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"Hell is other people." - Jean-Paul Sartre

California Road Trips & Peak Travel Seasons

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California population may be ever growing, but they're not building any more Yosemite's. The migratory path weestward started w/ the historic gold rush - but the trend has literally lasted 200 years!

budget hotels Make sure you plan your trip & book your lodging or campgrounds well in advance. In this west coast world of tourism, 3-6 months is not unheard of. The more popular the locale, the more people want that perfect weather month and the further in advance you should reserve. Remember a good portion of these mountains destinations are closed half the year for winter snow.

With California population near 34 million people it's a wonder we don't kill each other faster. Slow down and enjoy the back roads with Total Escape. Statistics show: One outta 8 Americans lives in California!

This staggering large population is ever growing and expanding. College students, retirees, world-travelers and young families flock here, bring relatives and friends to migate west... ever since the gold mining boom of 1849 . Still we are cranking out babies and building more communities in California. Add a huge tourism industry that brings in millions of outta state folks for conventions & outdoor vacations.

Although it is a huge regional paradise to explore, it is amazing locals can find any secret refuge for weekends or week-long fishing trips. With vast deserts, mountains and countrtside, half the golden state land could be easily considered public land, park, wildflife refuge or neighborhood open space preserve. Total Escape has this back roads thing covered. Exactly what this site is for- getting you out in the boonies to relax!

off road adventures

There's nothing worse than planning a trip, only to fight traffic on your way outta town, stand in long lines & see way too many tourists running about. Enjoying nature shouldn't have to include thousands of other people. Try these helpful tips for avoiding the crowds. Get more solitude & relaxation out of your vacation. Check our Fairs, Festivals, & Events list to know when certain towns & areas will be busiest.

sierra maps

Try out new areas! If you've never heard of it, chances are most people haven't either. Go ahead, explore a little...

California's Busy Season

Summer is definitely the tourist season in California. All the out-of-staters coming in to see the amazing Golden State: the recreation & the sights it has to offer. Summertime is the busiest time to visit the well-known areas such as:

California maps

Best time to plan trips to avoid summer crowds is -

May >


< Sept

Winter can be the busiest time to visit these areas:

  • desert towns (with spa resorts)
  • mountain resorts (with skiing)

Alternative Ski Resorts

 most popular areas  try these alternates
Big Bear Ski Wrightwood, Angeles Crest Mountain High
Mammoth Ski June Lake , Bear Valley, Huntington Lake , Pinecrest, Johnsville
Tahoe Ski Bear Valley , Pinecrest, Quincy, Mount Shasta

avoiding crowds

California's Off Seasons

realaxing outdoors

Catalina Island

Off Season = November and April

Grand Canyon

Overall Off season = November and April
North Rim
Closes for Winter. October - April
Before Memorial Day or after Labor Day.
South Rim
Open all year.
Off season = November and March

Sierra Nevada

Overall Off season =
November - May
West side
Yosemite Valley - open all year
Hwy.168 - Shaver Lake
Hwy 108 - Sonora Pass
Hwy 4 - Ebbets Pass
Off season = November - March
Eastern Sierra
Hwy. 395 - Mammoth
Off season = November - April


Overall Off season = November and March

High-country / Tuolumne Meadows
Hwy.120- Tioga Pass
Closes in the winter months: November - May

Christmas in Yosemite Valley via the Amtrak train is spectacular way to see the park in its full winter wonderland bliss. California photos

Better Book It Now

This is a list of some super popular California destinations that have limited accommodations.
Total Escape recommends you book early if you wanna spot at one of these prime places, especially in summer months.

Lake Tahoe winter ski crowd, summer camping
Mammoth Lakes winter ski crowd, summer mtn. bikers
Big Bear Lake SoCal close: winter skiing, summer camps
Mount Tamalpais State Park Point Reyes / San Francisco
Yosemite National Park Sierra Nevada / Gold Co.
Joshua Tree National Park Mojave Desert, near Palm Springs
Big Sur Coast Central Coast California

Avoiding ....

We all have things that annoy us.

annoyance found near season to visit avoid this time
mosquitoes mountains Sept thru April June thru August
coastal Sept thru April May thru August
deserts Dec thru April wet rainy season
snow mountains May thru Nov Dec thru May
country March and April winter storms linger
high deserts Nov thru April winter @ elev 3000'+
100+ heat deserts Nov thru May summer months get hot
country check the forecast foothills can get triple digits
high winds deserts check the forecast check the forecast in advance!
coastal Oct thru March Fall and Winter storms
mountains Oct thru April Fall and Winter storms
children mountains Sept thru May summertime, family camping

Search : Four Winds (River of Time California) (Volume 2)
Four Winds (River of Time California) (Volume 2)'s Price: $12.99
Search : Three Wishes (River of Time: California) (Volume 1)
Three Wishes (River of Time: California) (Volume 1)'s Price: $12.99
Search : The River Stops Here: Saving Round Valley, A Pivotal Chapter in California's Water Wars
The River Stops Here: Saving Round Valley, A Pivotal Chapter in California's Water Wars's Price: $31.95
Search : Northern California River Maps & Fishing Guide
Northern California River Maps & Fishing Guide's Price: $24.19
Search : California Rivers and Streams: The Conflict Between Fluvial Process and Land Use
California Rivers and Streams: The Conflict Between Fluvial Process and Land Use's Price: $33.32


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