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Best Parks to Visit in California

Best Parks to Visit in California

California has a wide variety of stunning Parks to visit. The best parks to visit in California are on the coast, in the desert, or in the mountains. Whether you’re planning on visiting San Francisco, Los Angeles or San Diego — or just exploring California as a whole, these 5 parks are some of the best parks to visit in California.

Yosemite National Park

The crown jewel of California’s national parks system, Yosemite is home to some of the most stunning natural wonders in the world. The park’s vast landscapes include towering waterfalls, giant sequoia trees and blue lakes surrounded by granite cliffs. Visitors can hike through groves of giant sequoia trees or take a boat ride on Lake Tahoe.

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park is home to some of the largest trees on Earth — including General Sherman, which is larger than three football fields! Visitors can hike through Sequoia’s majestic forests or drive along its scenic roads and stop at several scenic overlooks.

Kings Canyon National Park

Kings Canyon National Park offers visitors access to two different ecosystems: Inyo Mountains and Sierra Nevada Mountains. The park features towering peaks, deep canyons and rushing rivers — including Kings River itself (which flows through Kings Canyon). Visitors can hike through Kings Canyon’s granite cliffs or explore its wilderness areas by horseback or mountain bike.

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is located in California and is a United States National Park. It was established in 1968 and encompasses an area of over 122,000 acres. The park has more than 40 miles of trails that are open to hikers, bikers and horseback riders. There are many sections of the park that allow camping, including primitive sites and cabins available for rent. The park offers several different options for visitors who want to spend time enjoying the outdoors. There are guided hikes available in some areas of the park, such as the Prairie Creek Visitor Center and Tall Trees Grove trails, which are great for families with children. Hikers can also bring their own bikes along on the trails, which include the Mill Creek Trail and Redwood Creek Trail System. Horseback riding is also allowed on some trails within Redwood National Park, including those located at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park and Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park.

California State Parks

From the California Department of Parks and Recreation website, you can search for state parks by region or alphabetically. You can also find information about the specific activities available at each park.

City of Los Angeles Parks

From the City of Los Angeles website, you can view all of the city’s outdoor recreation facilities by neighborhood or type, as well as information about how to reserve a facility or event space at a park in your area.

San Francisco Recreation and Park Department

From the City of San Francisco website, you can browse through all of the city’s public parks by location or type (including beaches), including information on hours, amenities and rental options.

Point Reyes National Seashore

Located just north of San Francisco, Point Reyes National Seashore is one of the most popular destinations in Northern California. At nearly 70 miles long and 15 miles wide, it offers plenty of space for hiking, camping, kayaking and whale watching. The park also features five historic lighthouse towers that you can tour while you’re there.

Channel Islands National Park

Located off the coast of Southern California, Channel Islands National Park is made up of five islands — Anacapa, Santa Barbara, San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz — as well as several smaller rocks that surround them. Visitors can explore these islands by boat or kayak; however, most visitors opt for snorkeling or scuba diving along their rocky shores instead.

Sequoia National Park

In the central Sierra Nevada, Sequoia National Park is home to some of the world’s oldest trees. The giant sequoia trees are the biggest in the world and this park has several groves of them. You can hike around them or drive through the Giant Forest section, which has many other interesting features as well. There are also plenty of other things to see in this park, including rivers and waterfalls.

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley is one of America’s largest national parks and it’s one of the hottest places on Earth. It also has some amazing scenery and wildlife, including volcanoes, canyons, mountains and sand dunes. There are several different areas within Death Valley that all have different attractions, so you could spend a week here and not see everything!


In the end, there will always be something special about California—about the way that scenery and weather converge, about the natural grandeur of the area. If you’ve never been there before, consider checking out these parks. Just don’t forget to bring along your camera!

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