After a lengthy survey of nearly every wild place in California, I've come up with a list of places I believe everyone should see at some point in their life. I've traveled this great state top to bottom- from Redwoods to deserts, the channel islands to the Sierras, the Cascades to the central valley, and every major city. I've visited every National Park site, every national forest, and every major mountain and have come up with the cream of the crop of our adventurous state. What's on the list? One place gets fewer than 60,000 visitors a year, another is by far my favorite urban area in the country. What doesn't make the list? Yosemite, believe it or not. So, without further ado here it is!

10. Lassen Volcanic National Park, Cascade Range
               "The Yellowstone of California"
      Beautiful, accessible and close to Sacramento and San Francisco, its a wonder why Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the least visited National Parks in the country. Simply put, Lassen Volcanic is California's Yellowstone and has all the features of Yellowstone (minus Old Faithful). Mt Lassen, the center piece of this stunning example of volcanic landscape, erupted only 95 years ago and is still a very active volcano. In addition, there are several other volcanoes in the park, mudpots, hot springs, and geothermal vents which give the day hiker an appreciation for this unique landscape.
Summit of Mt Lassen
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a three hour drive from Sacramento and a four hour drive from San Francisco. This may be somewhat far for some, but the views and uniqueness of the park make it worth the drive from anywhere. I will post more specific directions and a guide soon but if you need it now, just post a comment! Remember, Mt Lassen is very much an active volcano, so see this place before it erupts again!

A landscape shaped by lava
Next up, I highlight my favorite city in the west coast and perhaps the greenest urban area you could ever visit.