Far away from the chaotic streets of San Francisco lies an island usually called as "The Rock" and houses a prison which anyone will never dare to escape from. This beautiful island of Alcatraz also having a magnificent light house offshore of California is a famous and wonderful attraction of San Francisco. The famous prison and the lighthouse are historical landmarks and engineering marvels in the history of San Francisco and is now maintained by the National Park Service.
Glacier National Park
Once the place was home to over 150 glaciers, but by 2005 only 27 remained. And by 2030 all of those are expected to completely disappear thanks to increasing temperatures. The loss of glaciers will effect the entire eco-system of the area as plants and animals dependent on cold and water will soon follow extinction.
Haleakala National Park
Haleakalᾱ volcano rises 10023 ft above the Pacific Ocean and occupies almost half of the Maui Island of Hawaii. The geologic history of Haleakalᾱ is estimated to have begun a million years ago, around the time of woolly mammoth and saber tooth tigers! It comprises of colourful cinder cones scattered throughout the valley floor. The most recent eruption took place in 1802. This volcano is considered to be an active but currently non-erupting volcano. I got a chance to see this place a few years back. It is a matchless heaven weathered and coloured over time. The rains have oxidized the earth and the winds have emphasized the cinder cones! When I actually got to the summit, I wondered what was so good about this volcano. I hardly saw the cinder cones and the lush bright colors of the soil! We were told to hike up a trail to experience it for ourselves. Therefore, we started trudging towards what we really hadn’t anticipated. What I am going to quote is often said my the people of Maui that clouds in and around the summit of Haleakalᾱ carry whispers of another time. It is said that the demigod of Maui fished Haleakalᾱ and all the Hawaiin volcanoes from the sea, pulling them up and flinging his fishhook to the heavens. On clear nights, the fishhook of Maui, now the Scorpio, can still be seen in the sky from the summit of Haleakalᾱ.
Ecola State Park
For hikers, there are many trails to the water through the thick conifer forests of Ecola State Park. Ecola Point, near Ecola State Park, has a viewpoint and picnic area where you can see the panorama of Cannon Beach, Haystack Rock and the coastal range. This spectacular view is one of the most photographed on the Oregon coast. A two mile trail connects Ecola Point to the horseshoe-shaped Indian Beach, and a six mile trail leads to Tillamook Head (and yes, “Tillamook” is the name of the well known cheese…the factory is about an hour south of Cannon Beach).
Ho'okipa Beach Park
If you’re an experienced surfer, head to the north coast of Maui, close to Kahului, and catch the morning waves at Ho’okipa Beach. If you windsurf, you’ve probably already heard of Ho’okipa as a windsurfing mecca. Wait until the afternoon and hit the water with hundreds of other windsurfers from around the world. Maui also has a world-class spot for kitesurfers, known appropriately as Kite Beach.
Amicalola Falls State Park
We did a day trip , hiked the 720 foot tall falls, the trees became our shelter , the ground was the dining table, every moment spent there made me realize that we don’t need to travel miles to feel the beauty and magic of nature, the gateway like these, the moments spent singing songs under the trees, walking the trails and drinking the mineral rich water straight from the rocks make the journey called life more beautiful.
Limekiln State Park
The park is quite small with a little over thirty campsites to choose from. It's all very tucked away along Limekiln Creek with eleven ocean-view spots to set up camp. We chose spot #1, and sitting at our picnic table perched above the private beach below, we hardly noticed the handful of campers at the sites below us. The only draw back to our secluded location? The short hike down to the toilets and hot (pay) showers (worth every quarter -- by the way, bring quarters). Fall asleep to waves crashing and awaken to the morning sun sparkling down onto the water below. Hot tea and sea otter watching with glimpses of playful dolphins? Check!