California Mountains - would you believe... there are some 138 mountains in Northern California - give or take a few?
And 26 of those are in the San Francisco bay area alone, according to Wikipedia.
Now let’s break those 138 mountains down into mountain ranges.
Afterall... we are looking for places to go, sights to see and things to do - aren’t we?
Okay, then... let’s get started...
First... There's 4 California mountain ranges. The...
The Shasta Cascade region of California - in the northeastern and north-central sections of the state - borders Oregon and Nevada , and includes far northern parts of the Central Valley.
Both Mount Shasta - in Siskiyou County - and Mount Lassen - in Shasta County - are part of the Shasta-Cascade Range.
Did you know that when you're heading up highway 299 towards Burney and
Alturas... there are a couple of spots along the highway where you can
see BOTH - Mount Shasta and Mount Lassen at the same time?
See if you can find them... when you’re up that way.
Mt. Eddy, in Trinity/Siskiyou County, provides deep clear lakes that are great for swimming, and camping.
Not only are there outstanding views of Mount Shasta and the Trinity Alps, but you'll see many varieties of wildflowers, too.
The Shasta-Cascades are loaded with lakes, rivers, and waterfalls.
There's many places in the California mountains where you can go hiking, fishing, backpacking, camping, mountain biking, water skiing, and more.
Here are just some worth exploring...
Now... if you're looking for parks and recreations spots to go... then visit...
One California mountain range - the Siskiyou Mountains - are actually part of the Coastal Mountain Range in the northern Klamath Mountains going from southwestern Oregon to northwestern California.
The highest peak in the California portion of the Klamath-Siskiyou range is Preston Peak.
At 7,309 feet above sea level... Preston Peak's high elevation and closeness to the Pacific Ocean, has plenty of rain and snow. So expect to see lots of lush green forests.
They aren’t the highest or most dramatic California mountains in the area... but you'll enjoy a wide variety of plant life - and see lots of wildlife. Like... deer, elk, black bears, mountain lions, spotted owls, and more.
The Klamath River - the second largest river in California - is a great recreation river.
If you like fishing, there's Salmon, Steelhead, Trout, and Sturgeon running in the Klamath that'll give you the time of your life.
You can explore the river by taking a jet boat tour or just relax and float down the river on a raft.
And that’s just the beginning...
Then there's the...
One of the most picturesque California mountain range - the Sierra-Nevada's - stretch from the Susan River and Fredonyer Pass in Lassen County to Tehachapi Pass in Kern County.
They also spread out to the western side of California's Central Valley as well as on the eastern side along the Basin and Range region.
The Sacramento River runs along the northwestern slope of the Sierra-Nevada's, and the San Joaquin River runs west-southwest.
Enjoy houseboating, jet skiing, water skiing, fishing, river cruising, paddleboating, whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, and more.
Some of the smaller rivers like the... Feather River, Yuba River, American River, Mokelumne River, Stanislaus River and the Tuolumne River provide excellent fishing, camping, hiking, and so on.
So does the Truckee River that flows into Lake Tahoe then into Pyramid Lake.
The California mountains in the Sierra-Nevadas increase in elevation from north to south.
Fredonyer Pass and Lake Tahoe peaks rise about 5,000 feet above sea level to more than 9,000 feet high.
The large, deep freshwater Lake Tahoe provides a wide variety of things to do. Like... fishing, boating, water skiing, and more.
You can even enjoy a leisurely sightseeing cruise to Emerald Bay.
Donner Summit - sits roughly 7200 feet elevation on the crest of the Sierra Nevada - between Sacramento California and Reno Nevada.
You may have heard about Donner Summit from the story of the Donner Party... where some ninety wagon train emigrants were unable to cross the Sierra Nevadas before winter, and almost one-half starved to death.
Today, it's a very popular area with hikers, skiers, naturalists, historians, climbers, train buffs, and so on.
Standing in one spot on Donner Summit, you'll see... mountain peaks, meadows, the source of three major California rivers, forests, trails, bike routes, and hiking paths.
And there's plenty of streams and rivers to enjoy... including the North Fork of the American River and the headwater of the South Yuba River.
Further south, Mount Lyell at 13,120 feet above sea level, is the highest peak in Yosemite National Park.
The Sierra-Nevada''s continue to climb in elevation to almost 14,000 feet, with Mount Humphreys near Bishop, California.
They finally reach their peak with... Mount Whitney - at 14,505 feet above sea level - the highest point in the 'lower 48' states of the United States.
Yes... Mount Whitney is part of the Sierra-Nevada Mountain Range.
So if anyone asks you what mountains are in Northern California... you can tell them - Mount Whitney - for one!
Now... if you’re thinking of climbing Mt. Whitney, make sure you…
Continuing on... let’s not forget... Mammoth Mountain - along the east side of the Sierra-Nevada's.
It provides plenty of fun for the whole family... with its large ski resort area in the Inyo National Forest.
And then, of course, there's the famous Yosemite Valley.
Of all the California mountains, the famed Yosemite National Park showcases many sights to see like... Half Dome, El Capitan, and Yosemite waterfalls... just to mention a few.
The Sierra-Nevada Mountain Range is, also, home to the Giant Sequoia, the most massive trees on Earth.
The most famous hiking and horse-packing trail in the Sierra is the John Muir Trail... going from the top of Mt. Whitney to Yosemite Valley.
When you explore Northern California, be sure to spend some time in one of three of the major national parks in the Sierra-Nevada’s.
We'll talk about them later.
The next California mountain range is the...
The Coastal Mountains run along side the Pacific Coast north of San Francisco Bay area to the South Fork Mountains in northern Humboldt County.
They include the Mendocino mountains of western Mendocino County and the Mayacamas, Sonoma, and Vaca Mountains as well as the Marin Hills of the North Bay.
There’s plenty of things to do... like... riding the Skunk Train through the redwoods, or exploring some of their rivers, like... the Eel River or Russian River.
There is plenty to keep both kids and parents moving for a weekend or a week.
...Northern California’s mountains offer LOTS of places to see and things to do.
Especially if you like... hiking, camping, biking, fishing, water sports, backpacking, winter sports, or just getting out into the outdoors and enjoying the views.