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Tahoe National Forest | Travel (128/556)

Tahoe National Forest | Travel (128/556) | Alaina Ann Photography Tahoe National Forest was a lovely precursor to arriving in Lake Tahoe, California. The sky was mostly covered in wildfire smoke, creating a white backdrop as I drove between the large pines.

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Boca Historic Townsite - an interpretive trail takes you through the once historic town.
  2. Calpine Lookout - a restored lookout station, available for rent, offers a unique overnight stay in the national forest.
  3. Frazier Falls - an easy half mile hike (each way) takes you over a wooden bridge, above a creek, to a peaceful view of the 176 foot falls.
  4. Highway 49 - this scenic road takes you along the North Yuba River and many quaint gold rush towns.
  5. Placer Big Trees - a grove of Giant Sequoias overlooking the Middle Fork American River.

What are some of your favorite spots in Tahoe National Forest?

Lassen Volcanic National Park | Travel (127/556)

Lassen Volcanic National Park | Travel (127/556) | Alaina Ann Photography Driving through Northern California, I was unsure what to expect upon arriving at Lassen Volcanic National Park. This was my first view, walking up to the edge of Manzanita Lake. Smoke from nearby wildfires drifted in throughout my stay and kept hiking mileage to a minimum.

Lassen Volcanic National Park | Travel (127/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Devils Kitchen Trail - a little over four miles, this moderate hike goes by mudpots, streams, two lakes and, of course, through the Devils Kitchen hydrothermal area.
  2. Lassen Peak Trail - this strenuous, five mile trail to the summit will take between four and five hours to complete.
  3. Lassen Volcanic National Park Highway - a beautiful, diverse 30-mile road through the park.
  4. Mill Creek Falls Trail - another moderate trail, a little over 3 miles in length, sits at a lower elevation and is easily accessible. A beautiful waterfall is visible during the spring and summer months.
  5. Stargazing - the sky is dark and the Milky Way is visible from this open, beautiful park. There are Dark Sky Festivals during the summer.

Have you ever been to Lassen Volcanic National Park?

Lassen Volcanic National Park | Travel (127/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Lassen Volcanic National Park | Travel (127/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Lassen Volcanic National Park | Travel (127/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Lassen Volcanic National Park | Travel (127/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Lassen Volcanic National Park | Travel (127/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Lassen Volcanic National Park | Travel (127/556) | Alaina Ann Photography

Lassen National Forest | Travel (126/556)

Lassen National Forest | Travel (126/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) Smoke filled the air from nearby wildfires as I drove through Lassen National Forest. California was dry and burning in many areas during this road trip. Unfortunately, I have asthma, limiting my hiking in the smokiest stops (including this one).

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Dow Butte Lookout - formerly a fire lookout, this area is now open to the public.
  2. Hat Creek Rim Overlook - this overlook offers beautiful views of the Hat Creek Valley. There's also easy access to the Pacific Crest Trail.
  3. Heart Lake Trail - this three mile hike rewards you with a mountain lake, after hiking along South Digger Creek.
  4. Spencer Meadow - a six mile trail providing access to Spencer Meadow. Also a National Recreation Trail.
  5. Subway Cave - this lava tube allows for underground exploring on a short, 1/3 mile long trail.

What are your favorite hikes and places to explore in Lassen National Forest?

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area | Travel (125/556)

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area | Travel (125/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6) After days of driving through extremely dry conditions, entering Whiskeytown National Recreation Area offered the water-filled views I had been craving. By no means was the area void of drought conditions. The park simply offered a glimpse into a more wet and lush environment.

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area | Travel (125/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)

Top Five Hikes + Places to Explore
  1. Brandy Creek Falls Trail - this moderate 3 mile hike takes you to the cascading Brandy Creek Falls.
  2. James K. Carr Trail - a 3.4 mile hike to Whiskeytown Falls, a 220 foot waterfall.
  3. Kanaka Peak Trail - a more difficult 7 mile hike to Kanaka Peak.
  4. Salt Creek Loop Trail - a short and easy 1.8 mile hike along an old mining wagon road.
  5. Whiskeytown Lake - enjoy 36 miles of shoreline and ample water activities.

Tell me all about your favorite hikes and places to explore in Whiskeytown National Recreation Area!

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area | Travel (125/556) | Alaina Ann Photography (iPhone 6)