California State Parks

California
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Planning Your California State Parks Vacation

Home to over 250 state parks, California is a dream getaway for any visitor. California State Parks offer a fascinating mixture of historical sites, pristine beaches, lush forests, historic gold mines, dramatic falls and expansive deserts. These state parks protect California’s most valuable cultural and natural resources and provide opportunities for exciting outdoor recreation.

State Parks in California: Top Accommodations

Apartment ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Meadow View, Bakersfield, California
from $25
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5.0
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Apartment ∙ 6 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Mammoth Lakes, Mono County, California
from $196
VRBO
4.8
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Private room ∙ 3 guests
El Monte, Los Angeles County, California
from $32
Homestay.com
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Private room ∙ 2 guests
Elk Grove, Sacramento County, California
from $50
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Private room ∙ 2 guests
Murrieta, Riverside County, California
from $53
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Private room ∙ 2 guests
Elk Grove, Sacramento County, California
from $43
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Private room ∙ 2 guests
Brooks, Yolo County, California
from $47
Homestay.com
5.0
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Private room ∙ 2 guests
Brooks, Yolo County, California
from $43
Homestay.com
5.0
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Private room ∙ 2 guests
Brooks, Yolo County, California
from $54
Homestay.com
5.0
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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

Farmhouse ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Potrero, San Diego County, California
from $16
Airbnb
4.5
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Tent ∙ 4 guests
Joshua Tree, San Bernardino County, California
from $41
Airbnb
5.0
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Private room ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Mid City, Los Angeles, California
from $26
Airbnb
4.0
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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

Private room ∙ 4 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Paradise Hills, San Diego, California
from $28
Airbnb
4.5
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Private room ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Riviera, Redondo Beach, California
from $25
Airbnb
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Private room ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Victoria by the Bay, Hercules, California
from $20
Airbnb
5.0
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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.

Top Offers for State Parks in California

Private room ∙ 4 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Baldwin Park, Los Angeles County, California
from $25
Airbnb
5.0
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Private room ∙ 2 guests ∙ 1 bedroom
Rowland Heights, Los Angeles County, California
from $26
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Private room ∙ 2 guests ∙ 2 bedrooms
Harbor Gateway North, Los Angeles, California
from $26
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The Weather in California

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- Rainy days

Average Nightly Rental Prices in California

Vacation Rental Price Information in California

Vacation Rental Availability in California

Rental Availability Information in California

Other Popular Destinations for State Parks