I love being green and exploring nature in California National Parks. Did you know that August 25 is the National Park Service Birthday? That means that on August 25, entrance to all California national parks is FREE! (September 28 is another free California National Parks day to put on your calendar.) Because I’m usually moving around in the city every day, moving around in one of our California national parks always feels special. Nature, wildlife, sunshine, picnics –California national parks have it all! To help you choose which of the California National Parks to visit, I’ve rounded up a list of my favorite California National Parks:
Yosemite — Perhaps the Best of California National Parks
Located in central eastern California, Yosemite is probably the most famous of the California National Parks. With its waterfalls, meadows, valleys, and amazing flora and fauna (like giant Sequoia trees), this is every hiker and camper’s paradise. The views are just stunning. If you’re more of a daredevil, Yosemite is also great for rock climbing and downhill skiing in the winter. Biking and rafting are other activities available. With so much to do, no wonder people say this is the best of all the California National Parks!
Sequoia and Kings Canyon – The Forest-Lover’s Favorite of the California National Parks
Located in southern Sierra Nevada and east of the San Joaquin Valley, these two California National Parks lie next to each other. Double the California National Parks, double the fun! Home to the world’s largest trees, this place feels like an imagined fantasy land when you step inside. The beauty of the towering trees, giant mountains, deep canyons, and the caverns and foothills all combine to remind us how amazing the nature at California National Parks can be. Take a hike, ride a horse, set up camp, there are plenty of things to do in this natural wonderland.
Channel Islands — The Ocean-Lover’s Favorite of the California National Parks
Located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast near Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands are one of the most diverse California National Parks. These five unique islands house species and resources found nowhere else on earth. Of the over 2,000 species there, 145 only exist in this one place. So cool! While it is a bit difficult to visit this park, if you can get there, it’s a treat.
Death Valley — The Hottest, Driest, Lowest of the California National Parks
Located in lower eastern California, this is boasted to be the “hottest, driest, and lowest” of the California National Parks. Death Valley probably holds more records than the other California National Parks. It holds the world record for highest air temperature, and it houses the lowest elevation point in North America. Despite the scary name, it’s a fantastic place to visit.
These are just a handful of the great California National Parks. You should also check out:
- Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
- Joshua Tree National Park
- Pinnacles National Park
- Redwood National Park
- Lassen Volcanic National Park
Are you a big fan of California National Parks? Which California National Parks are your favorites? Tell me about them in the Comments section!