Author Archives: Naoise Golden

Things to do in Yosemite

Yosemite Valley View - photo by BigFrank

Yosemite Valley View - photo by BigFrank

Yosemite packs in so much jaw-dropping beauty that it makes even Switzerland look like God’s practice run. In America’s third largest park, the heights are dizzying, the mist from the falls drenching, and the majestic silhouettes of El Capitan and Half Dome striking against the crisp blue sky.

Lonely Planet

Temperature in August: max 32ºC (90ºF) – min 12ºC (53ºF)

Meadow-carpeted Yosemite Valley is 7 miles (11.2 km) long (…) hemmed in by some of the most spectacular chunks of granite Nature has wrought anywhere on earth. The most famous are the monumental El Capitán (7569 ft – 2,3 km) and Half Dome (8842 ft – 2,69 km). (…) You’ll have great views of both from Valley View on the valley floor, but for the classic foto head up Hwy 41 to Tunnel View.

Yosemite Falls is considered the tallest in North America, droppin 2425 ft – 739 m in three tiers.

Any aspiring Ansel Adams should lug their camera gear along the 1-mile paved trail to Mirror Lake early or late in the day to catch the ever-shifting reflection of Half Dome in the still waters. The lake all but dries up by late summer.

(In Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias) the star of the show is the Grizzly Giant, a behemoth that sprang some 2700 years ago. You should arrive early in the morning or after 6pm.

California, Lonely Planet.

Things to do in Yosemite

  • Hike the Half Dome Trail (for example), one of the most spectacular trails in the world (27.4 km round-trip) and/or the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias Trail (6 mi / 9.6 km round-trip).
  • Horseback riding. There are two-hour ($59), half-day ($79) and full-day ($119) trail rides. Custom guided trips are also available.
  • Overnight backpacking trips to truly live nature.
  • Be careful with bears.


Things to do in Death Valley

Death Valley Sailing Stone

Death Valley Sailing Stone

Death Valley is the lowest, driest and hottest valley in the United States. It is the location of the lowest elevation in North America at 85.5 m (281 ft) below sea level. It holds the record highest temperature in Western hemisphere and world’s second highest…


… and we are going in the hottest month of the year: August, average max of 46ºC and min of 29ºC. Let’s stay the night there, what a great idea! Remember that most RV rentals don’t insure you if you go through Death Valley. The actual hottest place in the world is El Azizia, Libya.

2008 marks the 75th anniversary of the National Park Service in Death Valley. For years people bring their tents and watch the glorious sunsets and the spectacular starry skies from the desert. There are many campgrounds, download the Visitor Guide (PDF) for more info and safety recomendations.

RV information:

  • RV Hookups are available only at the concession-run Stovepipe Well RV Park and the privately owned Furnace Creek Ranch Resort and Panamint Springs Resort.
  • On the rest of campgrounds: Only one RV per campsite. Generator hours are from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

As in all National Parks, a $20 fee per vehicle has to be paid. Since we will be going at least to Grand Canyon, Death Valley and Yosemite, we can consider buying the National Parks Pass for $80 one year worth.

Things to do in Death Valley

  • Dye. Of heat, dehydratation, rattlesnake byte
  • Break down the RV with no insurance.
  • Camp and enjoy the beauty and loneliness of the desert at night. Stargaze.
  • Watch desert wildlife: kangaroo rats, coyotes, sidewinder rattlesnakes, tarantula, scorpions, black widow spiders…
  • Hike through the hottest spot in the world at that hour, see desert landscapes such as Devil’s Golf Course, Zabriskie Point, Racetrack Playa, Eureka Sand Dunes, Badwater, and many many more…
  • Go to Scotty’s Castle ($11, lame IMAO)


Things to do in Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon can be an utterly transcendent experience even for those who never delve beyond the scenic viewpoints. The immensity of the canyon’s scale, the intensity of its colors, and the shadows at sunrise and sunset all scream for superlatives.

Lonely Planet

As the “ultimate American travel destination”, the Grand Canyon has hundreds of tourist alternatives. Of course you cannot just walk in and see it, there are fees for everything:

  • $25 entrance by private car
  • $12 by foot or bike

And then the price of the tour you choose, if you choose any.

There are two ways to approach the Canyon: the remote North Rim and the more accessible (and therefore more crowded) South Rim. Both areas have several options for camping, as well as hotels and restaurants. Expect all of these facilities to be overflowing with visitors during the busy summer season.


Things to do in Grand Canyon

  • Hiking tour
    Hiking is the most popular and accessible activity within the park. Riding a mule down into the canyon is a time-honored park tradition. Rides are offered year-round from the South Rim along the Bright Angel and South Kaibab Trails. Guided raft trips down the Colorado often sell out a year in advance.
  • Sky Walk tour
    With $80 per person “The Grand Canyon Skywalk” is the glass bridge offering highest vertical drop. You won’t be allowed to take a camera with you but you will have a chance to pay another $20 for the one they’ll take of you.
  • Helicopter ride tour
    Helicopters take off from Las Vegas, Boulder City, Flagstaff, Sedona, Phoenix or from Grand Canyon’s private airport. These are the main companies that provide helicopter rides in Grand Canyon:

    Prices range from $200 to $400. There are so many different tours and opinions that there should be a entire post for this!

  • Other tours
    There are lots of different tours and combinations: mule ride, bike trails, bus tour, boat tour, picnic, Hualapai representations, etc. You can find more information here.

Other things to do in Grand Canyon

Things to do in State Route 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles

California State Route 1

California State Route 1

State Route 1, often called Highway 1, is a state highway that runs along a large length of the Pacific coast of the U.S. state of California. It is famous for running by some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world, leading to its designation as an All-American Road.


Amongst the major cities that Highway 1 passes by are:

  • Beach Cities (includes Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach and Redondo Beach)
  • Long Beach
  • Santa Monica
  • Oxnard
  • Santa Barbara
  • Lompoc
  • Santa Maria
  • San Luis Obispo
  • Morro Bay
  • Hearst Castle (not a city but marked as a control city)
  • Carmel
  • Pacific Grove
  • Monterey
  • Watsonville
  • Santa Cruz
  • Half Moon Bay
  • Pacifica
  • San Francisco
  • Golden Gate Bridge (not a city but marked as a control city)
  • Mill Valley
  • Stinson Beach
  • Fort Bragg

Things to do in State Route 1

RV free parkings and more info

You should know that parking RVs overnight in any place is prohibited. You must use specialized parkings… most of them are not free. I remember talking about this and saving some useful links but I just can’t find them.

Here are some useful links:

Things to do in San Francisco

It’s been a while since my last post describing things to do in California… there are now only 22 days left in the californicatemeter countdown, so let’s get hands-on with the activities!

San Francisco

San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge at night

San Francisco's Golden Gate bridge at night

San Francisco is a major city in California, the centerpiece of the Bay Area, well-known for its liberal community, hilly terrain, Victorian architecture, scenic beauty, and summer fog.


Things to do in San Francisco

  • See, walk through, take an “I’ve been there” photograph and maybe jump of… Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Visit The Castro, the flagship San Francisco gayborhood, known around the world by self-identified gay and non-gay people as the unofficial ‘Capital’ of ‘Queer’ identity.
  • Visit Alcatraz ($25 depending on the tour), the renouned prison a.k.a The Rock. Get tickets well in advance!
  • After the visit we may have lunch in a seafood restaurant in the Fisherman’s Wharf (it’s where you take the ferry to Alcatraz Island)
  • Or we may keep it out of the beaten track and have lunch in China Town. I love boba milk tea. There are also eating tours…! ($40 or $80)
  • See the views from Twin Peaks. Remember the tv serial? Crazy. This Twin Peaks is not the actual location of the serial… sorry.
  • Go the tourist way with the CityPass ($54); includes five attraction admission tickets and unlimited cable car rides.
  • Or pay $75 for a 3 hour segway tour.
  • Find a rare book in the City Lights bookstore
  • Go clubbing to the South Market (SoMa).


Festivales sobre documentales

Una simple lista de festivales sobre documentales y subvenciones, principalmente en España y Catalunya.

Categoría “documentales” de la página