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22 Best State Parks in California to Visit This Year

State parks in California provide great entertainment to all members of the family. You must be looking for good spots for weekend getaways. These getaways help you to refocus on life and enjoy some quality time. The best state parks in California allow you to spend a great time at them. Moreover, they are ideal if you are looking to indulge yourselves in nature. All of these parks have stunning views. They will make your trip to the state parks in California worth your time. 

Further, these are also some of the best campgrounds in California. You get to enjoy all the modern facilities when you camp at these places. Above all, vacations in the top state parks in southern California are a great way to take some time out for yourself. You will love the tons of activities such as hiking, fishing, boating, and more. There is something for everyone to try out at these state parks in northern California. You can choose to relax or challenge yourself through the activities at these state parks in California. 

Best State Parks in California:

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park - state parks in California

McArthur-Burney Falls is one of the most scenic state parks in California. The waterfall situated in this park is the main attraction. It is a 129-foot waterfall that provides beautiful views. Moreover, many claim this to be the most beautiful waterfall in California.

The multiple streams which emerge from the waterfall are a treat to the eye. Further, you need to walk 1.5 miles from the parking lot to reach the waterfall. This is one of the best state parks in California which has scuba diving, snorkeling, and surfing, to name just a few of the activities they offer. 

Timings: 8 AM-5 PM
Contact: +1 530-335-2777
Location: 24898 CA-89, Burney, CA 96013, US (Get Directions)

Sonoma Coast State Park

Sonoma Coast State Park

Sonoma Coast State Park is located in the coastal parts of California. This place gives you stunning views of the shoreline. The Goat Rock is a formation that is quite popular in this state park. Moreover, this is one of the state parks in California which is comprised of multiple beaches.

Further, all of these beaches have something to offer to the visitors. There are many picnic spots where you can spend a relaxing time looking at the waves. Above all, the rock formations on the shoreline provide great pictures of when the waves are lashing against them. 

Contact: +1 707-875-3483
Location: 3095 CA-1, Bodega Bay, CA 94923, US (Get Directions)

Castle Crags State Park

Castle Crags State Park - state parks in California

Castle Crags is one of the best state parks in California for hiking. They have several trails which you could use for hiking. The scenic views at the top of the trails make the hike worth it. Moreover, they have over 76 campsites.

All of these campsites have the necessary facilities that you require. Further, there are a few fishing spots as well. There are tons of places to engage yourselves in some activity. Above all, the presence of hiking trails and fishing streams makes it a perfect place for vacation. You will enjoy your visit and stay in this state park. 

Timings: 24 Hours
Contact: +1 530-235-2684
Location: 20022 Castle Creek Rd, Castella, CA 96017, US (Get Directions)


“Also Check: 55+ Best National Parks in the U.S. (Explore Nature)


MacKerricher State Park

MacKerricher State Park

MacKerricher State Park has a mixture of land area and a beach. This combination allows visitors to indulge in a variety of activities. Moreover, this place is ideal for spotting seals. You get to get up close with these amazing creatures. Further, this park is seen as one of the best campgrounds in California.

There are also many e-bike rentals. You can roam around the entire state park using these e-bikes. Above all, you will find many ways to spend some time and relax in these state parks in southern California. It lets you have a great time whenever you visit this place.

Area: 9.304 km²
Timings: 6 AM-10 PM
Contact: +1 707-937-5804
Location: 24100 Mackerricher Park Rd, Fort Bragg, CA 95437, US (Get Directions)

Mendocino Headlands State Park

Mendocino Headlands State Park

Mendocino Headlands provides a unique experience to all its visitors. It has a coastline, beaches, and is surrounded by a village. It has a unique landscape which makes for a pleasurable experience. Moreover, you get to enjoy the best of all worlds. You can also visit the historic ford museum which is located nearby.

However, there are no camping facilities. You will have to visit the state park during the day. Above all, this park provides for a great day trip. You can spend your day among the wildflowers. Further, you can even catch a glimpse of the whales during the winter months. 

Area: 1.4 km²
Timings: 7:30 AM-9 PM
Contact: +1 707-937-5804
Location: Mendocino, CA 95460, US (Get Directions)

Sue-Meg State Park

Sue-Meg State Park

Sue-Meg State Park was earlier known as Patrick’s Point State Park. this is one of the most forested state parks in northern California. You should walk through the visitor center and the native plant gardens to enjoy the full experience.

Moreover, the seas offer tons of amazing wildlife. You can spot sea lions and whales on the coast. Further, you can spot whales if you visit during their migration time. There are quite a lot of things in this campground. Above all, it promises a good time for people who visit this state park. 

Area: 2.59 km²
Timings: 9 AM-8 PM
Contact: +1 707-677-3570
Location: 4150 Patricks Point Dr, Trinidad, CA 95570, US (Get Directions)

Samuel P Taylor State Park

Samuel P Taylor State Park - state parks in California

Samuel P Taylor State Park is one of the best state parks in California. It has streams and redwood forests coexisting side by side. Moreover, this makes them a great state park to visit. The state park has biking and walking trails which are ideal for anyone who wants a bit of adventure.

Further, they have newly built cabins as well. These cabins can be the perfect getaway spot for you and your family. However, you will have to reserve in advance to get your hands on these cabins. Most importantly, there are dog-friendly trails as well where your dog can accompany you on the journey. 

Area: 11 km2
Contact: +1 415-488-9897
Location: 8889 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Lagunitas, CA 94938, US (Get Directions)

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Calaveras State Park is spread over a large area. They are one of the top state parks in California. This place has tons of activities and experiences for people of all age groups. Moreover, there are guided tours that take you through the state park while explaining its historical importance.

Further, they hold frequent exhibits and programs which are quite interesting. You should catch one of these programs if you get some time. Most importantly, it is a great fishing place. The river and the creek provide tons of fish such as rainbow trouts, anglers, and more.  

Timings: 6 AM-10 PM
Contact: +1 209-795-2334
Location: 1170 CA-4, Arnold, CA 95223, US (Get Directions)

Angel Island State Park

Angel Island State Park - state parks in California

Angel Island State Park is a natural island that is located in San Fransisco Bay. Moreover, it is also the largest natural Island in the region. This park has a historical significance as well. It used to be used as an immigration station and later as a prison for POWs. However, it has been transformed into a popular state park.

It is one of the best state parks in California which provides excellent views of the bay area. Further, you should try boating in this park. The scenic views while boating provides an enriching experience. Most importantly, there are several activities for you to choose from which makes the park very popular.  

Area: 3.057 km²
Location: Tiburon, CA 94920, USA (Get Directions)

Donner Memorial State Park

Donner Memorial State Park

Donner Memorial State Park finds its home in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. This place has some of the most heavenly views. The stunning mountain range in addition to the streams provides a perfect spot to relax. Moreover, you will also find snow if you visit during the winter months.

Donner lake is the standout feature that makes this one of the best state parks in California. Further, there is a museum that you can explore when visiting this park. Adobe all, the lake is a great place for boating and swimming. You can take a swim or go for a hike. This is one of the state parks in California which has a variety of things for visitors. 

Contact: +1 530-582-7892
Location: 12593 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, CA 96161, US (Get Directions)

Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park

Emerald Bay State Park is one of the boat beautiful state parks in northern California. It has a massive lake. Moreover, you should visit this lake during sunset. The sunset views are something which you should not miss.

There are campgrounds in the park that have to be reserved for use. You can spend a great time at this state park taking in the beautiful views and clean air. Further, they have a boat camp as well. This allows you to spend time on the beautiful lake. You will love the serene nature and the calmness of this place. 

Area: 6.20 km2
Timings: 7 AM-7 PM
Contact: +1 530-541-3030
Location: 138 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, US (Get Directions)

Van Damme State Park

Van Damme State Park - state parks in California

The Van Damme State park is known for its hikes and nature. It has several trails which are suitable for beginner, intermediate as well as experienced hikers. Some of these trails truly challenge even the best of hikers. Moreover, you should test yourself at this place for a better understanding of your capabilities.

Further, the lake is home to salmon breeding. Therefore, you can spot salmons spawning if you visit during the correct time. Kayaking is also quite popular at this state park. Above all, this park is great for trying out new things. You will have a lot of things to do at this park. 

Timings: 8 AM-9 PM
Contact: +1 707-937-5804
Location: 8001 CA-1, Little River, CA 95456, US (Get Directions)

Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park

Ed Z'berg Sugar Pine Point State Park

This state park is located next to Lake Tahoe. This is one of the best state parks in Northern California. It has a dense forest that is covered with trees. As the name suggests, there are tons of pine trees in this state park. Moreover, this makes for one of the best campgrounds in California.

You can spend a relaxing time over here and be in the midst of nature. You also have cross-country skiing in addition to dense forests in this park. Above all, the nature center is one of the best in the region. It is a great place for kids to learn more about nature while enjoying a day out. 

Area: 10 km²
Timings: 8 AM-7:30 PM
Contact: +1 530-525-7982
Location: 7360 W Lake Blvd, Tahoma, CA 96142, US (Get Directions)

China Camp State Park

China Camp State Park - state parks in California

The China Camp State Park is filled with a massive variety of wild animals. You will get to spot many different species of wildlife. These include deer, squirrels, coyotes, foxes, and more. There is a bike rental service. This is one of the best ways to travel around the state park. Moreover, this ranks among the top state parks in southern California.

Horseback riding is one of the most famous activities that is held over here. Adventure seekers can even opt for windsurfing at this state park. Most importantly, this state park has a host of activities that you can indulge in. 

Area: 6.13 km²
Timings: 8 AM-8:30 PM
Contact: +1 415-488-5161
Location: 101 Peacock Gap Trail, San Rafael, CA 94901, US (Get Directions)

Mount Diablo State Park

Mount Diablo State Park

Mount Diablo State Park is responsible for some of the most breathtaking views. The observation deck is the star of the show. You can access the telescopes and view marine formations on the sandstones. Moreover, it presents a great view for visitors. The summit provides beautiful views in addition to the observation deck.

You get panoramic views from the summit which are incomparable to views from most state parks. Above all, there are separate campsites. You can book one of them to spend some quality time with your loved ones. 

Contact: +1 925-837-2525
Location: Summit Rd, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, US (Get Directions)

Mount Tamalpais State Park

Mount Tamalpais State Park - state parks in California

Mount Tamalpais State Park makes for a great place to enjoy your weekend. It has everything that you would want from a short retreat. It is one of the best state parks in southern California. Moreover, you should try to book the ravine cabins.

These cabins are located on the ravine and offer amazing views. You should try to receive these ahead of time to get guaranteed access. This is a historical site. You should try and learn more about the history while you are at this state park.  

Contact: +1 415-388-2070
Location: 3801 Panoramic Hwy, Mill Valley, CA 94941, US (Get Directions)

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park

Del Norte offers beautiful Redwood forests in addition to a short volatile. The plethora of activities and scenic beauty attracts people from around the country. You should bring rainwear as this place is prone to rain throughout the year. However, you must remain cautious of the beach.

It is not suitable for swimming. Further, you should not try to swim due to the rough waters. However, you can try surfing on this beach. It will get your adrenaline pumping and let you have an adventurous time. 

Timings: 24 Hours
Contact: +1 707-465-7335
Location: Crescent City, CA 95531, US (Get Directions)

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park - state parks in California

The massive redwoods of California are very famous. This state park has a huge collection of these trees. You can spend the entire day looking at these huge trees. The forest allows you to enjoy and appreciate nature at your own pace. This ranks among the best state parks in northern California.

Moreover, you should rent modern cabins. They have all the modern amenities to have a successful camping trip. Above all, it has all safety measures. You can spend the night in the wilderness in the comfort of good beds. Therefore, it makes camping extra fun. 

Area: 42.21 km²
Timings: 8 AM-8 PM
Contact: +1 707-464-6101
Location: Crescent City, CA 95531, US (Get Directions)

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

Humboldt Redwoods is spread over a large area of 53,000 acres. Moreover, it is probably one of the largest state parks in California. All the parts of the park are open to the public. Further, the tall redwoods cover the skyline and let very little sunlight penetrate the forest cover. You can cover the entire forest with your car.

There are bicycle and equestrian trails to keep the visitors active. The shore of the river is an amazing place for fishing and setting up picnics. Above all, there are things to do for all members of the family. You will fall in love with these stunning redwoods. 

Timings: 24 Hours
Contact: +1 707-946-2263
Location: 17119 Avenue of the Giants, Weott, CA 95571, US (Get Directions)


“Also Check: 10 Best Water Parks in Phoenix, Arizona


Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park - state parks in California

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park has one of the largest campgrounds in California. It can house some of the largest RV trailers with ease. Therefore, this is an ideal camping spot in California. You can reserve the camping grounds in advance on their website.

However, you do not have to worry if you don’t have an Rv. you can book their cabins and stay in them for the night. Further, they have bbq facilities and more in these cabins. Most importantly, you will enjoy your visit to this state park. The combination of nature and daily activities will keep you entertained. 

Timings: 24 Hours
Contact: +1 707-465-7354
Location: 127011 Newton B. Drury Scenic Pkwy, Orick, CA 95555, US (Get Directions)

South Yuba River State Park

South Yuba River State Park

This is one of the most ideal state parks in southern California for riverside activities. They have great terrain which is suitable for all types of camping ideas. Moreover, you can go on hikes on the several trails which are available in this park.

There are guided tours that show you all of the amazing spots in one of the best state parks in northern California. Further, the state park has all the amenities you need for having a splendid time. You will find drinking water and restrooms available throughout the park. Above all, this is among the best campgrounds in California. 

Timings: 7 AM-8 PM
Contact: +1 530-432-2546
Location: 17660 Pleasant Valley Rd, Penn Valley, CA 95946, US (Get Directions)

Butano State Park

Butano State Park - state parks in California

Butano state park is among the top campgrounds in California. They offer campers the best facilities. You can have one of the best luxurious camping trips in this state park. Moreover, they have several species of wildlife in this park.

Therefore, this is one of the best places to spend some quality time in nature. There are tons of things you can do in this park. You will never run out of fun activities to do in one of the state parks in California. 

Area: 19.13 km2
Contact: +1 650-879-2040
Location: 1500 Cloverdale Rd, Pescadero, CA 94060, US (Get Directions)

Conclusion:

All of these state parks in California are amazing places to relax and unwind. These state parks are a full package. They have all the things you need to have a memorable time. Moreover, you get to understand and learn the history of the places when you visit them.

The drive to the best state parks in California is worth it. They have great camping facilities at the state parks in northern California. You will have a fun time at the state parks in California. 

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