Thirsty Souls

Thirsty Souls: California Roadtrip, National Parks

This week we're thirsty for time among the trees and trails. Our National Park Service is turning 100 this year, and we're celebrating the only way we know how - by hitting the road with Cactus Water in hand.

1. Sequoia & Kings Canyon

These side by side parks are collectively known as the "Land of Giants." Pay your respects to the largest tree in the world, The General Sherman, with a selfie beneath its 274-foot canopy.

2. Death Valley

This low, dry valley in Eastern California is notorious for its extremes. Take in Darwin Falls near Panamint Springs to beat the record-breaking heat (130+ degrees), and survey the scene from Telescope Peak (11,000+ feet) for an incredible bird's eye view.

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3. Redwood

Though logging decimated the redwood population in the 1800's, this four park system is a safe haven for the remaining old-growth redwoods. Experience the "silence and awe" that the massive trees inspire while exploring 37 miles of unadulterated California coastline in Redwood National and State Parks.

John Steinbeck said it best: "The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always....they are ambassadors from another time." Simply splendid.

4. Yosemite

Perhaps California's most well-known park, Yosemite has been protected since 1864. Take its 1,200 square miles by storm on foot, by horseback, or via bike - the wildflowers and waterfalls await with open arms.

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5. Joshua Tree

The Mojave and the Colorado deserts meet in Joshua Tree National Park, so the desert vibes are strong with this one.

Include the entire clan on your trip to Joshua Tree; the Youth Conservation Corps and Junior Rangers programs invite kids and teens to experience the wonder of the wild, and there's no shortage of rock climbing, bird watching, and star gazing for Mom and Dad. This is one vacay the family won't forget!

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6. Channel Islands

If you feel most at home in the water, then Channel Islands is the park for you. Encompassing five islands and one mile of the surrounding ocean, visitors can snorkel, dive, and kayak the pristine Pacific.

Check out CI's live broadcasts to experience the park online and see what all the hype is about. You'll be packing your bags in no time!

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7. Lassen Volcanic

Explore volcanoes and hot springs by day, and revel in one of the "last sanctuaries of natural darkness" at night. Lassen's annual Dark Sky Festival attracts amateur and professional astronomers alike for a weekend of marveling at the Milky Way.

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8. Mojave (National Preserve) 

The Mojave is classic Cali - a desert expanse between LA and Las Vegas with all the fixings. We're talking roadrunners, jackrabbits, and coyotes amid the cholla, Joshua trees, springs, and seeps. Recharge your crystals and hang your dream catcher; you're home, moon child.

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9. Point Reyes (National Seashore)

Over 1,500 plant and animal species call Point Reyes their home, and visitors are welcome year round. Elephant seals, sea lions, whales, and tule elk will boost the charm quotient of your trip and remind you that Mother Nature has some darn cute kids.

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10. The Sand to Snow National Monument

President Obama granted monument status to this area of Southern California in February of this year due to its ecological richness and archeological significance.

Do some soul-searching on the desert floor or atop a snow-capped peak; Sand to Snow is the perfect place to clear your head.

 @drinkcaliwater

The West Coast is the most enchanting coast, and we're completely mesmerized by Cactus Mart in Morongo Valley (inside Sand to Snow). We made ourselves at home in their desert plant emporium for a photo shoot to launch our new flavors, and (obviously) it was a match made in heaven.

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