This post is in conjunction with our top Hidden SD Adventures for 2014. We ventured outside of the city limits many times this year and into some amazing experiences! I'm happy to share with you our top Hidden CA adventures of 2014. Enjoy!
Talk about a majestic, magic land! This is the largest waterfall I have ever visited (besides Niagra Falls, but that spot blows everything out of the water). It is 120 ft.! We found this spot by sheer chance, which is always rewarding. When we go up to Big Sur now it's gotten to the point where we drive on highway 1 and look for any soft spots that may have a trail. This has become extremely rewarding many times. Upon our short hike we also came upon caves in the same vicinity. There were people camping out here also. I'm not sure if you need to pay to camp here or if they just went for it but this is definitely a supreme camping spot!
We explored this a week or so after Halloween, after we had really immersed ourselves in the Halloween spirit playing horror video games and watching a ton of horror movies. It couldn't have been better timing to really screw with our psyche as the setting of this place looks like the beginning of a true horror story.
This spot is a literal palace with beautiful remnants still remaining so keep your eyes peeled! We went in the day but it's pitch black in many of the locations so make sure to bring a flashlight.
One floor is almost completely dedicated to the dorm rooms. We found kitchens and freezers, offices, the super-creepy basement, an attic that we did not attempt to go in because it is NOT safe, the mess hall and so much more.
Despite the obvious destruction from God knows what, there was very little graffiti or litter which is exactly how the place should remain. Help preserve this beautiful, historical spot as it is brimming with stories.
The 2nd I got wind of a Nazi Hideout in Los Angeles, I knew that would be a top pick for our annual hidden CA road trip. Tucked deep in a canyon amongst the luxurious hills of the Pacific Palisades lays the remains of a multi-million dollar commune which not only has the history of hiding Nazi sympathizers awaiting the overthrow of America, but was also the dwelling of famous artists such as Henry Miller in the 70's.
The hike was beautiful and in order to get down into the canyon you have to walk down what feels like a millions stairs. You will pass many interesting ruins along your journey though. This is definitely worth the trip.
4. Salton Sea:
I really don't know where to begin with this trip, only that it was one of the coolest adventures I've had since Big Sur and for all the opposite reasons! When people talk about Salton City & the Salton Sea you will often hear descriptions such as "The hills have eyes" and "devastating". I would have to agree. There is something extremely eerie and unsettling about this place. The once-gorgeous resort/lake is now a toxic wasteland (poor birds & fish still relying on this lake), the stench is ungodly and there seems to be as many destroyed or abandoned homes as there are residencies. Why would anyone choose to live here? On the flip side, if you are an adventurer, photographer or filmer, this is a must-visit place. I would recommend spending a weekend out here with free camping because there is just so much to explore.
There is no sand on the west side of the lake, only deep layers of crushed bone & shells, accumulated from decades of death. There are fish skeletons everywhere. If you can detach yourself from the horror and despair of this area, you may find yourself astounded by the surrealism of this situation. There can be much beauty in decay and death. Here is the perfect place to hone in on that.
P.S. Go in the winter! It gets HOT out here and if you top that off with the God-awful smell, it will be hard to enjoy yourself.
Personal Experience: Any place that reminds me of a hobbit land is instantly a favorite. In this area also lays a waterfall so make sure to check it out also if you head out here. Every step of this trip is filled with serene beauty and the air is as fresh as it gets! Once you make it to the limekilns it feels as if you've entered a fantasy land. Big Sur is truly a magic land.