State Parks in California: Top Accommodations
Best California State Parks for Families
The massive network of state parks offers diverse ecosystems, a rich history, and sublime scenery. They provide excellent opportunities for families to escape from stressful city life and sample life in nature.
1. Emerald Bay State Park
Nestled on the west shore of Lake Tahoe, this State Park is a National Natural Landmark and one of the most scenic places in the world. From the charming landscape on Highway 89, the visitor can witness Lake Tahoe, Fannette Island, an incredible panorama of Emerald Bay, and the Nevada shore. Emerald Bay is famed for its lush green, indigo and turquoise waters lap and gorgeous sandy beaches.
2. McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park (5a673e871f750
) Situated about 6 miles off north of Burney, this park is one of the oldest state parks in California. The park’s main attraction is the Burney Falls, which is 129-feet tall. The park provides various recreational facilities such as camping, water sports, hiking, fishing and horseback riding.
3. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Located on California's Pacific coast, the state park is named after Julia Pfeiffer Burns and is also the location of the iconic McWay Falls descending over an 80-feet a granite cliff in the Pacific Ocean. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park offers two natural hike-in camping areas with panoramic views of the Pacific Coast. The Park also features an underwater area perfect for scuba diving.
Best Places to Stay for State Parks in California
Best California State Parks for Hiking
With 280 state parks, and a wealth of nature preserves, the state of California offers a perfect opportunity for visitors interested in enjoying natural landscape on foot.
1. Clear Lake State Park
The park is known for its water recreation and offers a wide range of amenities that include 149 developed campsites, hiking, two group campsites, swimming, boating, fishing, and water-skiing. The state park has three designated hiking trails including the Indian Nature Trail, the Kelsey Creek Trail, and the Dorn Trail.
2. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Situated east of Crescent City, the park is named after Jedediah Smith, the first man to explore northern California. The park features approximately 20 miles of hiking trails, a visitor center with exhibits, river access, and a nature store. It also has the world's largest coast redwood, which is 340 feet tall. The Boy Scout Tree, Stout Grove, and the Mill Creek Trail allow the visitor to enjoy the scenic redwood grove in the park's interior.
3. Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Located in the heart of the Santa Cruz County, this state park is the oldest state park in California and encompasses about 18,000 acres. Its most prominent attraction is the ancient coast redwoods, which are 1,000-2,500 years old. The park’s 80 miles of trails pass through the ancient trees, magnificent waterfalls, and diverse wildlife, in landscapes ranging from chaparral-covered slopes to lush canyon bottoms.
Recommended Accommodations for State Parks in California
Best California State Parks for Adventure Sports
Whether you are looking for an extreme thrill or an ideal way to have fun with the family, California State Parks have the perfect adventure for you.
1. Red Rock Canyon State Park
Situated at the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevada, the landscape of Red Rock Canyon State Park features scenic desert cliffs, colorful badlands, and spectacular rock formations. After wet winters, floral displays in the park are worth watching. This park offers plenty of recreation activities such as equestrianism, hiking, camping, sightseeing and opportunities for solitude.
2. Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Known for its majestic stand of giant sequoias, Calaveras Big Trees State Park is located in the northeast of Arnold, California. Snow-capped peaks in winter, gorgeous waterfalls in spring, vibrant colors in fall and glistening lakes in summer make this park one of the most popular destinations in the state. Recreational activities include hiking, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, numerous interpretive programs, evening ranger talks, bird watching and summer events for school children.
3. Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Located about 30 miles south of Eureka, California, Humboldt Redwoods State Park encompasses 53,000 acres and contains the Rockefeller Forest, the world’s largest old-growth redwood forest. The Avenue of the Giants provides visitors with a 32-mile long auto tour through the Park to enjoy its natural wonders. The park contains over 100 miles of hiking trails. Visitors can also indulge in mountain biking, horseback riding, swimming, and fishing.
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