May adventures in California

Greetings all,

I know several other regular forum users are also from California, so I’m hoping to crowdsource some ideas. I’ve got a friend coming to visit from out of state in a couple weeks. In the past, when she’s come to visit, we did roadtrips and spent all our time in the vicinity of our destination (We did Redwood Nat’l Park one year, and the Monterey Peninsula another). This time we’ll be staying at my place and sticking with daytrips instead of the long roadtrip (to save a little cost on hotels and to minimize time on the road. She gets carsick, unfortunately).

I’m looking for suggestions on places to take her within daytripping distance of Sacramento (preferably no more than 3hrs away) for some nature adventures. I’ve been to many places in NorCal and I’ve got several places on my list already that I want to share with her, but it doesn’t hurt to have options (especially if anyone has suggestions for some quieter, less crowded places). It’s interesting to hear about other people’s experiences, even with places I am familiar with, too.

So far on my list is Calaveras Big Trees, Point Reyes Nat’l Seashore, and the Davis Raptor Center (She loves birds of prey). I think we might also try some areas around Lake Tahoe during the week when it’s less crowded, too. Any other places you think I should consider?

The Mitchell Canyon trailhead in Mount Diablo State Park is pretty great, and May is a good time for butterflies.

Table Mountain outside of Oroville is also nice in the spring.

Table Mountain is nice (I was out there about a month ago), but I think the peak of the bloom was in late April. I think the window for that hike has come and gone.

Thanks for the suggestion! I’ve been to Mt Diablo a couple times, but I haven’t done that trail before.

Buckeyes should be in bloom, they attract a lot of butterflies. Look for Papilio multicaudata, it’s one of the few places that butterfly appears in the bay area.