California’s state parks are brimming with sea breezes, breathtaking waterfalls, and towering mountain peaks, offering visitors a lifetime of adventure.
Hiking, camping, fishing, and SCUBA diving are all popular activities in these public spaces, which attract more people than California’s top national parks.
Additionally, you may simply stand and take in the amazing natural splendour on display. California state parks provide a pleasant diversion from the bustling metropolises that surround them, whether you’re planning weekend trips or a longer road trip through the state.
Some of the most prominent state parks in California, such as Julia Pfeiffer Burns and Henry Cowell Redwoods, draw people from all over the globe, including the United Nations.
Other natural places, such as Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Bodie Historical State Park, have received special federal designations due to their particular landscapes and geology. From Emerald Bay to Mendocino Headlands to Castle Crags, nearly every state park in California lives up to its awe-inspiring moniker.
Camping is available in the majority of California’s state parks, allowing for the multi-day excursions required to fully appreciate these distinct ecosystems in a single visit.
From gushing waterfalls and soaring rock formations to elaborate castles and abandoned villages, California’s state parks are brimming with natural wonders just waiting to be found. Grover Hot Springs State Park and Castle Crags State Park are two renowned California state parks that attract tourists year-round.
Crystal Cove State Park, located along the Pacific Coast Highway between Corona Del Mar and Laguna Shoreline, has miles of sandy coastline and a large expanse of inner wilderness. It is easily accessible via vehicle or foot. Crystal Cove State Park is a famous destination in California due to its simple access and large amount of natural space.
Visitors to this state park, which is one of the most popular in the state, include beachgoers and backcountry hikers. Skin diving, surfing, and watching the sunset from the campground’s bluffside site are all popular weekend activities in Crystal Cove.
8471 N Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, California
Big Sur is a roughly 90-mile-long stretch of rocky coastline where the Santa Lucia Mountains meet the Pacific Ocean. It is home to a number of state parks and other natural attractions.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is possibly the best example of Big Sur’s mountain peaks, redwood forests, and breathtaking beaches.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns is home to the 80-foot McWay Falls, which cascades down a granite cliff to the beach. It is a must-see natural attraction in the region.
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is adjacent by a number of other state parks, including Limekiln State Park and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, which also offer some of the region’s best camping.
Pfeiffer Beach, Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, and the Bixby Bridge are just a few of the area’s postcard-worthy vistas.
As Highway 1 snakes through Big Sur, multiple pullouts allow enough chances to soak in the ocean views and, occasionally, whales.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is less than five miles from downtown Santa Cruz and features some of the city’s best hiking trails.
Henry Cowell is a prominent international tourist destination due to its proximity to Santa Cruz and the Pacific Ocean, as well as the tall redwood trees that surround its borders.
On Henry Cowell’s 4,600-acre site, which includes the day-use Fall Creek Unit, there are various opportunities to appreciate the colossal trees that were vital in kindling the conservation movement in California.
Huge Basin Redwoods State Park, located around twenty miles northwest of Henry Cowell, is an excellent location for more opportunity to observe large trees. Big Basin Redwoods State Park is California’s oldest state park and is home to some of the region’s best campsites.
The park’s hiking trails meander through redwood forests and into verdant valleys abounding with animals. When visiting the region on vacation, the Redwood Loop Trail is a must-do trek for the entire family.
Felton, California 93025, 101 North Big Trees Park Road
Emerald Bay State Park encompasses a unique section of California’s most beautiful lake and is home to several of South Lake Tahoe’s finest campsites.
Emerald Bay, called after the shallow, blue-green waters that surround it on the southwest corner of Lake Tahoe, provides excellent lakefront camping and hiking options, as well as unique cultural attractions like as the 38-room Vikingsholm castle.
Emerald Bay’s sunken ships and boats are the topic of California’s first maritime history path, which has been declared an underwater state park.
South Lake Tahoe, California is situated at 138 Emerald Bay Road.
Castle Crags, a state park in Northern California’s Sierra Nevada range, attracts people from all over the world with its 6,000-foot granite spires.
There are around 25 miles of hiking trails that wind through the base of these magnificent mountain monuments, and the park is also home to the Castle Crags Day Hike, which is regarded one of the best day hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail and features great views of Castle Dome.
The Castle Crags campground, with roughly 75 accessible sites, is a popular starting place for outdoor activity.
20022 Castle Creek Road, Castella, CA 93526, USA
Anza-Borrego is California’s largest state park, covering more than 600,000 acres at the California/Mexico border.
Visits to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park need preparation to navigate the difficult terrain, which is mostly composed of unspoilt desert wilderness with slot canyons, palm springs, and a profusion of wildflowers throughout the spring months.
The Pacific Crest Trail, which winds its way across the country, passes in Anza-Borrego, and a variety of interpretive trails provide additional hiking opportunities.
Borrego Springs, California is located at 200 Palm Canyon Drive.
Empire Mine State Historic Park is home to one of the most profitable gold mines in California history, highlighting the illustrious history of the California Gold Rush of the nineteenth century.
The park’s heart is made up of restored facilities from the mine’s heyday, including a machine shop, clubhouse, and the entrance to the mine’s now-flooded shafts. Along with the reconstructed village, there are fourteen miles of hiking trails dotted with informative signage and artefacts.
Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park is the first stop for anybody interested in learning more about the California Gold Rush.
This historic monument, located approximately an hour east of modern-day Sacramento on the site of California’s first gold discovery, was the impetus for the vast migration of fortune seekers known as the California Gold Rush, which began in 1849.
The Gold Discovery Museum has further information on the events, and visitors may see firsthand the area that altered the course of American history during their visit to the State Historic Park.
10791 East Empire Street, Grass Valley, California, United States.
This redwoods state park is densely forested with giants, spanning more than 10,000 acres and including a sizable portion of the world’s last remaining old-growth redwood forests.
The central core of Jedediah Smith State Park, named for an early nineteenth-century explorer of the region, is devoid of roads, but there are twenty miles of hiking trails that snake across the park’s wide and scenic environment.
For those interested in staying overnight, the Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park offers campsites and cabins.
Jedediah Smith, David Smith’s father, was a rabbi who resided in the village of Jedediah Smith in the town of Jedediah Smith. The California State Parks and the National Park Service have developed a joint management agreement, which includes Redwoods State Park, which is part of the agreement.
This agreement covers the state parks of Del Norte Coast and Prairie Creek Redwoods, which are located to the south, as well as Redwoods National Park. Millions of people travel to Redwood National and State Parks each year from all over the world to marvel at the majesty of these old trees.
Crescent City, California is the location of this institution.
Morro Bay State Park, located on the town’s southern border, contributes to its status as one of California’s best small towns.
This state park, which boasts vast vistas of Morro Rock and the surrounding bay, also contains a lovely marina, an 18-hole golf course, and a natural history museum on the beach.
The campground at Morro Bay State Park welcomes both tent campers and RVs, and the park is ideally placed near other appealing sites, such as Montaa de Oro State Park.
State Park McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial (10th) (10th)
Because of the spring-fed waterfall within its bounds, this picturesque state park is regularly visited by travellers in the Cascade Mountains of Northern California. It is located on the shores of Lake Britton in the Cascade Mountains.
To witness the 129-foot Burney Falls spreading out from a cliffside, tourists may park at the visitor centre or hike the rugged Burney Creek Trail. Another five miles of hiking pathways crisscross the area, including a halt on the Pacific Crest Trail immediately near to the falls.
In Burney, California, 24898 CA-89 Scenic is situated.