When it comes to national parks, California is a state that has many of them. Some people may even argue that California’s national parks are the best in the country!
In this blog post, we will take a look at 10 of the best National Park in California.
1. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is a United States national park that comprises around 1,100 square miles in the central Sierra Nevada mountains. In addition to its natural beauty and diversity, Yosemite is highly popular among tourists for many of its features including the waterfalls, granite peaks, and wildlife.
The park includes half of Yosemite Valley which draws visitors from all over the world to admire stunning views of high granite walls along with imposing backdrops like El Capitan and Half Dome which are impressive examples of natural rock formations.
Other notable attractions within Yosemite include the Tuolumne Meadows area where hikers can find plenty to explore in addition to hiking trails leading all across the region making it a top destination for anyone traveling through Central California.
The park is also home to the famous Yosemite Falls which attracts visitors from around the world to check it out. The park also features numerous other qualities that make it an ideal destination for any trip through California.
2. Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree National Park is located in the Mojave Desert of southern California. It was named for its unique Joshua trees and craggy rock formations that make it an exceptionally beautiful landscape. There are many outlets for adventure at the park, as well as numerous campsites.
Camping reservations are highly recommended during the peak season, which extends from October to May when temperatures are milder than during summer months, but Joshua tree offers hundreds of climbing routes and special features like Skull Rock.
Hikers can also take the Roadrunner Scenic Byway to enjoy the park’s many scenic pull-outs that provide panoramas of the landscape.
The park is also home to several oases marked by palm trees, as well as special features like the wind caves and sand dunes. The Roadrunner Shuttle is also a great way to see the park, covering all of its main attractions and with free admission for riders.
3. Redwood National and State Parks
Since 1800, the United States has been in a constant battle for territory and power. But with the creation of new national parks and monuments, it’s been able to show its natural beauty beyond territorial conflicts.
Within our current national borders, we have Redwood National Park that protects nearly 100,000 acres of land in California. It’s here that you will find some of the tallest living things on Earth: giant trees that are over 350 feet tall!
The park also features over 90 miles of hiking trails and an abundance of wildlife including wildflowers, deer, and many types of birds. Some popular activities are camping near towering giants or strolling along fern-covered canyons.
4. Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a park in the US that features some of the largest environmental extremes found in the nation.
It has a very low elevation and can reach temperatures as high as 120°F, with many plants growing there. The Badwater Basin offers a 280-foot deep region at its lowest point, and it’s filled with salt formations.
The Furnace Creek area is the base camp for many visits to Death Valley National Park and provides options like lodging. Springtime offers the best chance of catching wildflowers that are super bloomed there from late March or early April to late April or early May.
5. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
The Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park is located in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. The park is managed by the U.S. National Park Service and encompasses two sections: Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park.
The visitors at these parks are treated to a slightly different experience due to their proximity to each other, with places to visit like Morro Rock and General Sherman Tree being close by both parks.
As mentioned, the scenic views of the Great Western Divide as seen from Morro Rock are superb, while General Sherman Tree is famously huge in size and has an impressive setting in its own right. The Giant Forest region within Sequoia is also popular for its large groves of sequoias.
Basic campsites within the parks are run by the National Park Service and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. For those looking for something a little more luxurious, then lodges and cabins await as well.
6. Pinnacles National Park
Pinnacles National Park is a national park in California, which was established on January 10, 2013. The park is well-known for its rock climbing opportunities and hiking trails. There are two peaks in the Pinnacles National Park: Chalone Peak Trail and High Peaks Trail.
The highest point of both peaks is about 2,700 feet or 800 meters. It has a surface area of 41 mi² – approximately 13 kilometers – which makes the area smaller than many other national parks in the US.
7. Point Reyes National Seashore
Point Reyes National Seashore is an expansive protected coastline in Northern California that offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation. The beaches of Point Reyes offer several opportunities for beachcombing, fishing, and otherwise exploring the natural resources of this spectacular national seashore.
The Point Reyes Lighthouse is a viewpoint on a rocky headland overlooking three nearby coastal areas in Marin County that are home to migrating gray whales.
Nearby San Francisco attracts tourists from all over the world who are attracted by the stunning views of the Pacific Ocean on this coastline. This coastline also boasts common animal sightings such as elk, seals, and gray whales during annual migrations.
For a postcard-worthy place to visit, Point Reyes Lighthouse serves as a beacon for travelers from every corner of the world. The National Park Service has more than 150 miles of hiking trails that cover marshes, fields, and forests along the Point Reyes Peninsula.
8. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park is a captivating destination for nature lovers. There are many attractions that make this park worth visiting.
The hydrothermal sites like Bumpass Hell, with its acres of bubbling mud pots will keep you entertained for hours.
While the views from Lassen Peak are the best place to take in the wilderness, there’s plenty more to do around the park also.
When you’re visiting Lassen Volcanic National Park and aren’t sure what to do, contact Drakesbad Guest Ranch for accommodations or information on how they can help plan your stay.
9. Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a large national park on the west coast of San Francisco Bay in northern California. The park spans 1,155.94 acres and includes beaches, headlands and estuaries as well as over 9 miles of gorgeous coastline which faces two bays: San Francisco Bay to the north and protected San Francisco Bay to the south.
Since its establishment in 1972, Golden Gate National Recreation Area has gone through many changes with an increasing number of visitors coming from around the world due to its proximity to Silicon Valley startups and universities like Stanford, UC Berkeley, or UCSF.
The park is very popular with pet owners — dogs are allowed access to all areas of the park; they just need to be on a leash and under control at all times. Keep your four-legged friend happy by taking them hiking or jogging around this beautiful mecca for animal lovers!
10. Channel Islands National Park
For people who are interested in Channel Islands National Park, the boat ride to any one of the five islands is a great way to experience the wild and rugged shore. In addition, there are plenty of activities such as hiking, picnicking and exploring rocks in a sea kayak.
For those who want a taste of luxury, take some time at Scorpion Ranch Campground on Santa Cruz Island. This is a special spot for those who love staying outdoors, with plenty of activities and beautiful scenery.