We were invited to a friend’s cabin in Bear Valley, California a few weeks ago. It was the last weekend for skiing, with ideal spring skiing weather. It was so warm as we drove up I couldn’t quite imagine that I would be on the slopes the next day. We stopped for an early dinner on the way, in the town of Murphys, a cute gold town hotspot. We had yummy tacos on a balmy spring evening at Firewood café and soaked in the warmth of the early evening sun
The next day we did wind up downhill skiing at the family friendly Bear Valley Resort. It was the first time in 12 years for me, even though I cross country ski a lot, and the first time, ever, for my two boys. On the Sunday our hosts suggested a walk in the Redwoods. I had no idea they were so close! This spot is nestled between Gold Country and Mountain ski resorts; what an amazing destination! Then I found out that where we were staying was just a stone’s throw from one of the premier Redwood Forests in Northern California. I’ve lived in San Francisco for more than 15 years and I have only visited the Redwoods a handful of times, and not in a long while. It was awesome. Calaveras Big Trees State Park was a perfect day trip for us with four boys aged 5-9. We took the guided walk and read about the history, but mostly just basked in the grandeur of the giant sequoias. The kids marveled at their size and enjoyed climbing around and drinking in small bits of natural history. We encouraged them along with snacks and treats but they were gripped by the natural majesty of the place. There are plenty of photo ops with tunnels carved through giant trees and the skyscraper-esque view one gets of the sky from the ground. The pamphlet you can pick up at the beginning chronicles the history of the park, providing a window into how it must have been to discover these tremendous wonders more than a century ago. The trail was full of families and seniors, foreigners and photographers. It’s definitely a place worth a visit!