Category Archives: Sierra Nevada

Bucket list suggestions for your 2019 California travels

Wildflowers surround an old windmill near the entrance to Carrizo Plain National Momument, just a few hours south on Interstate 5 from San Joaquin County.

Back road’s discovery; Cosumnes River Preserve just north of Thornton and Lodi. Atlas Obscura is a fine guide to weird and wacky treasures both in California and much beyond. Wildflowers surround an old windmill near the entrance to Carrizo Plain National Monument, just a few hours south on Interstate 5 from San Joaquin County. Discover [...]

Also posted in Central California, Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Southern California, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Leave a comment

California dreamin’… warm weather touring in Death Valley, Anza Borrego

Bighorn sheep, high above Anzo Borrego SP.

Harmony Borax Works old water tanker and borax wagons in Death Valley. The old Rhyolite railroad station stands sentinel over this large ghost town. Sand dunes and knarly trees grace a portion of Death Valley National Park. Bighorn sheep, high above Anzo Borrego SP. Spindly Ocotillo plant in bloom, following light rain. California Fan Palm [...]

Also posted in Southern California | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Dodge Ridge, Tuolumne County prepare for coming winter!

Skier enjoys deep powder in the Sonora Glades of Dodge Ridge Resort Family enjoys a groomed run with spectacular view in Boulder Creek Canyon. Kids pan for gold, including grandson Hunter Blomgren (center), at Columbia State Historic Park The old roundhouse and turntable at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park Engine #3 from the Railtown 1897 [...]

Also posted in Central California, Northern California | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yosemite National Park and Lake Tahoe; winter touring in Northern California

Vernal Falls in Yosemite, taken last January; again, no snow in a drought year.

Cross country skiers on road to Glacier Park, usually snowed in from December to March (photo courtesy National Park Service). Our Scotty in front of Yosemite Falls last January; note, no snow in the valley. The Truckee Hotel is just north of Squaw Valley; and provides overnight accomodations. Rangers lead a snowshoe tour along Lake [...]

Also posted in Central California, Northern California | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Best road trips for Fall color in Northern California and the Central Sierra

Aspens turn bright yellow, dusted by light snow, near Ebbett's Pass on Hwy. 4.

Sierra mountainside is alive with yellows and oranges, off Hwy. 88. Ironstone Vineyards, just above Murphys, offer yellows, ochres and reds during the fall. Aspens turn bright yellow, dusted by light snow, near Ebbett’s Pass on Hwy. 4. Oranges and reds dot this Sierra mountainside near Tuolumne Pass. Plan a road trip for best Fall [...]

Also posted in Central California, Northern California, Stockton/San Joaquin County | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shenandoah Valley wineries, gold rush history make Sierra foothills the place to visit!

View of Shenandoah Valley vineyards from Karmere Winery.

Our out-of-town guests Janet and Patricia sample wines at Karmere Winery’s tasting room, done in French chateau style. Band entertains at Helwig Winery in the Shenandoah Valley. Fiddletown’s Community Center features a giant fiddle over the doorway. The old Imperial Hotel in Amador City also boasts a fine restaurant. Old Wells Fargo stagecoach thunders down [...]

Also posted in Central California, Northern California | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Upgrading from tent or car-camping to a new or classic travel trailer

Author's '64 Serro Scotty trailer with Yosemite Falls in background.

A sleek Casita trailer, at Bryce Canyon National Park. A-liner Ranger trailer, a hard-sided pop-up, at Death Valley National Park. Classy old Shasta trailer, shot at Fallen Leaf Lake, CA. Vintage Airstream trailer and its equally classy tow vehicle, Fallen Leaf Lake, near South Lake Tahoe. Author’s ’64 Serro Scotty trailer with Yosemite Falls in [...]

Also posted in Central California, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Northern California, Sacramento/Capitol region, Stockton/San Joaquin County, Teardrop and tiny travel trailers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Five cool places to beat summer’s heat, close to home!

Pinecrest Lake, just off Hwy. 108, attracts big summer crowds to its cooling waters.

Caples Lake, near Kirkwood on Hwy. 88, is a favorite fishing and camping destination. Pinecrest Lake, just off Hwy. 108, attracts big summer crowds to its cooling waters. Big Sur’s Bixby Bridge dates to 1937 and allows access to the rugged coast. Five cool places to beat summer’s heat, close to Stockton and San Joaquin [...]

Also posted in Central California, Northern California | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Big trees, gold rush towns, summertime resorts and high alpine lakes – it’s Highway 4 in the high Sierra!

Lake Alpine is a high Sierra gem, just above Bear Valley Resort on Hwy. 4.

Lake Alpine is a high Sierra gem, just above Bear Valley Resort on Hwy. 4. Huge redwood trees reach over 250 feet tall in Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Historic Murphys Hotel anchors quaint Main Street in downtown Murphys, CA. Find big trees, gold rush towns, summertime resorts and high alpine lakes – take Highway [...]

Also posted in Central California, Northern California | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frugal travel across the US, Canada, the world: Affordable Travel Club and Evergreen Club

The Elk River and Canadian Rockies were just north and east of the Marchant's home in British Columbia.

David and Nancy Marchant, of Baynes Lake, British Columbia, were our first Affordable Travel Club hosts. Judy and Ward Lowrance, who introduced us to the Affordable Travel Club and invited us to split a house-sitting assignment in Seattle. A natural bridge slowly forms in Zion National Park, our destination in a week or so! Frugal [...]

Also posted in Alaska, Canada, Eastern, Canada, Western, Central California, East Coast US, Europe, Hawaii, Midwest US, Mountain West (Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado), Northern California, Pacific Northwest USA (Oregon, Washington, Idaho), Sacramento/Capitol region, San Francisco Bay Area, Southeast US, Southern California, Southwest USA (Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas), Stockton/San Joaquin County, United States beyond! | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment
  • Blog Authors

    Tim Viall

    Viall is a local travel writer who retired in 2012 after 10 years as executive director of Stockton, CA's, Emergency Food Bank and six years with the Downtown Stockton Alliance. Previously, a 21-year career in daily newspapers helped shape his ... Read Full
  • Categories

  • Archives