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28 Sep 2019

48 Hrs X Cali

When it comes to getting down n’ dirty with spontaneous adventures, most of the time you’ve gotta grab a shoehorn and force in some adrenaline-filled fun whenever you can. But not in Cali, dammit. It doesn’t matter which airport you fly into or which border town you rip through on four or two wheels, when you arrive in California, adventure comes strapped to a homing missile that you can’t hide or outrun. Thrills are everywhere. Trust us!

There are massive redwood forests in the north, surf-happy beaches to the south, and a whole lot of Golden State experiences in between - and every inch of it begs to be explored. Like, all of it. But instead of doing those epic Cali things you’ve seen a thousand times on your ‘gram feed,’ it’s time you grabbed a handful of some not-in-every-guidebook activities, and sprinkled them across your next Californian adventure.

So grab your favorite sunnies, clear the way for some new snaps on your camera, and make your way to Cali because we’ve got enough epic AF adventures to fill 48 hours of back-to-back fun.

#daretoexplore

1. Hike More, Worry Less

You’re in Cali, baby. You can pretty much toss your hiking boots whichever direction you like and start climbing whatever peak your laces land on. But if you want views for days, there’s only two far-flung favorites to pick from: Sandstone Peak and the Marin Headlands. The first is a 6-mile loop up the tallest peak in the Santa Monica Mountains that will have your muscles aching and your fingers pinching yourself all the way to the top (it’s freakin’ 3,11ft, man), and the other is a 10-mile trail that’s as tricky as it is awesome because nothing says Californian hike like seeing the Golden Gate Bridge peak through a duvet of pillowy clouds.

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2. May The Forest Be With You

Challenge: Ditch your phone, head into the Redwood National Park and try not to lose your mind -- or concede defeat now because that just ain’t possible, dude/dudette. Why? Co’s these aren’t normal trees. These are the world’s tallest trees. Natural giants that scrape the sky all the way from Big Sur to the Oregon border. Trees so big you can drive through their trunks. Literally. 3 of them, in fact. But ignore these old-fashioned tourist traps because nothing compares to strapping a tent to your back, stepping off the beaten track and spending a night beneath these ancient behemoths. It’s time to think outside, no box required.

3. Road Trippin’ is a Big Sur-tainty

Sunglasses - Ace Aviators

Some places were just made for filling up with gas, pulling on a pair of Ace aviators, pressing the pedal to the metal, dangling a bare ankle of the window and exploring it all by car (or, better yet, by Bonneville) -- and Big Sur is one of those places the place to do it. Road trip paradise. Somewhere you’ll want to see every acre of, but know you’ll never scratch the surface. There’s just too many secret spots, from the mysterious redwood forests to the rocky coastline, hidden hot springs to purple-sand beaches, waterfalls worth chasing and California condors you’ll crane your neck upward for. This is no road trip. This is an epiphany trip. And no two cars-slash-bikes will ever share the same adventure.

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4. Good Moaning, Thrillseeker

You don’t have to look far to find a better-looking natural beauty, but you’d have to grab a fine tooth comb and search the entire planet to find one with more thrills. Tucked into the ground of Central California is Moaning Cavern, a cave that could swallow Lady Liberty in one gulp, and you get to rappel into it -- past 165ft of gothic-looking rock formations and toward the oldest human remains anywhere in the USofA. And if you’re wondering what the acoustics are like, they’re epic. As are the rip-roaring zip lines and go-wherever-you-like hikes found above ground.

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5. Wanderlust & Desert Dust

There’s a whole lotta desert to be found in California, but there’s no patch of dead-earth with more “wow” than Joshua Tree. Whether you want to gaze at the galaxy, rip it up in jeeps, hit up the best bits in a Hummer, chalk up your hands for an all-day rock-climbing class, see the sunset over the sci-fi landscape, or experience the Dr Seuss-ness through herb-tinted glasses, there’s a nerve-jangling adventure for everyone. 794,000-acres of it, in fact, split across two life-affirming deserts - the Colorado and Mojave - and the White Tank Campground is the most badass spot for all your exploration needs.

6. Yo, Sem-eh-tee, Whaddup

Sunglasses - Agent

The first rule of doing Yosemite is to pronounce it Yo-sem-eh-tee. The second rule of doing Yosemite is to friggin’ do it. Whichever acre of this awesome park ends up grabbing you by the Black Mamba’s, make sure you do it. Do it hard. Do it until your skin is sweating, your muscles are aching, your lungs are heaving, your heart is pounding, and your mind is sparking like a cattle prod gone haywire. Unleash your inner-madness and hike up the Half Dome, stare at the sunrise over El Cap, find the dark spot on Glacier Point and see the stars like you’ve never seen them, explore the second valley at Hetch Hetchy, backpack along Glen Aulin, and take it all in from Taft Point - one of the most spine-arching viewpoints you can ever stumble across.

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7. They Sea Me Paddling

The first rule of doing Yosemite is to pronounce it Yo-sem-eh-tee. The second rule of doing Yosemite is to friggin’ do it. Whichever acre of this awesome park ends up grabbing you by the Black Mamba’s, make sure you do it. Do it hard. Do it until your skin is sweating, your muscles are aching, your lungs are heaving, your heart is pounding, and your mind is sparking like a cattle prod gone haywire. Unleash your inner-madness and hike up the Half Dome, stare at the sunrise over El Cap, find the dark spot on Glacier Point and see the stars like you’ve never seen them, explore the second valley at Hetch Hetchy, backpack along Glen Aulin, and take it all in from Taft Point - one of the most spine-arching viewpoints you can ever stumble across.

8. Re-Wild Your Bath Time

Hot tubs are cool and all, but have you ever hopped in a pickup, pointed the hood toward Nowhereville in Eastern Sierra, and soaked in a backcountry hot spring surrounded by faraway mountains and a sky full of stars? No. Well, it’s time you did and the adventure vibes don’t get any better than Wild Willy’s Hot Spring. Simply pack a tent, some tinnies, a towel, and some Sahara shades, and re-wild your adventure squad with a middle of nowhere chillout session.

9. Hell Never Looked So Good

Remember that time you first explored the infamous Yellowstone Park. Now imagine this place had been remixed Golden State style and you have yourself Bumpass Hell, Lassen National Park, a place where the blood-pumping, hair-raising, this-is-what-life-is-about geothermal pools will leave you covered in a dozen pinch marks caused by your own hands. We’re talking about 16-acres littered with bubbling springs, epic mudpots, and steam vents erupting from the ground like smog from a 1900s railway engine. And the best thing about this volcanic park: there’s a boardwalk that takes you right over the pools and through this sea of crazy colors.

10. Beach Hikes, Baby

The second best reason to wake up at dawn’s crack is to pull on your hiking boots and take on one of California’s epic mountain trails. But the first best reason to set your alarm is to beach hike your way along Torrey Pines. Feel the sand beneath your toes, watch the sun pull it’s way over the horizon, and have your mind blown by the early-morning colors reflecting on the white-capped ocean below you. Sure, this adventure might not get your heart thudding through your flannel shirt, but not all adventures have to. Some can just see you walking the State Beach at low-tide, taking in the cityscape from Kate Sessions Memorial Park, chomping down on some surf and turf tacos at a Mexican seafood eatery, and then burning it all off as you tackle another beach trail. It’s the gentle adventure to end 48-hours of epic thrills. Or you can up your send off by taking off on a paraglider.

Thanks for reading!​ For more offbeat adventures and thrill-seeking ideas, follow us on Instagram​ and Facebook​, sign up to our newsletter and make the rest of your life the best of your life.

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