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The Big Sur coast of California has stunning rugged scenery of boulder covered beaches and jagged rocks emerging from the sea. It's a pleasure to spend a day driving south from San Francisco and stopping frequently along the way to enjoy the scenery. California also has one of the world's premier scenic areas in Yosemite National Park, located several hours drive east of San Francisco. In the desert east of Los Angeles there exists a dense collection of Joshua Trees in Joshua Tree National Park. And if you like desert, there is the must-not-to-be-missed desert of deserts at Death Valley National Park. Perhaps not always the hottest place in the world, but certainly one of them - it has the record for highest recorded temperature and is the lowest place in North America. Somewhere between the heights of Yosemite and the depths of Death Valley is the beautiful scenery of Pinnacles National Monument. This page has photos of them all - Yosemite, Death Valley, Joshua Tree, Pinnacles, and Big Sur. Larger version of these photos of California can be viewed by using a mouse rollover, or using the Slideshow below. See all TheWorldinLight has to offer at Destinations and Topics.


Slideshow
Enjoy!
Death Valley Joshua Tree Lassen Napa Valley
Pinnacles San Francisco Sequoia Yosemite

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photo of a rock climber on a sheer wall in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite Climber
This photograph of a rock climber was taken at Yosemite National Park in California.

photo of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
Half Dome #26
Half Dome is one of those famous landmarks that defines a place - in this case, Yosemite National Park.

photo of an autumn scene in Yosemite National Park in California
Yosemite #5-31
This photo shows some of the colors of autumn at Yosemite National Park - a beautiful place in every season of the year.

photo of a hillside full of boulders at Pinnacles National Monument in California
Pinnacles #362
Pinnacles National Monument in California is full of unusually shaped boulders that were created by volcanic activity.

a scenic landscape photo taken at Pinnacles National Monument
Pinnacles #363
Pinnacles National Monument is particularly beautiful in the spring when the sharp contrast between the green vegetation and boulders is highlighted.

photo of large boulders at Pinnacles National Monument
Stones in Spring
Pinnacles National Monument rises dramatically out of unlikely surroundings consisting of gently rolling hills, now covered in vineyards just outside of Soledad, California.

photo of one of the mysterious moving rocks with furrow behind it at Death Valley National Park
Mysterious Rocks #47
This photo shows the mysterious moving rocks of Death Valley National Park. These rocks, which clearly move and leave deep ruts in their wake, are located in a remote region known as the Racetrack Playa - an ancient, dried lakebed. To get there requires a long, rough drive recommended for 4WD vehicles.

a photo showing the desert bloom of wildflowers at Death Valley in 2005
Death Valley 2005
Death Valley is the lowest, hottest, and driest place in North America. It is typically a stark place with little life revealing itself. In the spring of 2005, Death Valley had more wildflowers blooming than had been seen there in fifty years.

photo of a reflection in the water at Barker's Dam in Joshua Tree National Park
Barker Dam
An early morning visit to Barker Dam in Joshua Tree National Park provides a view of a calm and beautiful reflection of the surrounding boulders.

photo of a sunset at Joshua Tree National Park in California
Joshua Tree Sunset
Joshua Tree National Park is famous for - of course - Joshua Trees. But there are also the interesting Cholla Cacti and some of the most beautiful sunsets to be seen anywhere.

photo of Cholla Cacti at sunset in Joshua Tree National Park
Chollas At Sunset
Joshua Tree National Park has an extensive "garden" of Cholla Cactus.

still water reflecting an image at Barker's Dam in Joshua Tree National Park
Barker Dam #2701
This is a photo of Barker Dam in Joshua Tree National Park in California.

photo of the Big Sur coastline in California
Big Sur #3
The Big Sur coast is a beautiful area of Pacific Ocean seashore just a few hours south of San Francisco.

photo of the California seashore at Big Sur
Big Sur #4
The Pacific coast south of San Francisco is absolutely beautiful. Highway 1 along the coast provides many turnoffs that provides visitors striking views of cliffs falling into beautiful deep blue ocean.

photo of the Point Sur Lighthouse of California
Big Sur #7
The views along the Big Sur shoreline constantly change with the weather. If you're visiting San Francisco, this area deserves a day of exploration.

photo of Death Valley's sand dunes at sunset
Dunes at Sunset
The sand dunes at Death Valley are at their most beautiful when the sun is low, either at sunrise or sunset.

photo of the mysterious moving rocks at La Playa Racetrack in Death Valley
Mysterious Rocks
These are the mysterious moving rocks of Death Valley t hat are found on the Racetrack Playa. The Playa is an ancient, dried lakebed that is almost perfectly flat for several miles. These rocks tumble from the slope of the surrounding hills and then apparently move across the lakebed when the Playa is wet. The evidence for this is that the pattern of cracks in the mud in the wakes of the rocks is different from the pattern of the cracks in the mud seen elsewhere on the Playa. No one has ever witnessed these rocks moving, but it's thought that they are blown by strong winds racing across the Playa.

photo of a golden field with mountains in the background at Death Valley National Park in California
Desert Gold
In the spring of 2005, after an unusually wet winter, Death Valley had more wildflowers blooming than at any time seen there in fifty years.

photo of a Giant Sequoia Tree at Sequoia National Park
Sequoia #0303
Giant Sequoias loom immensely over anyone standing nearby.

photo of a grove of Giant Sequoia Trees in Sequoia National Park in California
Sequoia #0346
Many of the large Giant Sequoia Trees have been given names. The largest has been named the General Sherman.

photo of a person standing next to a Giant Sequoia Tree to show the size perspective
Sequoia #0355
Many of the Giant Sequoia Trees in Sequoia National Park are easily accessible via short trails.

photo of sand dunes at sunset in Death Valley
Sensuous Sand
The wind-blown sand dunes of Death Valley sometimes take on smooth sensuous curves.

photo of desert wildflowers in bloom in Death Valley
Desert Bloom
This is a photograph of Death Valley National Park taken during the spring of 2005.

landscape photo of sand dunes in the desert of Death Valley
Rippling Sand
Distances are deceiving in the desert. These sand dunes were several miles from the nearest road.

photo of deep shadows behind sand dunes at sunset in Death Valley National Park
Sand Dune Sunset
The setting sun cast an orange glow across these sand dunes in Death Valley National Park in California.

photo of sand dunes in Death Valley
Sand #494
I'm fairly sure this question mark in the sand would not have been there a day earlier or later. Or would it?

nightscape photo showing a moonrise over the desert in Death Valley
Moonrise Over Death Valley
While hiking back from distant sand dunes after sunset in Death Valley, I witnessed this beautiful moonrise.

abstract black and white photo of the golden gate bridge in san francisco
Golden Gate in Moonlight
This Golden Gate Bridge photo was not taken in moonlight, but in daylight and digitally altered to give it the appearance of night and reflected moonlight from the bay. See more such photos in the Abstract Photo Gallery.

Arizona Photos

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Robert D. Stephens
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All photographs are the property of Robert Stephens and TheWorldinLight Photographic Gallery. Unauthorized reproduction or use is prohibited by US copyright law.