TOP 2005 ADVENTURES OUTDOOR FUN IS NOT FAR OFF IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA.Byline: Bill Becher Special to the Daily News
Southern Californians don't have to look far for outdoor activity. From the beaches to the deserts to the Southern Sierra, some of the best adventures anywhere are within a half-day's drive of Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. .
Here's our look at 10 activities the outdoors enthusiast should make time for in 2005:
Surfers see things most people only glimpse on the Nature Channel: dolphins frolicking and lots of foamy foam·y
adj. foam·i·er, foam·i·est
1. Of, consisting of, or resembling foam.
2. Covered with foam.
foam whitewater when you wipe out. That only lasts a few seconds, and then it's time It's Time was a successful political campaign run by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) under Gough Whitlam at the 1972 election in Australia. Campaigning on the perceived need for change after 23 years of conservative (Liberal Party of Australia) government, Labor put forward a to paddle out for another ride. Winter storms bring big waves, so you probably should get started in the spring or summer.
Surfing is not the easiest sport to master, but there are surf schools that will get you started. Two-hour Surf Academy group classes at Santa Monica Santa Monica (săn`tə mŏn`ĭkə), city (1990 pop. 86,905), Los Angeles co., S Calif., on Santa Monica Bay; inc. 1886. Tourism and retailing are important, and the city has motion-picture, biotechnology, and software industries. cost $50 and are held near lifeguard tower No. 28, one mile south of the Santa Monica Pier The Santa Monica Pier is located at the foot of Colorado Avenue in Santa Monica, California and is a prominent landmark. Attractions
The pier contains Pacific Park, a family amusement park with a large ferris wheel. .
For more information visit surfacademy.com or call (877) 599-7873.
The Ventura Surf School offers summer camps for kids and adult lessons. Information at venturasurfschool.com or call (805) 218- 1484.
The Channel Islands by kayak
The Channel Islands National Park Channel Islands National Park: see Santa Barbara Islands; National Parks and Monuments (table). is the closest national park to Los Angeles, yet it is the least visited. That's because you need a boat to get there.
Kayaking is an ideal way to explore the islands. A few hardcore kayakers paddle from the mainland to the islands, but most people use Island Packers, the park's concessionaire, which will take you and your kayak to Anacapa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Santa Rosa or Santa Barbara islands Santa Barbara Islands (săn`tə bär`brə, –bərə), or Channel Islands, chain of eight rugged islands and many islets, extending c.150 mi (240 km) along the S Calif. on their high-speed catamarans.
You can go for the day or camp out. Hike, explore tide pools, snorkel snorkel, tube through which a submarine or diver can draw air while underwater. When in use, the top of the snorkel tube extends above the water surface into the air. the kelp beds or investigate sea caves in your kayak.
Contact the Channel Islands National Park visitors center at (805) 658-5730 or visit www.nps.gov/chis for information. For schedules and information on boats to the islands, call (805) 642-1393 or visit islandpackers.com. Southwind Kayak Center, at www.southwindkayaks.com or (800) 768-8494, has guided Channel Islands kayak trips.
Climb Mount Whitney
At 14,491 feet, it's the highest mountain in the lower 48 states. Reaching the summit of Mount Whitney between mid-July and early October doesn't usually require special mountaineering skills - just perseverance.
Although some people make the climb and descent in a single day, most hikers camp at least one night.
Because the 10.7-mile hike from Whitney Portal is so popular, permits are required.
For informayion, see www.nps.gov/seki/whitney.htm or call (760) 876-6200.
Explore Death Valley
Not far from Mount Whitney is Badwater in Death Valley - at minus-282 feet, the lowest point in the Northern Hemisphere.
Death Valley is a great destination in late fall to early spring - only mad dogs and tourists visit in summer, when temperatures average more than 110 degrees.
Places to see include the Salt Creek Nature Trail, Zabriskie Point, Racetrack Playa, Artists Drive and the Death Valley Dunes.
Colorful rock formations, mysterious moving rocks, sand dunes, bright flowers in early spring and narrow canyons all invite exploration.
Four-wheel-drive enthusiasts will find lots of fun drives.
There is a motel, hotel and a several campgrounds in Death Valley and a visitor's center at Stove Pipe Wells. The park is immense, so don't plan on seeing all of it in one day - or even one week.
``Death Valley National Park'' by Bert and Jane Gildart from Falcon Guides is an excellent resource for first-time visitors.
Information can be found at www.nps.gov/deva or by calling (760) 786-3200.
State Highway 190 east of Furnace Creek is closed because of flood damage, but most other roads are open.
Ski Big Bear
Out-of-towners wouldn't think of skiing in Southern California, but Big Bear in the San Bernardino Mountains San Bernardino Mountains, part of the Coast Range, S Calif., extending c.60 mi (100 km) NW and SE through San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Notable peaks are San Bernardino Mt. (10,630 ft/3,240 m) and Mt. San Gorgonio (11,485 ft/3,501 m). has two resorts for skiing and snowboarding. Both have snowmaking snow·mak·ing
Production of artificial snow in the form of granular ice particles for use on ski slopes. equipment - Snow Summit caters to families and skiers, Bear Mountain has more youthful demographics and offers an all-mountain freestyle park with more than 150 jumps and the 580-foot long ``Superpipe.''
For information on lodging, contact Big Bear Lake Resort Association at (800) 424-4232 or visit www.bigbear.com. Information on ski conditions and operations can be located by calling (800) BEARMTN or visiting www.bigbearmountainresorts.com. Recent storms have dumped lots of new snow.
Mountain bike the Backbone Trail
Southern California's hundreds of miles of trails are a blessing for mountain bikers. If you don't mind climbing, the 14-mile round-trip ride from Kanan Tunnel to Corral corral
a small fenced-in enclosure with high, wooden fences, suitable for holding cattle or horses.
a management system in which range cattle are put into corrals and fed hay for a period when the environment is most Canyon and back is all single track with some technical sections. The scenery is surprisingly lush on the upper section.
From Highway 101, exit at Kanan Road in Agoura Hills and go south to the parking lot at the last (third) tunnel, which is marked T-1. The trail climbs over Kanan Road to Latigo Canyon Road and then on to the Corral Canyon parking lot.
See the Mountain Biking mountain biking Sports medicine A sport in which participants use specialized bicycles to navigate rough, steep trails covered with unforgiving rocks Injury risk Concussions, fractures, death. See Extreme sport, Novelty seeking behavior. Guide and Map to the Santa Monica Mountains The Santa Monica Mountains are a low transverse range in southern California in the United States. Geography
They run for approximately 40 mi (64 km) east-west from the Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles to Point Mugu in Ventura County. from www.adventuremaps.net.
Rock climb in Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree National Park Joshua Tree National Park, 1,022,703 acres (414,050 hectares), S California. Lying between the high Mojave Desert and the low Colorado Desert, this park has a unique ecosystem in which are preserved rare Joshua trees (Yucca brevifolia is a playground for rock climbers and a great place to try this growing sport. Springtime, when cactus flowers are in bloom and the weather is mild, is the best season to visit. Guide services offering beginner lessons include Vertical Adventures, at verticaladventures.com or (800) 514-8785, and Joshua Tree Climbing School, at joshuatreerockclimbing.com or (800) 890-4745.
Raft the Kern River
About three hours drive from the Los Angeles area, the Kern River in Sequoia National Forest Sequoia National Forest is located in the southern Sierra Nevada mountains of California. The national forest is named for the majestic Giant Sequoia trees which populate 38 groves within the boundaries of the forest; the Giant Sequoia National Monument is also located within the has more than 60 miles of commercially run whitewater. The season on the Lower Kern, below Lake Isabella, runs from April to September and has class III and IV rapids.
With a good winter snow pack, the ride in the spring can be wet and wild on the Upper Kern and the Forks of the Kern with up to Class V rapids (try the Thunder Run).
Kern River Tours, at (800) 844-RAFT or kernrivertours.com, has half-day to three-day trips.
Watch a Whale
Some of the biggest creatures in the sea, gray whales, cruise past Southern California on their annual migration from Alaska to Baja California and back. There's also a chance to see orcas (killer whales) and risso and common dolphins. Island Packers has boats departing from Ventura Harbor and from the Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard from January to April.
For info, visit islandpackers.com/whale.html or call (805) 642-1393.
When someone yells, ``shark,'' you jump into the water on a trip with Team Shark. You don't need special scuba gear or training, just a mask and snorkel, and you're likely to see blue sharks from Team Shark's snorkel-friendly floating shark cage.
Trips include the chance to help chum for sharks, tag them and study shark behavior.
Trips are available from May through September. Phone (714) 267-9875 or visit teamshark.com for more information.
( -- color) Rafters enjoy the whitewater rapids on the Kern River in Sequoia National Park Sequoia National Park, 402,510 acres (162,960 hectares), E central Calif.; est. 1890. In the park are 35 groves of giant sequoias, spectacular granite mountains, and deep canyons. . Outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy class III and IV rapids in Spring.
(2 -- color) Marcos Giron ponders one of the mysterious sliding rocks of Racetrack Playa.
(3 -- color) Alex Fink, 13, of Pacific Palisades Palisades, cliffs along the west bank of the Hudson River, NE N.J. and SE N.Y., extending from N of Jersey City, N.J., to the vicinity of Piermont, N.Y., with a general altitude of from 350 ft to 550 ft (107–168 m). , catches a wave at Surf Academy in Santa Monica.
(4 -- color) John Manley of Team Shark offers a mackerel mackerel, common name for members of the family Scombridae, 60 species of open-sea fishes, including the albacore, bonito, and tuna. They are characterized by deeply forked tails that narrow greatly where they join the body; small finlets behind both the dorsal and to a blue shark.
(5) Kayaking is the great way to explore the Channel Islands National Park.
Bill Becher/Special to the Daily News