Features

  • Yosemite's historic Camp 4 serves as a base for mountain climbers from all over the globe.
    PENNI GLADSTONE
    OUTDOORS

    The Rescue a Yosemite Campsite

    - For decades, Camp 4 was the base camp for climbers scaling the vertical walls of Yosemite. That’s why the legendary Tom Frost fought to have it declared a historic site when its demise was imminent.
Russell Chatham at his studio in Marin County, California. ”I paint everything from memory,” he says.
PAIGE GREEN
ALTA Q&A

‘You’re an Artist. That’s What You Do.’

The famed Marin County–based landscape painter Russell Chatham tells Alta publisher Will Hearst where he finds inspiration, what it’s like to work on commission, and why Gauguin brought him to tears.

Zuni Café’s brick oven, open kitchen, and airy, industrial-looking dining room helped define the look for a new generation of farm-to-table restaurants 40 years ago.
CRAIG LEE
FOOD & DRINK

The Classics of California Cuisine

These 17 seminal restaurants—some over a century old—have shaped the way we eat and continue to spark new trends.

David Harris draped in a beloved American flag passed down through his family, at his home in Marin County, California, on March 20, 2019.
JASON HENRY
POLITICS

David Harris Continues to Resist

Few resisters from the Vietnam antiwar era had a bigger impact than David Harris, who inspired generations to have the courage of their convictions. Now dying of cancer, he wants his message heard again.

Junzo Jake Ohara, 84, Takeshi Motoyasu, 84, and Eddie Tetsuji Kato, 86, outside Kato’s Monterey Park, California, home in 2013.
PAUL KITAGAKI JR.
PORTFOLIO

Internment Revisited

Paul Kitagaki Jr., the son of Japanese American Internment Camp internees, tracked down survivors to document their experiences for his book Behind Barbed Wire.

Jazz singer Paula West’s career has been one of brilliant peaks separated by long, flat pauses. “I just try to look at the glass as half full rather than half empty,” she says.
PENNI GLADSTONE
JAZZ

Paula West’s Blues

Straddling the line between cabaret and jazz, Bay Area vocalist Paula West has created a devoted following in the music world. So why isn’t she better known?

Hundreds of inexpensively made antennae tuned into the cosmos look for radio waves from potentially habitable planets at Caltech’s Owens Valley Radio Observatory near Big Pine, California.
GORDON WILTSIE
SPACE

The Planet Hunting Machine

Caltech professor Gregg Hallinan and his team are scanning the universe for possible Earths with cheap antennae built from parts found online, cake pans, and, yes, chicken wire—taking the lonely search for habitable planets and automating it.

COLD CASE

Alta Helps Recover L.A. Library Sculpture Missing for 50 Years

Our article led to the discovery of the missing Well of the Scribes—but parts of it are still lost. Join us in finding the rest of this prized bronze.