National Parks In California Are Renowned For Their Splendor

Visit the National Parks In California to reconnect with nature. When people think of California, they usually think of Los Angeles, Hollywood and movie stars. But there’s a lot more. California National Parks offers something for the inner nature lover in all of us.

national parks in california

Whether you want to enjoy the scenery from a hotel room window or camp out in a tent to enjoy nature up front and personal, on these trips to National Parks in California you’ll find what you’re looking for. Here you’ll gain not only a true appreciation for the beauty and diversity of this world, but will also find a new perspective on life!

National Parks in California – you’ll find what you’re looking for.

#1 Visiting the Joshua Tree National Park in California

National Parks near Los Angeles

Joshua Tree National Park, California

If you are visiting Los Angeles, or if you are planning to visit National Parks near Los Angeles, then the Joshua Tree National Park is well worth a visit – especially if you love the outdoors and have a passion for outdoor activities. Located only 140 miles from LA, it’s well within a day trip from the city and even in one day, you’ll be able to take the opportunity to follow one of the shorter hiking trails within the park and take part in some activities (depending on how long you can stay in the park before having to start back for the city).

national parks near San Diego

Joshua Tree NP

Joshua Tree National Park is one of the best national parks in southern California.  Thereare also the Cleveland National Forrest and the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, but if you are looking for national parks near San Diego Joshua Tree NP is the nearest. Via I-15 N (163.9 mi) you reach the park in 2 h 40 min.

The first thing you need to think about before entering the park however is that this is a desert area and as such you must have water with you. Also, once inside the park, there’s no concession areas where you can buy supplies so you must take any food you’ll require with you.

This is a natural environment and as such, there are many park rules that you must abide by. So a visit to the visitor’s center is a must before you enter the park – you’ll also get a good idea of what’s happening where in the park here as well as be able to pick up a map of the area. Note there are no RV hook-up areas within the park.

Available in the park are camping facilities but places are limited and there’s no “overflow” camping area so if you are hoping to camp in the park, make sure you reserve your space before leaving home.

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The added bonus of an overnight stay in the Joshua Tree National Park California is the starlit sky – astronomy followers will love this park for the opportunity it gives to study the night sky. There are also night-time ranger programs available on certain evenings so check what’s happening in which campsite before you make your reservation. To me the National Parks in California are some of the most beautiful and iconic in the world.

Best time to visit Joshua Tree Park California is between October and March. Whether you want to partake in bird watching activities; or more educational such as the geology motor tour, or even a strenuous activity like rock climbing, trips to Joshua Tree National Park offer something for everyone. See all attractions at Joshua Tree National Park.

Location:  74485 National Park Drive, Twentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597. Open 24 hours all year round. Entrance fee: $25.00 for a 7-day vehicle permit.

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What to think about:

  • Temperatures can reach over 100 degrees, but in winter and after sunset it can get extremely cold, so be prepared with a warm jacket.
  • Be sure to carry enough water and refreshments with you as there are no outlets for these things in the national parks in California.
  • Stay away from the Cholla’s, also called “jumping cactus” as the needles can literally jump at you and this is extremely painful.
  • Watch out for puffy looking Cumulonimbus clouds, heavy rain at the mountains can lead to flash floods. In such a case stay high and don’t go into the canyons.

#2 Channel Islands National Park

national parks in southern california

Channel Islands National Park California

Another great National Park near Los Angeles is Channel Islands National Park. Reachable via Ventura, CA it encompasses 5 islands (Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, Santa Barbara) and their ocean environment. Thankfully the isolated location has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources over the last thousand years, a wealth of natural and cultural resources  found nowhere else on Earth. The National Parks in California are the perfect mix of history and natural wonders and here visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.

Want to discover the breeding and nesting behavior of bald eagles in the Channel Islands National Park on Santa Cruz Island?

Visitor Center: 1901 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura, CA 93001. Open 24/7, entrance is free. Via US-101 N it´s just a short drive (1 h 10 min, 66 mi) from L.A.

The National Parks in California are great places to experience the wilderness and you can do it by hiking, cycling, climbing, or rafting!

What to think about:

  • Visitors and campers must first secure transportation for a trip to Channel Islands National Park. Visit for boat transfers.
  • If you plan to stay overnight on any of the islands, there is one primitive campground on each island. Anacapa: the east islet , Santa Cruz: at Scorpion Ranch, Santa Rosa: at Water Canyon, San Miguel: above Cuyler Harbor, Santa Barbara: above the Landing Cove. There is a $15.00 per night-per site fee for camping and reservations can be made by calling (877) 444-6777.
  • No on-island transportation is provided.
  • There are no shops or restaurants on the islands, so be prepared.

For a better overview have a look at the National Parks in California map here.

National Parks in California are truly in a league of their own.

#3 Yosemite National Park California

california national parks

Yosemite National Park, California

California had been a fully-fledged state for about a year before Yosemite was discovered. These days the park isn’t quite so secluded but it’s still home to some of the most stunning scenery to be found in the world. Although it can’t boast the huge canyon panorama’s of the Grand Canyon, or the fabulous powerful waterfalls famous at Niagara, Yosemite has something that’s quite unique in that it has so many different natural environments within the one area – from amazing mountain top views, to crystal streams, natural water features, glaciers and meadowlands, Yosemite adventure trips has something different to show at almost each turn in the road.

national parks california

Yosemite NP

For outdoor trips the first place you need to stop at is Yosemite Village. If you’re planning on staying overnight in the park, this is also the area you’ll probably be sleep as almost all overnight park guests prefer to stay within this 8 square mile area.

The Village is where you’ll find a good map to help you locate all the park highlights (invaluable if you don’t have much time to spend in the park!), as well as tell you what’s happening around the park that day. If you want to take advantage of any of the shuttle buses that operate between the Village and some of the park’s highlights, this is also the place you need to be.

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If you want to get more in touch with nature, whilst not getting to far off the beaten track (and there’s plenty of opportunity for that too!), then plan to explore the eastern side of the park where there are stricter restrictions on transportation with cars not being allowed into the area. Here you can ride the shuttle bus into the area and then enjoy some hiking or alternatively cycle in, without the sound of constant car engines interfering with the sounds of nature.

What time is best to visit Yosemite NP? Best time to see the spectacular waterfalls is April to early June. Yosemite isn’t just for summer, and although some of its finest views such as the meadow will be covered over, it’s also a winter playground for those who love snow sports. If you plan on visiting the park during the winter months however, make sure you check what parts of the park are accessible and open, and what facilities you’ll find there. You’ll also find that the type of accommodation will be more limited during the winter months so book in advance around any main holiday periods.

Even if you only have one day to spend at Yosemite National Park California, you’ll see things that will provide memories to last a lifetime, whether it’s the Yosemite Falls (North America’s highest falls), the huge redwood trees of Mariposa Grove or the alpine beauty of the Tuolumne Meadows.

Touring Yosemite is an experience unlike any other.

national park in california

Yosemite National Park, CA

Looking for lodging near Yosemite National Park: The Majestic Yosemite Hotel at 9005 Ahwahnee Drive, Yosemite Valley Lodge at 9006 Yosemite Lodge Dr., Big Trees Lodge at 8308 Wawona Road, or Yosemite West High Sierra B&B at 7460 Henness Ridge Road, are not only near, but all located within the park.

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National Parks in California are renowned for their splendor. Yosemite, is without doubt one of the most spectacular landscapes in America.

What to think about:

  • Bears are very frequent visitors into the camping sites on the search for food, so always store it safely. Bears can cause major property damage in search of food, even in your car.
  • If you visiting in wintertime be prepared for snowstorms and always have tire chains in your vehicle.
  • Check the National Park Service website for road construction and/or closures, also in spring and summer rivers are overflowing from melted snow.
  • You can visit the National Parks in California at any time of year, but summer heat and winter snow will significantly affect the shape of your trip.
  • Keep your visits to the National Parks in California flexible enough to ensure everyone’s individual needs are met.

#4 Even farther up north you reach the amazing Redwood National Park, with its gigantic trees and serene atmosphere.

national parks in northern california

Want to explore nature at Redwood National Park in California? If exploring nature is your idea of a good vacation, then a trip to the Redwood National Park in northern California is a great choice. This park is home to the world’s tallest tree which is known as “Tall Tree”, and is a beautiful natural exhibition of redwood trees.

The National Parks in California are the perfect place to restore yourself and reconnect to mother nature.

These trees can only be seen in California and China so your visit to Redwood National Park isn’t just a chance to be in the great outdoors, but it’s an opportunity to see these rare tall trees up close and personal. It’s even possible to camp at 4 developed campgrounds in the park, but facilities are extremely limited so you might want to look further into what’s available before deciding you’re going pitch a tent for the night!

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Northern California Family Getaways. Adventure trip ideas Redwood NP – home to the tallest trees on earth. There isn’t an entrance fee to this national park, nor is there an entrance station from the highway, so make sure that you call into the Redwood Information Center in nearby Orick, or the headquarters in Crescent City before entering the park. The information center also shows a short introduction to the park for your adventure trips.

So you know what you’re looking at when you get there, and you can obtain a permit there to enter the gated Tall Trees Grove area inside the park – only a limited number of car permits are allowed each day so if you want to take the opportunity to admire the tallest trees in the world, a short detour to the Information Center before you enter the park is a must! Be warned however, this trip takes about 4 hours to complete and some of it is on a slow-speed dirt road so make sure your vehicle’s up to the challenge before setting off into the grove!

Hiking the Redwood National Park is possible but again, you’ll need a permit to be in the Tall Tree Grove area, and there are times of the year when hikers aren’t allowed in this area because of the footbridges across the creek being inaccessible. Another way to enjoy this beautiful part of upstate California is on horseback with riding trails being offered locally.

Northern California coastal getaways – Redwood National Park is simply enchanting. The Redwood National Park is one of America’s natural gems and is extremely protected. It’s also well worth the effort of experiencing these magnificent trees up close if you are lucky enough to be able to do so.

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What to think about:

  • Elks, black bears and mountain lions are rare but can appear. They are wild animals, and very unpredictable, so do not approach them closely.
  • Take care to have enough fuel before you drive into the national parks in California!
  • When you plan your route keep in mind that lanes can be narrow, rough and it will take much longer from point A to B as you think.

Hope you found our tips for adventure trips to National Parks In California worth a visit.

Don´t forget to check out our list of the most useful outdoor survival gear for camping trips. Which National Park in California is your favorite?