CIR to Offer Additional Mainland Educational Tours
CIR will again offer our popular educational tours to fabulous mainland locations in 2014.  Led by Geologist Tanya Atwater, Botanist Steve Junak and birding experts, these trips have become very popular and often sell out early!

White Mountains (July 4—7, 2014)
Tanya Atwater discusses geology with participants on
the 2012 CIR White Mountains tour
Participants on the 2012 CIR White Mountains tour enjoy
music around the campfire
This will be our fifth tour of the fascinating White Mountains of Eastern California. Last summer 25 participants joined us from all over California as we spent four days visiting ancient trees, spectacular vistas and exceptional geology. We stay at the Crooked Creek research station, which is set in a bristlecone and limber pine forest at 10,200 feet in altitude. Station staff cook all of our meals, and we are treated to evening presentations by Tanya Atwater and Santiago Escruceria, our local birding expert. The ancient bristlecone pines are one of the most exotic and interesting features of the White Mountains. These are the oldest trees in the world; one of them has been dated at nearly 5,000 years old! We hike in two of these groves in guided explorations of the trees, wildflowers, birds and other animals that inhabit these high-altitude ecosystems. July is spring time in the high mountains!  Each day we take auto tours and short to medium length hikes to the pines and many great views and wildflower spots.  We also visit Barcroft Station, a unique facility for high-altitude research, and we offer an optional hike up nearby Mount Barcroft, at just over 13,000 feet.  For more information about the CIR White Mountains trip, visit the trip web site:

Top: participants in the CIR Death Valley tour pose for a photo
at Aguereberry Point, a spectacular view point above  Death
Valley.  Bottom: big-horned sheep seen on the 2012 CIR
Death Valley tour.
Death Valley National Park
(March 12 - 16, 2014)

This will be our third tour to the park. The five day adventure begins with a visit to the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest. We then head for camp at the Trona Pinnacles, which has some of the most unusual geological features in the California Deserts. The next day we enjoy many botany and geology stops and a spectacular view of Death Valley from Aguereberry Point. We stay three nights at Furnace Creek in the floor of the valley. We stay in the campground, or participants can stay in their own RVs or in the nearby hotel (at their own cost)  Over the next two days we enjoy a spectacular drive through Titus Canyon, a hike up Mosaic Canyon, and visits to Ubehebe Crater, Dante’s View, Zabriskie Point, Badwater, the Salt Creek pupfish ponds, and various botanical and birding sites.  Even though 2013 was a dry year, we still found some stands of lovely desert wildflowers, so we will be looking for those again!  We even got a close-up look at big-horned sheep near Aguereberry Point!  For more information on the Death Valley trip, visit the trip web site:

Central Coast Natural History Tour (May 31—June 3, 2014)
This will be our third tour of Central Coast natural history sites, with special emphasis on the geological history of California with Dr. Tanya Atwater. This is a travelling, four day camping trip, with the option to stay in hotels. We camp at Morro Bay State Park, Pinnacles National Park, and Pfeiffer-Big Sur State Park. 

Point Piedras Blancas Lighthouse on the 2012 CIR
Central Coast Natural History Tour
Our days include explorations of Avila Beach, Morro Rock, Parkfield and the San Andreas fault experiment, Pinnacles and fault offsets through old-town Hollister.  Steve Junak joins us for tours of Point Lobos State Park and other sites on the Big Sur coast.  We also receive a special tour of the Point Piedras Blancas lighthouse.  Both the lighthouse and the surrounding grounds have been beautifully restored.  We then visit the nearby elephant seal rookery.  This is an excellent way to learn about the geological history of California, while visiting spectacular natural history sites along the way.  For more information on the CIR Central Coast Natural History tour, visit the trip web site: