Roadtrip Diversions

Roadtrip Diversions

Roadtrip Diversions

Mojave National Preserve Words by Haven Livingston Exploring the Mojave on foot. Photo Natural History Field Quarter Archives California deserts have long been winter hideaways for outdoor adventurers. The stark beauty reveals a complex and fragile ecosystem that draws you in and keeps you coming back to learn more. Tucked away on the southeastern edge of California, the Mojave National Preserve is a desert playground often overlooked because of the popularity of neighboring national parks, Death Valley to the north and Joshua Tree to the south. Bound by Interstate arteries 15 and 40, this little known corner of the State is actually the third largest National Park Service area outside of Alaska. (Death Valley and Yellowstone National Parks rank first and second.) It’s called a National Preserve instead of a National Park mainly because hunting is allowed. Go figure. The landscapes range from granite mountains to volcanic cinder cones...
Roadtrip Diversions

Roadtrip Diversions

Highway 108, Sonora Pass Words by Haven Livingston Travertine Hot Springs in Bridgeport, CA. Photo: Haven Livingston Sonora Pass on Highway 108 is the northern cousin of Tioga Pass. Climbing 7,500 ft. from the oak studded foothills of Sonora on the west side of the Sierra, the pass tops out at 9,624 feet, just a few hundred feet lower than Tioga Pass. Some may say it’s not as beautiful as Yosemite’s Highway 120, but it has its own suite of special features that even Tuolumne Meadows can’t measure up to. Sonora Pass is a destination, launching point, and scenic passage. The first bonus, which will appeal to thebudget dirtbag in all of us, is that it’s free, unlike Tioga. Secondly, because the grade can reach 25% in certain places, you’re not going to be stuck in a mule train of RVs. Make sure you have good brakes! Horse and OHV...
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