Strolling through the outdoors, breathing the fresh air, walking through the exceptional beauty of California National parks is probably the greatest alternative for everyone, fearing the COVID-19. A healthy dose of social distancing, exploring hiking trails, and attractions is beneficial for the soul and body after months of stay at home orders.
Although for the time being, foreign travelers cannot come to the United States, with the slow opening of many countries and states in the U.S., hopefully, we will soon be able to visit.
California landscape is diverse with stunning coastline, Sierra Nevada mountains, broad valleys, and deserts. It is also home for 9 National parks, and many protected natural areas. Here are top California natural attractions to visit after the COVID-19 restrictions are lift off.
Yosemite parkland stretches over 1100 square miles in the northwest part of California. Four thousand feet high granite cliffs around picturesque Yosemite Valley offer incredible natural beauty. Glaciers formed the valley. Clear and cold Merce river flows through the park, while few impossible waterfalls make a visit more exciting. Yosemite is a home of many wild animals. You could spot a black bear or coyote. During the summer, you could float on the raft on Merced River. Other attractions include El Capitan, a formidable granite rock that stands 2000 feet tall above the valley, and Yosemite Falls with a height of 2,425, it is among the tallest in the USA. Half Dome is a 5000 feet high rock overlooking the valley and a mission for many hikers because of the stunning view. You can find more than 500 mature giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove area in the south side of the park.
This desolated and rugged area is the biggest park that is not in Alaska. With 3.3 million acres, Death Valley consists of dunes, canyons, and the mountainous regions. It is known for its lowest point, 86 meters below sea level. At the same time, the Telescope Peak is 11,049 feet high, so the whole area is filled with contrast. Death Valley is home for Ubehebe crater, an old inactive volcano. You can walk a boardwalk trail over Salt Creek with remaining wildlife preserved from the lake that once stood in the valley. Dunes cover a small portion of the park but are still stunning and up to 100 feet tall. Mosaic Canyons offer hike between smooth marble walls and narrow passes. At the same time, Zabriskie Point is the most famous viewpoint, popular for sunrise and sunset photographers.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon
The park is situated around 75 miles north of Yosemite. Besides huge trees, this park has the highest peak in the country that is not in Alaska. Mount Whitney stands 14,494 feet tall, while Kings River Canyon is among the deepest canyons in this part of the World. The Giant Forrest has more than 8000 enormous sequoias and its where you can find the tallest tree on Earth. A giant sequoia General Sherman is 2100 years old, 275 feet high, and weighs more than 2,7 million pounds. If you are not into hiking, there is a great scenic byway above Kings Canyon that goes through Sequoia National Forest and goes all the way to the Cedar Grove part of the park.
If you look at Coronavirus USA Live Map, you could see California was among five states that were hit hardest by the virus. The number of cases is high, but the response was also significant, and the death rate was not as high. For now, California parks are closed, but we hope this will change soon. Besides our highlighted parks, the State has Joshua Tree, Redwood, Channel Island, Pinnacles, Lassen Volcanic national park, and Point Reyes National Seashore.
To get to California, you will have to fill out ESTA form. The best advice is to start with the online documentation before you buy any tickets. The electronic system works as an automated online system. The purpose is to determine which tourists or visitors can come to the U.S. You will need to disclose biographic info and answer the Visa Waiver Program eligibility question. Currently, ESTA is not taking new applications due to travel restrictions caused by COVID-19. An alternative path to VWA program goes through a visa application.
California is large, and diverse. From Los Angeles, it is the film industry and Los Angeles Lakers, through Silicon Valley and San Francisco in the northern part. Picturesque valleys are a winemaking country. It is also a place of incredible nature with nine stunning national parks. Outdoor activities can offer soul food and relax after months in confined spaces. For those who are afraid of contracting the virus, it is harder to get it while walking in the foothill of the Sierra Nevada mountains.