amazing experience. Of all of the destinations we visit in the desert southwest of the United States, Monument Valley is probably the one that will hold a special corner of your heart for the rest of your life. Today was a wonderful day because not only did we get to see the timeless beauty of this amazing place, but we also got a peek into an ancient culture on our guided tour of the valley with our Navajo guide, Cecil.
On most of my lodging tours I try to include an evening getting away from restaurants, and have a real American BBQ somewhere beautiful. There is a perfect opportunity at Dead Horse Point State Park to do just that.
At 35km long and 19km wide, Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the United States. It is also our second deepest lake at right around 500 meters deep. It contains enough water to provide every man, woman and child in the country with 200 liters of water a day, every day, for 5 years! That’s a lot of water.
Originally inhabited by the Washoe people, it was rediscovered by legendary western scout and mountain man Kit Carson in 1844. When the Comstock Lode of silver was discovered in nearby Virginia City, people came in droves to the area. Thankfully some of these early settlers saw the beauty of the lake and its tourism potential and set out to preserve it. Today, the environmental group Keep Tahoe Blue keeps up this vigilant watch.