First time in America

I am happy to announce that I will soon leave home to discover new and interesting places. I have never been that far from home. I plan to visit two world-class geological destinations: Big Island of Hawaii and Death Valley in USA. I will go in the second half of this month and the whole trip will last about one month.

I will spend most of the time in Hawaii and about 10 days in southern California on the way back. This is not much. I know that California has interesting hiking trails and outcrops for more than a lifetime of travels. However, I have to try to take the best out of these days. I am sure some of you live in California or have been there and can recommend places worth visiting. I will arrive to Los Angeles and plan to rent a car to go to Death Valley and visit geologically interesting places along the way. I have no idea at the moment which places these are. You can help me to make the best selection.

I will try to make my best to take you along by posting pictures of interesting geology I will see there. I am really looking forward to this trip.

8 comments to First time in America

  • Lyle

    If you are going to Death Valley be sure to go thru Lone Pine up to Bishop and back. You will be in the Owens Valley which has the faulted face of the Sierra Nevada on the West The rise from Lone Pine to Mt Whitney from 3733 feet in the Valley to 14505, (it seems to have risen in the latest wikipedia article, it used to be 14,495 feet. So you have about a 10k foot vertical rise. The wall continues north to Bishop, and if you have the time you might go futher to mono lake, and see the volcanoes (inyo and mono craters) as well as the remains of the long valley caldera. Convict lake accessed from Mammoth will show both the granitic as well as the metamorphic rocks of the sierra. Also on the way at least take CA 14 from LA up to Palmdale to see the cut on the San Andreas fault.

  • Thanks. I almost forgot the San Andreas Fault. And Mono Lake seems very interesting also although maybe a bit too far in the north. I will try to take your recommendations into my plans.

  • Ryan

    Garry is a great resource for sure and very friendly. I have been a volunteer driver on many of his trips and geotagged stops along the way (including Death Valley). All of my photos(160+ hikes)and stops (KMZ google earth files) are available on my website, I also have lots of photos from our recent trip to the big island two years ago. The lava stopped one day before we landed and started again six days after we left. I hope you have much better luck. Rent a Jeep in Hawaii to drive yourself to the top of Mauna Kea and out to the Green Sand Beach on South Point. Jeeps are a tad more expensive per day, but you’ll save money by eliminating the need for expensive tours. Snorkeling is best at Honaunau Bay next to the City of Refuge. My wife and I started or ended each day there. Not very crowded there. Have fun!

  • Ryan, you have great photos and KML files are especially useful. Thanks!

  • Hollis

    Fossil Falls south of Olancha (plus nearby volcanic features) and the Alabama Hills a short distance further north at Lone Pine are scenic, quite interesting geologically, easy to access, and pretty much on the way to DV, depending on your route. Oh … and congratulations! have a great trip.

  • Thanks, Hollis. I’ll take a look to see whether they will be on my way.

  • Garry Hayes

    Have a great trip. I replied to your comment on Geotripper with a few bits of info. You are going to have a great time, as California is the best place in the world, except for maybe the Big Island of Hawaii. The lava flows are very active right now, but don’t miss going up the road to Mauna Kea and the Astronomy Center (stay for the night view; clearest and darkest sky in the world). I do recommend the advice above about going as far as Lone Pine and maybe Bishop, and then looping to Death Valley. Lots of great scenery and geology all along the way. Contact me at the email I listed, or through Geotripper while you are on the trip if you need any advice or recommendations at specific places.

  • Thanks, Garry. It seems that you all recommend to go further north than I planned at first. My current revised plan is to go north to see Mono Lake and then come back and visit Bishop Tuff, Devils Postpile and several other places mentioned above and then to Death Valley. And maybe I will come back with a southern loop to see Kelso Dunes and back through Cajon Pass. It is a lot of things to see and do in 10 days.