Difficult Roads Often Lead to Beautiful Destinations. Time for a Getaway?

Conduct your own training session in the Tehachapi. Embrace your solitude and immerse yourself in a lush green wilderness. Keep a wary eye open for bears on a food run. Soak up ice cold exhilaration in moss-covered swimming holes.

All aboard for a weekend escape to Tehachapi

Folks might want me to say that the famed train loop is the thing. And it is stirring to see: long, noisy trains emerging from the tunnel, lumbering, then “spiraling” or “lapping” upon themselves. The costumed guides at the Tehachapi Depot Museum helped explain this engineering marvel of the 1800s. But I was equally entranced by the self-guided wind-farm driving tour. At the start, the smallish wind towers are early models, then the tour progresses to spinning behemoths dotting the hillsides.” Los Angeles Times · Sara Lessley

This Olympic National Park Rainforest is one of the quietest places on Earth

Olympic National Park—in particular the Hoh Rainforest, one of the emerald gems of the U.S. national park system. The Hoh Rainforest is tucked deep within a glacial river valley less than 50 miles from the Pacific Ocean. It sits in the shadow of Mount Olympus, the 7,980-foot peak that gives the park its name, and is a solid half-day drive from bustling Seattle. In addition to the lush biodiversity you’d expect from a temperate rainforest, that remote quality makes Hoh one of the quietest places anywhere on Earth, almost completely free of any human noise pollution. Immersing yourself in this lush, green world can be a peaceful forest bathing experience or a challenging excursion into the wilderness. However you choose to enjoy it, you’ll find peace and quiet abounds.” The Dyrt

Curated by Steve Howard for the “High Country Eagles” digital magazine.

Take the plunge in these California swimming holes to keep your cool

Natural Bridges is a swimming hole in the Sierra foothills. This summertime hot spot near the Tuolumne-Calaveras county line rewards hikers with a swim in ice-cold Coyote Creek through a moss-covered cave. The Natural Bridges parking area is between Columbia State Historic Park and the wineries of Murphys. The round-trip hike is about two miles but make sure to pack plenty of water because the return back to the car is all uphill. Info: Natural Bridges, bit.ly/natrualbridges” By MIKE MORRIS

Drivers Should Keep an Eye Out for Bears on Tahoe Roads

Lake Tahoe’s thriving bear population is very active and many of them are getting hit by cars. Bears have been out looking for food following their winter slumber. It is also mating season and the time when juvenile bears are venturing off on their own for the first time. All of this activity can put them in the path of moving cars and these collisions are not uncommon. ‘Some years it just spikes up to the point where there’s 50 or 60. Some years, more normal would be maybe 25,’ said Ann Bryant, the executive director of the BEAR League.” Dennis Shanahan

North America’s best national parks day hikes

If you have limited time in the Grand Canyon, you can’t do much better than this beautiful hike. The wide and well-maintained corridor trail offers shady rest-houses and stretches along a delightful creek. At the trailhead, the canyon beckons in all its glory. If you suffer vertigo, look to the left for a while – the first five minutes are the hardest. Highlights include two tunnels, Native American pictographs and the visual reward of the dramatically broad Tonto Platform. Continuing down the Bright Angel adds difficulty but brings you to the shady oasis of Indian Garden. For an even more challenging and very exposed hike to expansive views of the inner gorge, cross Tonto Platform along a spur trail to reach Plateau Point. It’s a popular destination for strong day hikers, but the long, exposed stretch can be searingly hot.” Lonely Planet Michele Falzone / Getty Images

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