5 MUST SEE, DO
» The Wild, Wild West
Bodie, possibly the Old West’s most notorious mining town, now exists in a state of “arrested decay” on a high, windswept plain northeast of Yosemite. It’s one of America’s most extensive ghost towns.
» Mountain Light
The late adventure photographer Galen Rowell was the Ansel Adams of the Kodachrome era. Stop by his Mountain Light gallery in Bishop to see mountain images both iconic and unusual.
» Climbing Half Dome
The hardest part of hiking to the top of Yosemite’s Half Dome might not be the mile of elevation gain or the vertiginous metal cables covering the last 400 feet: It’s scoring the coveted, mandatory permit. Only 300 per day are given out, and they’re issued via an online lottery.
» Biggest Tree
Tree-huggers, don’t bother trying to wrap your arms around the General Sherman Tree in Sequoia National Park. With a circumference of 102 feet, the giant sequoia is the largest known tree on the planet. While not quite as tall as its coastal cousins, its staggering girth more than makes up for it.
» Long Live Mono Lake
Set in a brooding, volcanic, Tolkienesque landscape, Mono Lake is one of the most otherworldly sights in California, with spiky tufa towers rising out of an alkaline lake. Explore it by kayak or canoe, or take a guided naturalist walk along the shoreline.