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Author Topic: West-coast US - where to go?  (Read 7518 times)
slb_000
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« on: January 21, 2012, 07:47:23 AM »
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All,

I may have the chance for up to 10 days travel after a conference in LA in April, and wonder what itinerary you would suggest?  (Starting from south LA, and using a hire-car only so no off-road capability).  I am looking for landscape and scenery locations primarily, not cities.

I have previously briefly visited some of the national parks within range, including very quick visits to Joshua tree, Death Valley and Yosemite, as well as driving up the cost to San Fransisco.

Another question would be whether there are any guides to photographing this area comparable to the Martres "Photographing the Southwest" series?

Thanks,

Simon
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2012, 10:04:36 AM »
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Ten days is a lot of scope.  April is arguably the best month to travel in the desert. 

If you haven't been there, I'd seriously consider the Colorado Plateau.  Even though it has been photographed to death, it's still an amazing place to visit.
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slb_000
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« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2012, 10:41:20 AM »
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I have visited the Colorado plateau - spent three weeks this March / April on an amazing trip from Vegas to Moab and back with my family.  A return visit is certainly a possibility, I am trying to get some idea whether there is anywhere closer or better located to LA, rather than spending the time travelling forwards and back - if not, I can probably get flights which would allow a connecting flight, with the start-point moved to Las Vegas. 

(I'm still missing a good dawn over Bryce canyon - I got there two days in a row and got fog the first morning, and a blizzard the second).
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degrub
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« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2012, 10:41:46 AM »
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The high desert is an amazing place if they have a good wet winter. Flowers have exploded there several times in the past decade.
Otherwise pick your favorite or new spots - the mountain roads may still be closed that time of year. Just depends. Hwy 1 was closed around Big Sur, still is i think, due to the wash out.

For Bryce you may still get heavy weather that time of year. Not as many visitors though Smiley. There is San Diego and Baja as well to the south. There are also the mountains and canyons just north and east of LA.

Is this family or just photography ?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2012, 10:45:52 AM by degrub » Logged
slb_000
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« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2012, 11:04:30 AM »
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This one is just me - I'm looking for a mix of new places to visit, and good photography.  As its just me there's a limit to how remote or far from trailheads I can hike, due to the additional risk if anything goes wrong. 

I don't mean that I need Bryce on this trip, just that I still want to get back there sometime, although if I do go east that far I would make sure of getting a couple of mornings nearby.

Does anyone know what the winter has been like in the desert, or is it still too early to have an effect by April?

Thanks,

Simon
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JohnBrew
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« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2012, 12:58:06 PM »
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Pacific Coast Highway north. San Luis Obispo, Big Sur, Nepenthe, Monterey Peninsula, Carmel. Hope for at least one day of fog for some extra magic.
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degrub
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2012, 02:21:23 PM »
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http://www.desertusa.com/wildflo/ca.html

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=627

Middle RHS for flower status/forecast.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2012, 09:07:11 PM »
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I have visited the Colorado plateau - spent three weeks this March / April on an amazing trip from Vegas to Moab and back

Capital Reef?  Waterpocket Fold?  Kodachrome Basin? Burr Trail?
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dreed
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« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2012, 10:22:37 PM »
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I may have the chance for up to 10 days travel after a conference in LA in April, and wonder what itinerary you would suggest?  (Starting from south LA, and using a hire-car only so no off-road capability).  I am looking for landscape and scenery locations primarily, not cities.

I have previously briefly visited some of the national parks within range, including very quick visits to Joshua tree, Death Valley and Yosemite, as well as driving up the cost to San Fransisco.

You say that like visiting any of those places once is enough. It isn't.

Especially if you've only made quick visits in the past.
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Scott O.
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2012, 12:06:17 PM »
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Basically depends on how far you are willing to drive.  California is an epic place to photograph, from the redwoods in the north to San Diego in the south to the Eastern Sierras and deserts towards the east of the state.  With lots in between.  If you want to stay relatively close to LA, I agree with the suggestion you hit Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and San Francisco.  An fabulous stretch of massive beauty.  Also, keep your eye on Yosemite.  Until this weekend both the Tioga Pass Road and Glacier Point Road were still open, unheard of at this time of year.  Should the lack of snow continue there is a possibility that they will re-open before spring, allowing a once in a lifetime photo op.
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sertsa
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« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 07:05:01 PM »
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This is a great time of year to travel up the coast, and there can be vast carpets of wildflowers just over the hills from LA, keep an eye on the desertwatch site mentioned above.

Consider the Channel Islands for at least a day.  They don't seem to get a lot of press.  Not talking Catalina, but Anacapa, Santa Cruz, etc.  Take the ferry out of Ventura or Santa Barbara. The entire surface of Anacapa can be coated with flowers at that time of year.  Spend a couple nights on Santa Cruz if you have some camping gear.

I agree that if you've been any place once you haven't seen it.
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jojo1490
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« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2012, 08:14:21 PM »
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Hi I hear these are the great places to travel if you want to get good photography for landscape and scenery done and also have a great vacation.
Arizona Waterways: San Francisco River
Lower Antelope Canyon -
Photographers' Fantasyland
I hope this helps.
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janster
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 12:10:32 AM »
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Hello,

I will have the opportunity to drive from San Francisco to South Lake Tahoe with the next two days of time. Started in L.A. and drove up Coastal Highway number 1 and got some very rewarding shots and yes the road is still closed! Make sure to plan in plenty of time if you're headed north because you will have to take a 50 miles detour by the time you find out that the road is closed. But the scenery is sooo worth it Smiley

Can someone guide me to some interesting photography locations on my way South Lake Tahoe? May be someone even knows some detours that they've been to before - I have an AWD vehicle + GPS available which would allow for some (smaller) offroad sections.

I realize this is sort of a short call but I usually live in germany and really want to seize this oppurtunity. Thanks in advance.

JAN
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famalam
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2012, 06:08:30 PM »
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I'm off to California end of this month. Yosemite is a must.
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degrub
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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2012, 10:48:40 AM »
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keep close eye on the weather in the Sierra's this time of year. It can snow really heavily really quick. Last time i was there (near Truckee) we got over 2 meters overnight.

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mshea
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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2012, 09:53:37 PM »
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If you're willing to use Vegas as a jumping-off point, certainly Long Canyon, on the Burr Trail, is worth a visit. Mornings and late afternoons are best The desert varnish on the cliffs is wonderful. No work at all—the road goes right through the middle of the canyon—to bag some great shots.

April at the Coyote Buttes makes for pretty decent hiking—not oppressively hot. My experience has been that passes are always available for the South Buttes—people are primarily interested in the North Buttes (for The Wave, etc.) The Paw Hole area of the South Buttes is about an hour's uphill hike (a sandy track) from the parking area. Well worth it. The formations are just as spectacular as the North Buttes. And who knows, you might get lucky, like I was on my first try, and snag a lottery pass to North Buttes.

Merrill
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2012, 01:22:59 AM »
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Seriously, the possibilities are endless.   SoCal is unique in that you can go surfing in the morning, skiing in the afternoon, and Disneyland at night.. there is such a wide array of locations, especially in a 10 day time frame..

I'd suggest you check out some books at the library and spend a fair amount of time finding what suits you.  I grew up in that area and know it as well as I know Thailand.. so if you tell me what type of photography you most enjoy I can offer suggestions.. but there's just so much there I could lead you astray.  Everything from tidal pools, wetlands, oceans, mountains, deserts, gardens, architecture, entertainment attractions, street shooting, Chinatown, Korea Town, Little Arabia, Little Italy, and other ethnic neighborhood you'd care to shoot.  The river basin is unique, Santa Monica Pier, the coast highway (HWY1) all the way up through the redwood forest (spectacular) with San Francisco and Solvang (Dutch theme town) and other coastal cities of merit..

Properly planned you're going to have a great time!
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slb_000
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« Reply #17 on: February 26, 2012, 11:31:29 AM »
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Thanks for all the comments above - as far as I can see, about the only thing they agree on is that there is so much variety that I am spoilt for choice.

My current thinking is to try to do a circuit up the eastern side of the Sierras, aiming to go as far as Mono Lake and back, calling in at various stuff in both directions (including Death Valley, Red Rock Canyon and Joshua Tree among others).  Given luck with the weather, there would also be an option to go over the Tioga pass, and come back through Yosemite and Sequoia NP, although I may well have to book accommodation before I know if that is an option.

Given this approximate route, are there any specific suggestions for sights / locations to visit, and places I should consider to stay?

Thanks again,

Simon
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mshea
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2012, 06:08:12 PM »
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If you're into ghost towns, Bodie is a fun and fascinating place to visit. It's just north of Mono Lake, a few miles off 395. It's described as being maintained by the CA state parks dept. "in a state of arrested decay".

I imagine the Bristlecone Pine Forest in the White Mountains (east of Bishop, off Rt. 168) will still be snowed in. But who knows, with this crazy weather we've been experiencing you just might get lucky. Call the BLM office in Bishop to find out the conditions.

Merrill
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Richowens
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2012, 06:34:27 PM »
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Simon,

 Tioga Pass is closed for the winter.They got between 2 to 5 feet of snow in this current storm.

Rich
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