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8 Beautiful National Parks in California to Visit

Author: Anna Ulbricht

Vibrant cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco border breath-taking wilderness, mountains, forests, waterfalls, and deserts. Discover everything you could possibly want on a road trip through California’s most famous national parks!

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The Golden State: The beauty of the National Parks in California is Endless!

Describing the beauty of California is almost impossible! The west coast state has numerous World Heritage Sites to impress all kinds of visitors. One always finds themselves pleasantly surprised by a picture-perfect postcard view around every corner!

Is an exciting road trip through the national parks a long-cherished dream of yours? Well, we have some great news for you! As of March 2022, you can already reserve your compact roadsurfer camper van at our brand-new Los Angeles station and you can start touring California’s national parks as early as June!

We’ll tell you everything you need to know about California’s national parks and which destinations you won’t wanna miss on your trip!

Which national parks await you in California?

California offers more gorgeous landscapes and outdoor activities than any other region in the States. A total of eight national parks and many more regional parks entice visitors with each one’s individual charm!

These national parks along the West Coast are laid out in the list below, beginning near our location in the south and working their way north:

  • Joshua Tree NP
  • Channel Islands NP
  • Death Valley NP
  • Pinnacles NP
  • Sequoia & Kings Canyon NP
  • Yosemite NP
  • Lassen Volcanic NP
  • Redwoods NP

Joshua Tree National Park: Bizarre Desert Trees

Situated between two deserts, Joshua Tree National Park has been polished over thousands of years by wind, heat, and rain. The national park has unique rock formations, and rugged wilderness and is best known for its widespread cactus-like trees called Joshua Trees. Despite the harsh conditions, several ecosystems and a surprising variety of endemic plants and animals have blossomed in the 1200 mi² area. The national park is also popular with sports climbers, as it offers over a thousand climbing routes of all levels of difficulty.

Channel Island National Park: The Maritime Paradise

Hawaii vibes are just a short boat ride away thanks to the Channel Islands, northwest of Los Angeles! Although visitors to the cluster of islands are only a few miles from the Californian mainland, they are immersed in a fascinating, maritime world. The Channel Islands boasts five small, partly rugged islands and a lot of wild Pacific water that’s great for snorkeling, diving, and swimming! The journey is rewarded with Jurassic Park-like scenery, beautiful lighthouses, diving paradises, and a diverse animal world with seals, sea lions, dolphins, blue whales, and pelicans.

Death Valley National Park: Scorching Heat in Death Valley

The largest national park in the continental United States, summer temperatures well over 120°F, the lowest point in North America, and a dramatic dryness that can only be found in desert areas… Death Valley National Park is a dream come true for record hunters! Its location seems like it’s from another world. A large valley nestled below and mountains soaring over 9,000 feet high, it makes for extraordinary landscapes, huge sand dunes, salt deserts, and colorful faults and canyons. Once you stand in the crusty lowlands of the Badwater Basin – 280 feet below sea level – and hear nothing but your heartbeat, you’ll wonder if you’re standing on Earth or the moon!

Pinnacles National Park: Unique Wildlife among Bizarre Rock Formations

Nearly 30 miles of hiking trails lead visitors to Pinnacles National Park past the spectacular remains of a historic volcanic eruption. Tectonic faults and thousands of years of erosion worked together to form the bizarre rock formations that today separate the park into eastern and western sections. There is a wide range of activities for passionate climbers as well as for connoisseurs of untouched nature and wildlife watchers. The national park is especially famous for the colorful beauty of its wildflower meadows in spring!

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park: Giants in the Sierra Nevada

Something magical connects these two national parks that have grown together in the middle of the Sierra Nevada region. Altitudes of 4,000 feet high provide landscapes like those in a travel catalog and an incomparable diversity of flora and fauna. While alpine vegetation awaits you in the southern Sequoia, desert plants thrive in the dry climate of the northern Kings Canyon! The highlights of the national park, apart from dramatic mountain panoramas, deep gorges, and huge caves, are all the sequoias that give the park its name. The grand Sequoia trees average a height of almost 250 feet and a diameter of up to 20 feet!

Yosemite National Park: Waterfalls and Gigantic Rocks

Yosemite National Park is unbeatable in terms of dramatic scenery. The drive along the legendary Tioga Road is an experience that you won’t want to miss. You will drive over the Tioga Pass and past redwood trees with the melodious name Mariposa Grove. The notorious landmark of the park is Half Dome, a granite rock whose steep cliff face rises more than 9,000 feet above Yosemite Valley. Yosemite Falls, on the other hand, are among the highest waterfalls in the world and tumble from enormous heights into the Merced River, which travels through Yosemite Valley and past El Capitan – a climber’s dream. The best news is that Yosemite National Park is open all year round, although some areas close every now and then in wintertime due to high levels of snow.

Lassen Volcanic National Park: Bubbling Volcanoes and Colourful Dunes

Lassen Volcanic National Park is one of the less frequently visited national parks on the west coast, averaging around 500,000 visitors per year. Yet it is one of the most active geothermal areas in the world and home to several volcanoes, bubbling mud pits, clear mountain lakes, as well as colorful dunes, and wildflower meadows. Jagged mountain peaks bear witness to an eruptive past here, while hot springs and rivers continue to shape the landscape today.

Redwoods National Park: The Tallest Trees in the World

In California’s northernmost national parks, 2000-year-old redwoods tower up to 300 feet above visitors’ heads – like the skyscrapers in New York! This is a magical place to visit, you will feel like you’re walking among giants and through the beginning of time. You may wind up with a kink in your neck from looking so high up in the sky. Underneath the gigantic trees, jungle-like undergrowth of ferns, berry bushes, and Douglas firs spread naturally making for fantastic scenery.

In conclusion, California’s national parks will make one unforgettable journey!

There is nothing that California doesn’t offer in terms of scenery, the list goes on and on: mountains, canyons, forests, beaches, islands, deserts, waterfalls, and volcanoes. If you appreciate nature, you will love California! Each national park offers its own unique atmosphere and scenery and captivates travelers! Have you been longing for a one-of-a-kind adventure through the deep west? Then, jump on the opportunity now and make your dream come true with roadsurfer.

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