During our holidays in California we also visited Death Valley National Park - the hottest place on Earth. Max recorded temperature there was 134F (56.7C) Luckily it wasn’t in September 2014 ;)
This park is just amazing – desert, mountains, canyons, red rocks, salt flats – all in one place! This park is really huge but we managed to see all top attractions. Here are the absolute must things to see in Death Valley National Park (in TripAdvisor & also our order)
- Dante’s View
- Zabrisky Point
- Artist’s Palette – I loved the Artist’s drive! It’s ~1.5 mile off-road drive with scenic view
- Bad Water Basin – salt flats that you can see from Dante’s View – they are below sea level
I liked the sign: “STOP Extreme heat danger. Do not go after 10 am.” It was indeed extremely! We went a few steps inside the canyon and it was hotter than in hell!
And let it be the summary of this trip :)
Las Vegas should be on everybody’s list of places they must visit, but it isn’t a place that suits everyone. While many people fall in love with the place and can’t get enough of it, for others it is just too much. While some of the best casinos in the world such Bellagio, Caesars Palace, the Venetian, the MGM Grand can be found on the Strip and many others such as the historic Golden Nugget can be found downtown, it is possible to tire of the hustle and bustle of the place and its fairyland atmosphere where it is even popular to get married dressed as Elvis Presley impersonator. Vegas is great, but only in moderation. If you love more authentic and atmospheric casinos, then there is no shortage of them across the USA.
There are 460 Indian Casinos which are run by a total of 240 Native American tribes. These have a very different feeling from that of Vegas casinos and they come under an entirely different regulatory body and are licensed under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
One of the largest of these is the Pechanga Resort and Casino. Located in Temecula, California, the casino has over 3,500 video slot and video poker machines and a gaming area that covers around 20,000 meters; an impressive amount, which is important to keep up in the days of competition from online casinos such as www.iPadcasino.com.au, who can easily offer an almost unlimited amount of slots machines. There is also a hotel, a spa, and a professional 18 hole golf course, it is a great place for taking a little time out of your business trip or spending a weekend there indulging yourself in some casino fun.
One of the most famous Indian casinos is the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe’s Foxwoods Resort Casino which is located in Ledyard. This is one of the largest casinos in the world. There are almost 400 games tables and around 7,500 slot games, which should give you a feeling for its huge scale.
In early September we went to California for the first time. It was really great! So diverse – forest, desert, palms, city, ocean… wow! And everywhere beautiful roads that you can drive all day long. It was also really hot – but is it something surprising for California this time of year? :P
Day 1 -3 – Kings Canyon National Park & Sequoia National Park
The distance between Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park is just a couple of miles, there are actually in the very same area. They are very different but very close. Kings Canyon National Park looks like Zion canyon a bit and Sequoia National Park has sequoia trees – it’s like a forest with amazing viewpoints. Moro Rock is the best.
I saw my first bear there! It was a baby bear though ;) So cute but when I saw how he’s able to climb the tree! Fast as a cat! Running on a tree when you see a bear seems to be a bad idea now ;)
Sequoias are impressive, to take a good picture showing their size you need to have some comparison. I was wondering all the time if there is a size difference between 1000 and 2000 year old sequoia, hmmm…. difficult to imagine.
Ilike the fact that you can just drive all day long and admire…. Which we did! ;)
Here are some pictures form Kings Canyon National Park, Sequoia National Park and a couple of pictures from our way.
We’ve already been to Mount Rainier National Park last year in July. It was great but the meadows were not fully… flowery ;) This year we went there just in time! The trails were mainly clear of slow and the meadows were blooming :) As you can see the Mt. Rainier was sometimes partially (and sometimes fully) in clouds.
We did the Paradise Trail which is 5 mile hike, rather easy. It was a hot day but the clouds were refreshing. The views were amazing and we were happy that we decided to go there!
Mount Rainier National Park is a beautiful place, so close to Seattle. We see Rainier from our apartment so it was great to see it
This is the must-see place in Seattle!!! Columbia Tower Skyview in Seattle is a perfect place to 360 degree panorama of Seattle from a 280 meter tower :) The cool thing is that it is twice as high as the Space Needle and the cost is half of that. We only paid $12 per person. Although we were there on Sunday afternoon this place wasn’t crowded at all. Sooo nice :) You can see how the Space Needle is small from that perspective :)
The only bad thing was that Mt. Rainier was covered with the only one cloud on the sky :P
Olympia National Park is one of a couple National Parks in the Washington State. We went there for just a weekend and it was cooper cool!
You can find there everything in one place: lakes, rain forest, snowy mountains and an ocean! Would you believe it? I guess no :)
We stayed in Super 8 hotel in Port Angeles. The hotel was one of the worst I’ve ever been to and pricey ($150) ! Apart from that we had a lot of fun. We did a couple of short hikes in the forest, we did the Hurricane Ridge drive (amazing!) and went on the beautiful Ruby beach. You can see some pictures below :)
We saw most of National Parks of Utah. Let me describe our trip day by day, in pictures :)
Day 1 – Salt lake City
2hrs flight from Seattle to Salt Lake City. We rented our Jeep, drove to hotel and prepared for the trip next day :)
Day 2 – Bonneville Salt Flats
Bonneville Salt Flats were really cool and quite unexpected. Just fields with salt… amazing!
Day 3&4 – Capitol Reef National Park
Our first canyons! We met with our friends there and started real adventure ;) (more…)