The most southwestern state in the USA, California has a diverse ecosystem of deserts, mountains and seacoast.

The low desert is home to the Salton Sea and Death Valley, two of the lowest places in America, each hundreds of feet below sea level.  The high desert, over 2000 feet above sea level, has unique vegetation like Joshua trees.

Ancient Native American petroglyphs can be found all across southern regions of California.

Some of the best features of California are the less famous destinations.

Low Desert & Salton Sea

The Low Desert is an area of California below 2000ft in elevation.  The Colorado Desert makes up much of this region.

The Salton Sea, a large inland saline lake created by an engineering disaster in the early 1900’s, is located in the eastern parts of Riverside and Imperial Counties.

Dos Palmas Preserve

BLM keeps the main gate locked, visitors need to walk about a mile to reach the ponds.  Summer temps are hot, bring plenty of water.

Dos Palmas Preserve

The oasis is fed by a natural spring, and has been developed for different uses over the years.  It’s now a protected wildlife sanctuary.

Dos Palmas Preserve

An old adobe house and other structures still remain.  Dos Palmas has an interesting history, stories of famous visitors and folklore.

Bombay Beach

Armchair resting on the shores of Bombay Beach.

Coachella Canal

A canal carrying irrigation water to the farmlands around the Coachella Valley.

Bradshaw Trail

The old road between Southern California and Arizona.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles, or LA, is a large city in Southern California.  It’s home to famous neighborhoods like Hollywood and Venice Beach.  The sprawling grid of suburbia make this area one of the most densely populated areas in the USA.  The City of LA and Los Angeles County has a diverse makeup of neighborhoods and sites to see.

Downtown Los Angeles

Downtown LA has trendy restaurants and hip hangout spots.  Classic Art Deco buildings and modern skyscrapers make up the city skyline.

Quiet Street

Los Angeles is quite enough late at night to take photos in the middle of the street.


Many of the streets in Los Angeles are long and straight.

Quiet Alley

New hipster developments made the neighborhood around 3rd Street trendier.

Fairfax District

The corner of Beverly and Fairfax in 2011.  This area is home to The Original Farmers Market, CBS Television City, Canter’s Deli and much more.

Sunburned Land

The picnic area at Lake Elizabeth doesn’t see many visitors and has fallen under disrepair since water levels dropped.  Combustible sunburned landscapes around this area are prone to wildfires.

Lake Elizabeth

Outside Los Angeles, the hills surrounding Lake Elizabeth are charred from fire which nearly destroyed a nearby summer camp, The Painted Turtle.  Exposed lakebed breeds multicolored bacteria.


The Angeles National Forest continues to deal with drought conditions.   It was thought that a monster lived in the lake.  Low water levels reveal mostly algae and bacteria on a crusty alkaline shore.

High Desert

The High Desert in California is an area above 2000ft in elevation.  It’s mostly made up of the Mojave Desert.  Vegetation unique to higher elevations can be found here.  Joshua Tree National Park is a popular High Desert destination.


The ruins of an old stone church located near Saddleback Butte State Park, not far off the main road.

Joshua Tree

Joshua trees grow at higher elevations.  They’re common in Southern California’s High Desert.

Joshua Tree National Park

Heading south through the park will eventually lead to Interstate 10.  This is the road that takes you there.

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Trees, mountains and rock formations are found all over the park.

Orange County

Orange County is on the coast in between Los Angeles and San Diego Counties.  Cities such as Irvine, Santa Ana, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach and many others are found there.

Newport at Night

A view of Newport Beach at night from Balboa Peninsula.

Huntington Beach Industry

The electrical substation is next to the beach. Feel the power.

Irvine at Night

Irvine is quite at night once all the corporate workers go home.

Newport Beach Pier

The pier is a popular place to go fishing at night.

Quiet Park

West Jetty View Park on Balboa Peninsula at night.

Newport Beach at Night

Newport Beach is less crowded at night, but the nightlife is hopping.

San Diego

The City of San Diego, as well as San Diego County, is the most southwest point in the USA and borders Mexico.  The mountainous geography on this region has a lot of interesting scenes.

San Diego at Night

A view of San Diego at night from Shelter IslandSan Diego Bay has many great places to visit.

Gaslamp Quarter

The Gaslamp Quarter of San Diego is known for hot nightlife, bars, restaurants and entertainment.

Lake Henshaw

A small lake in the mountains of San Diego County.


The general area of these photos