THANKS TO ITS ABSOLUTELY INSANE GEOGRAPHY, California is one of the most starkly diverse places on the planet. In the north you can find temperate rainforest, while in the south lies some of the world’s driest, most majestically barren desert. Driving out of Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, you can be at the base of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the contiguous 48 states, within three hours. There are volcanoes and there are beaches — it’s an entire continent’s worth of stunning landscapes in a single state.
And it’s well preserved. The state of California is home to nine of the country’s 59 national parks, as well as over 250 state parks, recreation areas, reserves, and historic sites. So naturally, it’s a good place for a train or road trip. Here are some incredible pictures to get you thinking about where you want to go in California.