Fascinating Landscapes of National Parks in California

Credits to: TA

Suppose you are a wanderlust roaming around with an RV and love to visit places where you could stop over, camp, relax, take photos, do fun activities and even learn history. In that case, you might want to see the stunning scenery of national Parks in California!

National Parks in California would captivate your eyes with its diverse geographical features, manifest from the breathtaking view of the Yosemite mountain peaks to the depth of Death Valley.

State Parks, including monuments and recreation areas, offer plenty of space and opportunities to experience the earth’s true beauty.


The Top 12 Best Photographed Nature Landscapes of National Parks in (CA) California (Reviews)

Traversing across different states requires planning and having a fun and stress-free getaway. You must know the info about the place you are going to. 

Here we’ve listed the top-rated National Parks in California that you might regret missing.

1.Yosemite National Park in California

Credits to Planet Ware (PW)

Background

The Yosemite National Park is famous for its noticeable hiking areas and waterfalls, but you would discover grand meadows, giant sequoias, and more within its vicinity. 

It is a perfect example of scenic beauty that mesmerizes millions of visitors each year, from professional photographers, naturalists, and environmentalists to simple campers and visitors. In its more or more miniature 1,200 square meter Park, you can either explore the whole place or find a peaceful area to admire and enjoy the out-of-this-world scenery.  

How to get there

This National Park is in the western part of Sierra Nevada, Central CA.

A mountain in east-central CA is about 140 miles (225km) E of San Francisco and about 100 mi (160km) SE of Sacramento. You could get there with an RV by entering Highways 41, 140, and 120 from the west.  

AddressTioga Road Highway 120 & Highway 140
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 ·
Contact DetailsFor General questions: 209/372-0200
For Wilderness questions: 209/372-0826
Hours of Operation24 Hours open
Google map linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/PzLoFmB5UqBnkuKQ9

Things to do

This Park is one popular and highly-rated place for Hikers who love adventures. You could have fun hiking and climbing to different Hiking areas around the Park with your friends and family members. 

But you should not miss the three recommended Hiking areas, including Cathedral Lakes Hike, the Half Dome Hike, and the Yosemite Falls Trail.

The 2,425-foot Yosemite Falls reaches its peak during spring runoff, which is the recommended time to visit it. Indulge yourself in the beauty of waterfalls, sequoias, and cliffs all over the Park! 

You could camp too! Many families camp out near the Park to spend most of their time exploring and embracing the summer view. But you might also want to mark your calendar for the winter season; It is an excellent opportunity to ski and enjoy the cold weather. 

Things to remember:

Tourists were fewer than expected during the winter season. If you prefer quiet surroundings during your travels, winter is the perfect season for you to visit this Park, but it depends on its conditions.   

Reservation is needed for overnight staying, lodging, and backpacking, while the reservation is not necessary to enter the Park.


2. Death Valley National Park in California

Credits to (NPCA)

Background

Today, (DVNP) is known as one of the hottest and driest places in America, but would you believe it was once a lake more or less 20,000 years ago? Time changes its appearance and makes it a fantastic location today. 

With the summer temperature reaching 120 degrees, This below-sea-level basin, despite the name, is still one of well-known California’s State Parks, mainly due to its extreme beauty. If you want to experience a unique landscape like this, you should now mark your calendars! 

How to get there

You could take CA Highway 190; it is the main road transecting DVNP from E. to W. The State Route 95 parallels the Park from North to South with connecting highways at Scotty’s Junction, Beatty, and Lathrop (State Route 267, 374, and 373)

AddressPO Box 579Death Valley, CA 92328
Contact Details(760) 786-3200
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours
Google map linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/NUTgbHj7JkbNeUFw7

Things to do

Exploring the whole Death Valley Park would take extra time and effort, but it is worth it!

To reach the Park’s famous attractions, such as the salt formations of Devils Golf Course and Natural Bridge Canyon, a beautiful erosion-formed arch, You could begin exploring the Park from the central location, Furnace Creek.  

Scotty’s Castle is one of the iconic attractions of Death Valley. You could also find traces of its volcanic past by visiting Ubehebe Crater in the Grapevine area.

And if you want a unique way to experience the depth. You could visit the Badwater Basin region; it would allow you to explore 280 feet below sea level! 

Things to remember:

Upon exploring the Park, take note that your destinations are located in different areas,

And amenities are only accessible when you are along Highway.

Nighttime travel allows you to witness the alluring sight of the night sky and stars of DVNP.


3. Joshua Tree National Park in California

(Credits to PW)

Background

Joshua Tree National Park could compare as a setting in a storybook, with its majestic mountains, distinct Joshua tree, and scenic mountains, it is a picture of a magical place,  

The Mojave and Colorado are two different deserts that meet at this Park, giving tourists plenty of space to roam around. 

The Park proudly exhibits its fantastic rock formations, Arch Rock Trail, Hidden Valley, Nature Trails. Still, aside from tracks, this Park shows off its different and unique plants in the Cholla Cactus Garden, mainly the iconic 30-foot-tall ocotillo cactus blooms after a rain.

With its 8,000 climbing routes, Lost Horse, Indian Cove, and Real Hidden Canyons would never allow you to run out of activities! 

How to get there

From I-10, You could take exit 117 for CA Highway 62 toward 29 Palms/Yucca V. It would allow you to access the West Entrance, the North Entrance, Black Rock, and Indian Cove. You could take exit 168 off I-10 to come in at the Park’s South Entrance.

Address74485 National Park DriveTwentynine Palms, CA 92277-3597
Contact DetailsVisitor info: 760-367-5500Education
Programs: 760-367-3012Park
Headquarters: 760-367-5502
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours
Google Map linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/NUTgbHj7JkbNeUFw7

Things to do

This Park has plenty of climbing routes; you could start by taking the course known as the birthplace of climbing; it is the most tracked route located in the crag at the intersection. It serves as your starting point in discovering the hidden beauty of this National Park. 

You could explore the one-mile-loop trail of Hidden Valley, a 1.3-mile loop trail of Barker Dam Trail, or savor a moment with your families in the Hidden Valley Picnic Area. 

Things to remember:

You should take note that overnight camp is limited in this Park. Reservation is needed! 

For primitive camps, many areas are available in the area but with conditions.


4. Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in California

Credits to Planet Ware (PW)

Background

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is in the South of Yosemite, in the Sierra Nevada mountains. These two are different kinds, with varying options for activity.  

On the first corner, Sequoia shows off its massive, gigantic trees all over the Park; that makes Sequoia the home of the world’s most massive tree. While on the other side, Kings Canyon boasts its more than 2,500m crystal clear river along the canyon, known as one of the country’s deepest rivers. 

Lodges and campsites are available in this Park but note that a considerable part of these remote fields is not accessible by road. To reach your hiking destination is your sole option. 

How to get there

You could take Highway 180 from Fresno, which leads E. to Kings Canyon Park, Continue 30 miles E to Cedar Grove. 

You could take Highways 198 from Visalia that leads to Sequoia National Park via Three Rivers, 

Highway 198 is the General Highway between the fields. It connects highway 180 to Highway 198. If you drive a vehicle over 22-feet long, you should take Highway 180 to enter the Park.

Address47050 Generals HighwayThree Rivers, CA 93271
Contact Details(559) 565-3341
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours (365 days a year)
Google Map Linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/6xqyL3e35M6z1jBr9

Things to do

Grant is of the must-see spots in Kings Canyon, located in Grant cove of trees near the entrance. By visiting this, you could notice a visitor center that showcases educational exhibits near the Grant cove village; it is an excellent opportunity to learn and bond with your friends and families. 

You could also pay a visit to Cedar Grove, where jaw-dropping cliffs and cinematic rock formation sit, General Sherman, the most massive in the world in terms of volume, and Giant Forest, the home for large sequoia grove.    

Things to remember: 

General Highway between these is typical, closed during winter. There is access to the roads across these fields from E to W.


5. Redwood National Park In California

Credits to Planet Ware (PW)

Background

Redwood National and fields are located in the northern region and are known for their giant trees that reach 300 feet above and last for thousands of years. Still, it is not a single park; it consists of multiple fields placed through the coastline.

 If Sequoia state park is the most massive tree globally, then Redwood state park is the home to the tallest tree, showcasing 115.7m Hyperion, the tallest living tree. Still, there’s so much more than the giant trees; it includes expansive grasslands, riverways, oak woodlands, and a substantial rugged coastline.

Here, you would experience a temperate rainforest that complements the Pacific Ocean’s breeze, which will surely encourage you to sit and embrace the majestic view.

How to get there

The Redwood National and State Parks are located in the northernmost coastal and almost on the Oregon border. It is about 60-mi long, and it has four visitor centers from North to South. 

Approximately you have to drive a six to seven-hour drive (325 mi) north of San Francisco and about a six-hour drive (330 mi) south of Portland, Oregon, and about a four-hour drive (170 mi) west of Redding.

Address1111 Second StreetCrescent City, CA 95531
Contact Details707-464-6101
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours
Google Map Linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/6PyyUngf4rcE334N9

Things to do

Redwood is not a single park; it consists of many national parks placed through the coastline.

You would need weeks to explore all of the Redwood National and fields; The Fern Canyon, a Damnation creek trail, Prairie Creek Redwoods, and Trinidad State Beach are some of the spots that surely you don’t want to miss.  

Things to remember: 

You would often encounter baby seals or sea lions on the beach and not disturb them. 

You could enter the Parks for free, but you would have to pay $8 for a day visit fee to enter any national field.


6. Lassen Volcanic National Park

Credits to Bearfoot Theory

Background

Lassen Volcanic National Park is a photograph in the northern corner where four different volcanoes sit; Shield, Cinder cone, composite, and plug dome. The 10,462-foot Lassen peak makes it the world’s largest volcanic dome. 

But this place isn’t restive; it has a quiet side too. Mark your calendars for a summer vacation! Every summer, you could find lakes and meadows covered with beautiful wildflowers.

How to get there

From Interstate 5 (Redding), You could take Highway 44, 48 mi E to the junction of Highway 89. Then you could follow 89 South, 1 mile to the north entrance of Lassen Volcanic Park. 

From Interstate 5 (Red Bluff), You could take Highway 36 E, 51 mi to the junction of Highway 89. Then you could follow Highway 89 north, six mi to the South Entrance of the Park.

Address38050 Highway 36 EPark HeadquartersMineral, CA 96063
Contact Details(530) 595-4480
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours
Google Map Linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/nYTJL98WigYdt7BV9

Things to do

Your to-do-checklist at these Parks should include:

  • Reaching the Lassen peak.
  • Taking a deep in Manzanita Lake.
  • Overnight camp at Drakesbad Guest Ranch.

Things to remember:

Tip: If you want to learn about the Park’s fire monitoring while falling in love with the view, you should mark your calendar and visit this Park in the summer months. Staff is available in the area during summer. 

The Park is the home of many types of volcanoes, so one of the conditions of visiting this Park is making sure you are always on the right path for your safety.


7. Pinnacles National Park in California

Credits to Planet Ware

Background

From Pinnacles National Monument, pinnacles became the youngest National Park in California in January 2013. The large rock domes and canyons resulted from a 23 million years ago volcanic incident. The unique rock formations were born out of erosion and movements along the fault.

How to get there

You could access Pinnacles National Park via Highway 101 for the West entrance and Highway 25 for the East entrance. You have to pass through Soledad’s city from highway 101 to find Highway 146 that would lead you to Pinnacles’ Westside. 

You must find Highway 25 through the City of Hollister coming from the north and King City via Bitter Water Road (g-13) when coming from the South, and it would lead you to the East entrance of pinnacles. 

Address5000 Highway 146Paicines, CA 95043
Contact DetailsEast Side of Park Visitor Center:(831) 389-4485
West Side of Park, Chaparral Visitor
Contact Station:(831) 389-4427
Campground info:(831) 200-1722
Park Headquarters:(831)389-4486
Hours of Operation9:30 am-5:00 pm dailyPinnacles Campground (east side only)
Google Map Linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/ReXrQFNyQd7idcMU8

Things to do

Do not forget to explore the condor gulch trail, Machete Ridge, and Bear Gulch Reservoir when you are in the area. You could also climb a towering spire on the west side of the Park.

There’s a developed site on the side of pinnacles that would allow you to camp out; it is more structured than on the Park’s west side.   

Things to remember

It would be great if you weren’t too complacent with the cold morning breeze at Pinnacles because it could quickly turn into surprisingly humid weather. Check the weather conditions before planning a trip.


8. The Channel Islands National Park in California

Credits to National Park Foundation (NPF)

Background

The Channel Islands, known as America’s Galapagos, showcases five preserved islands on Santa Barbara’s coast. 150 out of 2,000 species of animals and plants can only be found on these five islands, making this place the home of wildlife.  

This place is extremely rich in all aspects, from plants, terrestrial animals and aquatic animals. If you are fond of wildlife discoveries, well, this is the perfect place for you to visit.  

How to get there

You could easily access the mainland visitor center in Ventura via private or public transportation; however, you could access the place by Park concessionaire boats and planes or private boats.

Address1901 Spinnaker DriveVentura, CA 93001
Contact DetailsVisitor info: (805) 658-5730
Business/Administration: (805) 658-5700
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours
Google map linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/Z24A4csJEq8KKuJB9

Things to do

Every season showcases different opportunities. Summer reveals warm water, humpback, and blue whales, while autumn serves as a great time to experience diving and kayaking.

The place is also famous for its sunsets; when the sun drops, the whole Park will turn into a magical place that would take your breath away. It is perfect for romantic beach walks or occasions.

Things to Remember

Planning and reservation are essential! Transportations are not available on the islands. You could only access it by foot, private boat, or kayak.


9. Point Reyes National Seashore in California

Credits to Planet Ware

Background

Point Reyes is a vast range of protected coastline in the north, and it is a natural haven for a naturalist. It encompasses around 150 mi of hiking area, forests, seashores, and different beaches with extraordinary views.  

Point Reyes Park is one of the most recommended places for campers, especially for children who want to discover and learn more about wildlife. 

How to get there

Point Reyes is on the west coast, about 30miles (50km) north of San Francisco.

You could approach the Park from the winding scenic Highway 1, either South or North. You could also reach the Park through Sir Francis Drake Boulevard or the Point Reyes Petaluma Road.

Address1 Bear Valley RoadPoint Reyes Station, CA 94956
Contact Details1-877-444-6777.Business administration
Hours of Operation6 am – 12 am Daily
Google map linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/Z24A4csJEq8KKuJB9

Things to do

Expect a sight of rolling waves, sandy beaches, and majestic hills.

You could also experience attractions like whale-watching in winter and embracing the wild blooms in spring.

Things to remember:

The Park is available every day; however, all areas are closed to visitor vehicle Parking between midnight and 6 am; only campers with permits are allowed. We recommend that you plan your trip ahead of time. 


10. Devils Postpile National Statue (National Park)

Credits to Planet Ware (PW)

Background

The Devil’s Postpile National Monument near Mammoth Mountain; Boasts a peculiar rock formation of columnar basalt. 

Devil’s Postpile National Monument is more accessible in the summer months than in colder months; in winter, You would encounter rock formations covered with deep snow.

How to get there

You could Park at the Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and use the mandatory shuttle. It operates from mid-June to the Wednesday after Labor Day. 

You could travel by RV or car. From U.S. Highway 395, you could drive ten mi west on SR 203 to Minaret Vista and then take another 8 miles on a paved, steep mountain road. 

Please remember that the road is a single lane, taking approximately 3 miles.  

If you would travel by plane, 

Mammoth Lakes or Yosemite Airport (MMH) is the closest commercial airport on US Highway 395.

AddressDevils Postpile Access RoadMammoth Lakes, CA 93546
Contact Details(760) 934-2289
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours Except for Holidays
Google map linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/7vfVh7uLBqDyAc68A

Things to do

During summer, You could visit and explore the lands filled with wildflowers, hiking, and fishing, 

Fall showcases plenty of space and opportunity to relax; this place is less crowded than any other Park.

Essential Information to read:

This place is closed during the winter and spring months, better to plan your trip during the summer season.


11. Golden Gate National Recreation Area (US) National Park

Credits to National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP)

Background

The Golden Gate is an urban-infused area that ranges to both sides of the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco, surrounded by two dozen natural and historical sites. It has a wide range that reaches Muir Woods National Monument and Alcaraz Islands. 

 Many pet-owners love this place. It is known as the most dog-friendly national field. 

How to get there

Gold Gate National Recreation Area has more or less 60 miles of area, and most of these are coastal areas South and north of San Francisco. 

You could access the Park areas by Highways 1, 101, and 280 from the north and South Bay area, and from the East bay area, you could access it by taking Highway 80. 

To enter the Park headquarters at Fort Mason, You could take the Franklin and Bay St. entrance in San Francisco. 

AddressMill Valley, CA 94941
Contact DetailsGeneral Park info: (415) 561-4700
Special Event s:  (415) 561-4300
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours 
Google map linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/ry3gL9yeZPqHUSJ79

Things to do 

This place showcases a variety of activities, whether for a whole day trip or a two-hour trip. 

In a span of two or two hours, you could visit whales at Muir Beach Overlook, embrace the view of migratory birds, explore places like; Nike missile site, Golden bridge, fort pt. Note way, fort mason, Fort Funston, Crissy Field, and watch the Cliff House’s scenic Sunset. 

For a half or whole-day trip, there is a Hiking area that you could explore by hiking, climbing, and biking, such as the Tennessee trail and Muir woods National Monument. 

Essential Information to read for:

There are no fees required to access the Park, except Muir Woods National Monument and Alcatraz Island. 

The Parking lots are only available between sunrise and Sunset.


12. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area in California

Credits to Planet Ware

Background

The Santa Monica Mountains of Los Angeles is the world’s largest urban state Park, showcasing more or less 156,671 acres filled with natural resources. 

Here you could find peace in numerous individual fields that offer plenty of opportunities to explore and discover its mountain hills and beaches’ hidden beauty.   

You could either have fun in the Hiking area or get lost in the scenic view of Malibu beaches!

How to get there

Santa Monica has multiple trailheads that you could access at different entrances. You could start at the visitor center, at Mulholland Highway in Calabasas.

You could access the Santa Monica mountains by the 405 freeway on the E. side; or by the 101 Freeway on the northwest side; You could also take Highway 1, the Pacific Highway on the Southern ocean border.   

Address26876 Mulholland HighwayCalabasas, California 91302
Contact DetailsGeneral Park 805-370-2300
Visitor Center 805-370-2301
Hours of OperationOpen 24 Hours 
Google map linkhttps://goo.gl/maps/uqT2YbPJw61D5EE36

Things to do

This place is famous for its various activities, such as tent trips, hiking, backpacking, and RV Parking. You could also explore beach activities, like surfing. 

The Park access is free, and there are available Parking lots between 8:00 am and Sunset. 

They allow dogs, but they should be on a leash.

Essential Information to read for visitors:

Overnight campers must pay a lodging permit fee. 

Mountain bikes and Horses are allowed on some trails; however, motorized vehicles are the most prohibited on any trails.


Essential Travel Checklist of National Parks in (CA) California for visitors

Now that you are all aware of what to expect on your visit destinations, you might need a checklist to plan your trip accordingly. Listed is some basic information that you would need to know before traversing across the national forest’s stunning areas in CA.

State licenses

Some areas require a license to fish or hunt; if you plan to visit a CA place that showcases such activities, we recommend getting one; either personally or online.

Though some areas allow fishing and hunting without a permit, it is necessary to thoroughly check the Parks rules and regulations before planning a trip. 

Special use Permits

For the safety and protection of the environment, especially the wildfires, a state Park in CA would require this permit. With or without fees, these permits include various activities such as river access, trekking, vehicle Parking, overnight camp, recreational activities, and group events.

This permit would also reflect on the field’s rules and regulations that you would have to consider and not violate. Whoever violates would have to pay the penalty.

Personal Items

For your comfort and safety, there are a few personal things that you might need between your tours. Here are some personal essentials that you might regret not bringing.

  • First aid kit- For emergency purposes, I recommend you bring a first aid kit with you; though in every Park, there’s always a first-aid area, it is still essential for you to have your own. 
  • Water Bottles – This is a must! Most CA fields require you to climb, hike, and trek to see the breathtaking views, and usually, there are no available waters in between trails; you need to bring your water bottle or a tumbler.
  • Insect repellant- Insects will always be present; never forget to bring your favorite insect repellant with you, especially during hikes and night camp. 
  • Sunscreen- Yes, we recommend you always bring a sunscreen bottle with you so you can reapply in between your adventures; most of the attractions are outdoors. You would be too exposed to the sun, so you need to protect your skin from sunburns, especially with mountains and deserts like DVNP and JoshuaTree National Park.

FAQS and Information for Top Most Popular Photographic National Parks in (CA) California

Credits to: PW

Am I permitted to Park my camper on-site?

On a day visit, most fields permit you to Park your camper on-site. However, not all fields accommodate overnight Parking; you would need to search for nearby RV Parking. 

Somehow, like Point Reyes, you would require a special permit to Park your RV overnight. The permit is with rules that you should not violate. We recommend you call their office to inquire before your trip. Planning is a must!

Do National Parks in (CA) California permit overnight Camping? 

Some fields prohibit overnight camps for the sake of wildlife; because there are fields home to some animals. But some provide campsites where you can camp overnight with your friends and family members. We do recommend planning and reservations. 

RV Essentials when Camping at National Parks in (CA) California

Suppose you plan to visit all the different fields in California or other places across the country. Then your camper might need an upgrade; here is some info about the essential equipment and appliances that could make your trip more comfortable and less hassle. 

RV GPS: Some Parks in California do not accommodate overnight stay, so you need to find a place to camp, whether a hotel or an RV Park. We recommend getting the best RV GPS to search for a site quickly.

RV Air conditioner: There are parts of California that are surprisingly hot, especially when you visit during the summer season. So if you want a smooth and relaxing trip, we recommend you get the best RV air conditioner to keep you and your family cool during your tours.

RV Humidifier: To escape humidity between your tours, we recommend you get the best RV Humidifier. This device will keep your RV properly ventilated and help you sleep comfortably.

RV LED Bulb – A bulb is a piece of must-have equipment on your RV, especially if you are fond of overnight tours. We recommend you to get the Best LED Bulb for your RV; upgrading to LED light from the traditional fluorescent or Incandescent bulb would give a lot of benefits; on top of that, traveling with a decent source of light would give great comfort. 

Rv Sofa Bed: Transversing to remote areas can now be as comfortable as home; using the Best RV sofa bed and Mattress in your overnight travels would give you a restful, good night’s sleep.

RV Toilet Paper: Toilet paper is one of our daily essentials, not just when traversing but also in our homes, and we are all aware of the hassle of dealing with a clogged plumbing system. So we recommend you choose the Best RV Toilet Paper for a stress-free journey.


Conclusion

California is, indeed, ecologically and geographically diverse. This nation is not just about its out-of-this-world sceneries, in the mountains top, beaches, and rock formations, but it is also about the beauty of preserving and protecting wildlife.

Traversing to California would give you a remarkable experience. We hope that this article will be as remarkable as this place.

We also hope to give you clear ideas on what to expect in the National Park in CA. We even hope to prove that info that would help plan your next trip!

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