Nature Valley Trail View Adds Sequoia National Park To Virtual Hikes

Nature Valley Trail View now offers virtual hikes of Sequoia National ParkIn March of last year, Nature Valley launched their Trail View website, giving deskbound outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to take a virtual hike through three of the most popular national parks in the U.S. The website employed technology similar to Google’s Street View to give us the opportunity to explore more than 300 miles of trails in the Grand Canyon, Great Smokey Mountains and Yellowstone. Now, just in time to celebrate National Park Week, the site is adding yet another spectacular park to the mix.

Nature Valley has announced that starting today an additional 50+ miles of trail located inside Sequoia National Park will be available to virtual explorers. Located in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Sequoia is of course best known for the trees from which it derives its name. The Giant Sequoias are known to grow to heights in excess of 200 feet, putting them amongst the largest living organisms on our planet. With the addition of the park to the Nature Valley Trail View site, you can now take a stroll amongst those magnificent trees directly from your favorite web browser.

Adding another park to the website isn’t the only upgrade to Trail View today. The site is also becoming more mobile friendly in an effort to accommodate smartphones and tablets as well. That will include the ability to download .pdf files with information about the parks and specific trails too. This could become a handy resource for travelers headed out to one of these destinations who might need a little help finding your way around.Nature Valley’s commitment to the national parks doesn’t end there, however. Over the past few years, the company has been a tireless advocate for the parks. Through its annual Preserve the Parks campaign they’ve managed to contribute hundreds of thousands of dollars to the National Parks Conservation Association. With another $500,000 donation this year, the four-year total will exceed $1.8 million. This is in addition to some fantastic park restoration projects that conducted with volunteers who are eager to help protect their favorite parks as well.

As a fan of the national parks, I truly appreciate the efforts that Nature Valley has put forth to help preserve some of our most amazing landscapes. Their work is helping to ensure future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy these places as well. And with their Trail View website, they allow me to take a virtual escape now and again, which certainly comes in handy when I’ve spending far too much time indoors.

[Photo Credit: Dcrjsr via WikiMedia]

Book A Rare Stay At Bearpaw High Sierra Camp In Sequoia National Park

Bearpaw High Sierra CampThe Bearpaw High Sierra Camp, located inside Sequoia National Park, is one of the toughest accommodations to book in the entire park system. Typically reservations open in January and sell out completely in a matter of just a few hours. But this year a legal issue regarding permits delayed the opening of the camp and now that that issue has been resolved there are rare open dates for August and September.

Bearpaw is a unique and scenic destination that is unlike any other campsite you’ve experienced. It sits at an altitude of 7800 feet and overlooks the Great Western Divide, a mountain range in the Sierra Nevada that separates King’s Canyon and Sequoia National Park. Getting to the site requires an 11.5-mile hike through secluded California backcountry that rewards guests with a private and peaceful setting upon arrival.

The camp features six tent cabins, each furnished with two twin beds, and room for three, provided one of the campers is willing to sleep on the floor. A separate shower house provides modern bathroom facilities including flush toilets and hot showers, which are always welcome at the end of a long hike. Both breakfast and dinner are included in the room rate as well, ensuring visitors don’t go hungry while staying at the camp.

Legal issues arose earlier this year over permits that allow the use of pack-mules within national parks. The animals are used to shuttle supplies, such as food and water, to the remote location where Bearpaw is located. The camp couldn’t open until the situation was resolved, but now that permits have been issued, resupply of the camp can take place. That means that no one could book a reservation to stay in the camp until now. As a result, a camp that is traditionally very difficult to book and stay in now has some openings for the months ahead. This is a great opportunity for travelers to experience Bearpaw and all that it has to offer.

For more information or to book your stay, visit VisitSequoia.com or call 866-449-4902.

10 Title-Holding National Parks In The United States

park National parks hold some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the country, and sometimes even the world. Not only do these destinations make for great hiking, biking and adventure sports, but they also allow you to view one-of-a-kind facets you can’t find anywhere else on the planet.

While Black Canyon of the Gunnison holds the title of being the country’s newest national park, Yellowstone was the world’s first, being established in 1872. Additionally, Sequoia National Park features the world’s largest tree; Great Sand Dunes National Park holds the highest sand dunes in North America; and Death Valley is said to be the hottest, lowest and driest place in the United States.

For a more visual idea of these title-holding national parks, check out the gallery below.

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[Image above via Jessie on a Journey; Gallery images via Big Stock]

Video: Albino Redwoods, a biological mystery

I recently spent 10 days exploring Northern California, magnetized by every patch of Redwood trees I saw. This wasn’t my first trip to the area and it won’t prove to be my last, either. There’s something especially magnificent about Redwood trees. The limits of their growth are widely still unknown, but at their recorded tallest height (379 feet), the Giant Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) family includes the tallest trees on Earth.

Although I’ve been home for a couple of days now from the trip, I’m still finding myself at the mercy of web searches related to these trees. An admittedly semi-mindless YouTube trolling session this evening brought me to this well-shot and knowledgeable video focusing on Albino Redwoods. These special trees baffle scientists. All I can think is… I wish I’d made a point to check out these ghost-like trees in person. If you’ll be in Redwood territory soon, take note.