11 Best National Parks In California

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You’ll be able to find more national parks in California than in the other states within the country. California national parks provide one of all the good geographic region aggregations on earth.

Starting from the amazing Yosemite to the Death Valley, California’s national parks inspire infinite marvel, dramatic landscapes, numerous flora, and fauna, and beautiful adventures expect you at each of the national parks in California.

The beauty of California’s national parks has made them globally famous for tourism. Many of these parks get tons of visits from locals and international folks alike. The top national parks in California are:

  • Joshua Tree National Park.
  • Death Valley National Park.
  • Yosemite National Park.
  • Channel Islands National Park.
  • Pinnacles National Park.
  • Kings Canyon National Park.
  • Redwood National and State Parks.
  • Lassen Volcanic National Park.
  • Cabrillo National Monument.
  • San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
  • Mojave National Preserve.

Incredible National Parks In California

1.  Joshua Tree National Park

national parks in california
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Joshua Tree national park, a distinctive desert park because of its location, encompasses not only one but two types of desert ecosystems. The Colorado Desert, Mojave Desert, Death Valley national park, Joshua tree national park make up some of the best desert national parks of incredible southern California.

This park gets its name from the wacky and bizarre Joshua tree that we can see on its northern side. The Mormons that reportedly named the tree sounded like the Biblical character Joshua, along with his arms raised in prayer.

Joshua tree national park is located in south-eastern California. It is mainly visited for its landscapes, the large boulder that builds its hiking trails (rock climbing), mecca, and rich flora and fauna park home. A walk around the Joshua tree is one of the simplest and best day trips.

There are many varieties of trails to hike. Rock climbing and rock scrambling square measure are massively well-liked in Joshua tree national park. Take the scenic drive through the park, go biking, explore backcountry roads, camp, stargaze, and revel in birdwatching.

Relish wildflowers within the spring. For an in-depth cross-check of quite different aspects of the park, be part of a ranger-led activity, target-hunting walks, lectures, and evening programs within the amphitheater square measure offered throughout the year.

2.  Death Valley National Park

It’s no surprise that Death Valley is one of California’s most popular places to go in December. Death Valley National Park often appears in the top five in the lists of the best national parks in California. This national park is considered one of the hottest and driest places. Death Valley truly holds the record for fashionable temperature ever recorded on earth.

Located east of the Sierra American state within the southeast part of California, Death Valley national park hugs the border with the American state. As a result, Death Valley national park makes for a good excursion from the metropolis because it is simply a 2-hour drive from Sin Town.

This largely treeless desert park features astounding rock landscapes, mountain ranges (sometimes with snow!), gorgeous canyons and sandy dunes, and vast saltwater flats.

3.  Yosemite National Park

body of water near trees and mountain at daytime
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Yosemite National Park is on the scale of Rhode Island, America’s third-oldest national park. Yosemite national park was established in 1890; it is one of the most visited national parks within the United States.

Located within the stunning Sierra American state, Yosemite Falls offers granite cliffs and some of the most majestic waterfalls in California. There are stunning meadows and lakes, spaces of virgin forests, and numerous wildlife.

Yosemite national park is a superb park for all sorts of tourists, from extreme outside enthusiasts, families seeking an outdoor vacation, and town dwellers that come back to savor the geographical area to photographers seeking a perfect shot.

Long walks within the spring and summer, rediscover the colors in fall, and go sport or snowshoeing during the winter. You can hike-bike at Yosemite national park falls. However, also climb, stargaze, go exploring either in your vehicle or within the park shuttle, camp and picnic, relish photography, and take a look at the wildlife and birds.

Ranger-led programs area units are offered in season and might enhance your expertise and appreciation of the park.

4. Channel Islands National Park

Sometimes compared to the island, the Golden State Channel Islands region is home to many plant and animal species; several dozen are distinctive to the islands.

You can visit this island solely by taking a boat or a plane. It’s located off the Southern California coast; Channel Islands national park encompasses 5 of the eight islands. The immediate ocean encompasses them: Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara.

Channel Islands national park offers various possibilities to observe spectacular scenery areas and a large variety of flora and fauna. The views from higher elevations on the islands are out of this world. Wildflowers bloom within the spring, with some species blooming throughout the summer.

Once on the island of your selection, explore on foot. Hiking is one of the highest things to do in Channel Islands national park. As you walk, absorb the spectacular views, birdwatch, and appreciate the beautiful wildflowers. Water activities abound here, such as diving, surfing, kayaking, boating, fishing, and tide-pooling. It’s also a popular destination for camping and picnics.

5. Pinnacles National Park

Pinnacles national park sits east of the Salinas vale, and it’s about 2 hours from Big Sur. The park is considered to be leftovers of a volcanic incident around twenty-three million years ago.

The national parks of California don’t disappoint when it comes to spring wildflowers. You’ll find plenty of incredible, gorgeous views around this park. You can also indulge in activities such as cave exploration and enjoy a calm hike around the giant rock formations.

6. Kings Canyon National Park

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Kings Canyon National Park is quite close to Sequoia National Park, and it gets thousands of tourists every year. It has one of the deepest canyons in the U.S., along with eminent trees, majestic mountains, and delightful rock formations. Kings Canyon rivals gorgeous landscapes that you can find at Yosemite.

This park is home to numerous fauna, including burro deer, Ovis canadensis, black bear, and diverse species of birds.

At King’s Canyon, you’ll get the opportunity to hike a wide range of trails, go mountaineering (rock climbing), camp, backpack, do horseback riding, or indulge in water activities around the lakes.

There are opportunities to stargaze, fish, observe wildlife, do fancy photography, or visit a number of the historical sites within the park. Fancy sledding, snow play, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing in the winter are also some of the most popular activities.

7. Redwood National Park

Redwood National and State Parks isn’t a singular national park in California but a combination of multiple parks that unfold across the lineation (which confused Pine Tree State initially). These beautiful national parks are around 5 hours north of San Francisco.

Once here, you’ll notice that a combination of the temperate rain forest, large redwood trees, and the covering Pacific ocean make for a vast extent idyllic setting. It could take weeks to explore the entirety of Redwood National and State Parks.

Don’t miss the opportunity to hike along the Damnation Creek path, witness the grassland Creek Redwoods and explore all of the fun activities around these parks.

Redwood National Park’s Unique Attraction

The Klamath River Overlook offers glorious views of the mouth of the Klamath River and, therefore, the Pacific Ocean. Scenic picnic fallback commanding ocean & water with sightings of grey whales, oceans & sea lions.

Bring your binoculars! Seals can typically be seen and detected as they rest on the sandspit at the mouth of the river. It may be an excellent spot to look at a range of birds and marine life any time of year. You can even catch a glimpse of migrating grey whales within the spring or fall. 

The overlook has picnic tables that offer incredible sunset views if not hidden by fog.

The coastal path works north to the laguna Creek Day Use space. For the swashbuckling wanting to induce nearer to the action within the surf, a once 1/2 mile steep path results in a good ocean overlook.

8. Lassen Volcanic National Park

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Lassen Peak, the foremost far-famed volcano in Lassen Volcanic national park, last erupted within the early decade. There are hydrothermal hissing fumaroles or effervescent hot pools present around here.

Located within the Shasta Cascade in northeastern California, Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the less-visited California national parks, which may be a blessing if you like to experience the wonders of nature without crowds.

In our opinion, the foremost distinctive national park in northern California, Lassen National Park, can appear intimidating because of its hydrothermal options, together with fumaroles, boiling pools, and dirt pots.

But it’s worth visiting for the spectacular scenery such as ragged peaks and flower-filled meadows, lovely lakes, and thick forests. During the winter, this snowy wonderland can mesmerize you.

You can enjoy a variety of activities here. Go kayak within the beautiful clear lakes, camp, carry, picnic, and stargaze within the park. Hiking and biking in the summer is also much-loved activity.

9. Cabrillo National Monument National Park

Found at the tip of the purpose Loma Peninsula, simply west of the town center, Cabrillo National monument is one of the most visited national parks in the San Diego metropolis.

This national park attracts many tourists to the San Diego metropolis Bay. Hispanic heritage in the metropolis offers views of the harbor and skyline of the metropolis whereas, able to see as much as Tijuana and the Coronado Islands in North America.

Another attraction within the national monument is the Lomaeacon light, a significant metropolis landmark engineered atop a bluff over four hundred feet above sea level. Best beacon light within the USA once it was still operational.

Its elevation, however, meant that the sunshine was usually obscured by fog and low clouds, typically forcing the beacon lightkeepers to use guns to warn ships. Nowadays, the previous purpose Loma beacon light could be a history storehouse.

Additionally, Cabrillo national monument offers various fun outside activities moreover. The metropolis is an out-of-doors lovers’ paradise because of average year-round temperatures of over 70°F (21°C) and quite twenty sunny days a month.

From tide-pooling and whale watching to hiking, athletics, and bird observation, Cabrillo national monument could be an excellent spot to enjoy the San Diego climate.

10. San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park is one of the beautiful parks in California and a famous historic national park. It’s located close to Fisherman’s Wharf, one of San Francisco’s prime tourist attractions.

This National Historical Park in San Francisco lets you immerse yourself into the planet of 19th-century Pacific seafaring. 

This multi-attraction park preserves a wealth of cultural resources, giving guests the possibility to expertise coast maritime history first-and arguably, its main highlight is the fleet of historic ships docked at Hyde Street Pier.

In addition, to its superb fleet, San Francisco metropolis Maritime National Historical Park has its traveler center or visitor center. Housed in an early-1900s city district warehouse, it contains heaps of fascinating information.

The Maritime repository is within the historic Aquatic Park Bathhouse Building; it has its Maritime center, established in 1939. It is the top resource for maritime history in the San Francisco metropolis and the entire coast.

The views offered around this historic national park aren’t something you would want to miss out on. It can get quite chilly here, so it’s recommended to come prepared to deal with that. 

11. Mojave National Preserve

Worthy of its parkland designation, Mojave National Preserve is primarily close to Joshua tree and Death Valley. If you’re looking to find a quiet national park in California, Mojave National Preserve is the one for you.

Located on Route sixty-six in Southern California, between Interstates fifteen and forty, this sprawling park is home to voluminous spring wildflowers, dunes, and even fragment cone volcanoes.

Canyons, mesas, and mountains frame a landscape as Wild West as they are available, particularly once considering that abandoned mines, homesteads, and recent military outposts dot the realm, too. This underrated park is one of the best national parks close to San Diego, California, a desert destination peaceful and quiet, beautiful and distinctive.

The night sky is nothing short of enchanting, whereas attractions like the volcanic rock Tube and Kelso Dunes are super-fun to explore amongst tourists.

Attractions Near The Best National Parks In California

While exploring the gorgeous national parks of California, you’ll come across many various attractions near these parks, which you shouldn’t miss out on. Here’s a list of some of the best places to check out around the enchanting national parks in California:

1. The Golden Gate Bridge

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This location in San Francisco offers some of the most beautiful views you can capture on a drive. It’s a popular photography destination.

Deckle-edged to the north by the Reyes National seashore, this expansive public bridge is also close to the fascinating John Muir Woods monument.

Many breathtaking views can be seen on a drive on this bridge.

2.  Point Reyes National Seashore

An hour north of the San Francisco point Reyes is the solely federally selected sea-west coast on the geographical region.

Over one hundred fifty miles of hiking trails span the estuaries, forests, and marshes of the national sea-coast, further because of the varied wild beaches lined with beautiful views of the Pacific.

This outline is for tourists and life alike, and animal sightings embody European elk, seals, and gray whales throughout annual migrations.

3.  The Santa Monica Mountains

Santa Monica Mountains is a gorgeous mountain range that offers an escape into the wild, away from the busy city life. In addition, activities such as hiking and camping are much enjoyed here. Self-propelled vehicle parking is available here.

Stretching from Santa Monica upcountry and up the coast to close Oxnard, areas within the Santa Monica Mountains embrace cosmic time ravine, purpose Mugu State Park, and therefore the original dominant Ranch.


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