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Top 5 Underrated Views in California

Top 5 Underrated Views in California

Everyone knows about hiking up to the Hollywood Sign or Mount Diablo, however, there are plenty of underrated views in California/. Team


2 min read

August 10, 2023

When one thinks of California, images of the Golden Gate Bridge, Hollywood Sign, and Malibu beaches often come to mind. While these iconic sites are undeniably breathtaking, California, with its vast and diverse landscape, boasts many hidden gems that often go unnoticed. Here are the top five underrated views in the Golden State that are worth the detour.

Lava Beds National Monument

Located near the northeastern border of the state, this park is a volcanic wonderland. Though known for its impressive underground caves formed from ancient lava flows, the views above ground are equally striking. The park's vast expanse of high desert, dotted with cinder cones and spatter cones, stretches endlessly against a backdrop of the distant Medicine Lake Volcano. During sunset, the sky sets ablaze in hues of orange and purple, making it a mesmerizing sight that few have witnessed.

Lave Beds National Monument offers stunning views of a beautiful desert landscape.

Lost Coast

In a state renowned for its extensive coastline, the Lost Coast stands out for its raw, untouched beauty. Situated in Humboldt County, this remote stretch of coast is devoid of the highways and development found elsewhere along the California shoreline. Instead, it boasts rugged cliffs, secluded beaches, and dense forests, offering a view of the Pacific Coast as nature intended. Those willing to undertake the multi-day hike along the Lost Coast Trail will be rewarded with pristine vistas that hark back to an older, wilder California.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

The largest state park in California, Anza-Borrego remains one of its most underrated. It offers a vast, desert landscape interspersed with badlands, slot canyons, and occasional oases. In spring, the desert comes alive with colorful wildflower blooms, a sight that contrasts beautifully with the barren surroundings. The Font's Point overlook provides a panoramic view of the undulating desert badlands, especially during sunrise or sunset, creating a play of light and shadows over the unique formations.

The sprawling wildflower fields at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park are fantastic.

Mount Shasta Vista Point

While Mount Shasta itself is well-known, the views from the vista point, especially during the night, remain an underappreciated experience. With minimal light pollution, this area is a haven for stargazers. On a clear night, the Milky Way stretches vividly across the sky, creating a celestial tapestry that leaves viewers in awe. The silhouette of Mount Shasta under this starry backdrop provides an ethereal view, merging the grandeur of the earth and the cosmos.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Although more popular than the others on this list, Point Reyes still holds spots that are underexplored. Apart from its dramatic cliffs and expansive seashore, the park is home to the Cypress Tree Tunnel. This lesser-known spot consists of a road flanked by a dense row of Monterey cypress trees, creating a natural tunnel. In the early morning, as the fog rolls in, this tunnel transforms into an enchanting, misty corridor, providing a view that feels straight out of a fairy tale.

One of the perks of California is its large number of stunning ocean views.

In a state as geographically diverse as California, there are countless views waiting to be discovered. These five spots, though lesser-known, offer experiences that can rival and even surpass the state's more celebrated landmarks. The next time you're traversing California, consider straying off the beaten path. You might just stumble upon a view that takes your breath away.

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