New for California
Public Lands Gift Certificates
Do you have a friend or loved one who's always out exploring, hunting, and adventuring? Is their birthday today and you forgot? Your friend might really appreciate an instant gift certificate, good for the map or guide of their choice. Send the gift of public lands adventure, instantly!
Welcome to California
Even after Don Cabrillo explored the California coast, in the middle of the 16th century, it took a while for the word to get out that there was a very special land at the western end of the New World. For the next 300 years, the Spanish settlements and missions expanded slowly through southern California, co-existing more or less peacefully with the indigenous peoples.
Then the Americans blazed a trail overland, and discovering the richness of the mines, the agricultural land, and the forests, eventually annexed the land from Mexico. Since then, California has been synonymous with clement weather, sublime natural beauty, and richly varied ecosystems. From sandy beaches on the Pacific Coast to the glaciers of the Sierra Nevadas, California's public lands encompass forests of giant redwoods, sequoias, and Joshua trees, vast expanses of exotic desert, fertile valley wetlands, and all sorts of fascinating transition zones.
The long coast, with its bays, beaches, harbors, and cliffs, was just waiting to be enjoyed, and the Pacific Ocean, supporting rich and diverse marine life, was open for trade, fishing, and sports. At first the inland mountains were viewed as a barrier, but as soon as explorers really plunged into the Sierra Nevadas and the northern forests, they were enchanted with the majestic peaks, the giant trees, the pristine lakes, the tumbling rivers and the glacial valleys. Even the harsh Mojave desert, the hottest and lowest place in the nation, is loved for its spare beauty, its rejuvenating solitude, its carefully balanced ecosystem, and its awesome climbing routes.