Most tourists describe Californian National Parks with Beguiling wilderness and out of this world scenery. Each park has something distinctive, something unique to offer, from volcanic peaks, lush meadows, to some of the strangest rock formations ever seen. Then there is the huge spectrum of wildlife within their borders.
Here is a list of what many think are the best five national parks in California.
1. Yosemite National Park
There is no better way to start a list than with one of the most iconic parks in the US, not just California. People are drawn to Yosemite because of its breath-taking scenery, powerful waterfalls, wonderful sequoias, jaw-dropping cliffs, as well as its wonderful wildlife.
Yosemite is one of those places which can offer both serenity and adventure. The rock structures at the Sentinel Rock and of Half Dome are one of those natural marvels that will keep you in awe for quite some time.
2. Redwood National Park
The Redwood National Park is located in the northern part of California, and it is home to about a third of all Redwood trees worldwide. Imperious and impressive are the words you hear from anyone that has visited this magnanimous park.
This otherworldly park is also home to a plethora of wildlife. Plus, you might want to know that George Lucas filmed parts of Star Wars in the Redwood National Park. In Return of the Jedi, part of the park was turned into the Forest Moon of Endor.
3. Kings Canyon and Sequoia
Even though they are two separate national parks, they mainly operate as one. The fee covers the entrance for both parks. The super-sized sequoia trees are the largest trees on the planet and are quite impressive. Plus, you got the exceptional wildlife and its world-famous subterranean cave networks which are no short of extraordinary.
4. Lassen Volcanic National Park
The park is named after a volcano that hasn’t been active since 1914. The volcanic scenery is complemented by sputtering sulfur vents, bubbling pools of mud, hot springs, crystal-clear lakes, and verdant forests.
Lake Helen is one of its most famous landmarks that is located at the very base of the volcano. During winter the lake is frozen, while in summer the ice melts and unveils its extraordinary turquoise waters.
5. Channel Islands National Park
This fantastic national park consists of five islands spread over the coast of Santa Barbara. The Channel Islands National Park is home to more than 2,000 species of animals and plants, hence the nickname of the park “America’s Galapagos”.
From 2000 species, 150 can be found only on the five islands and nowhere else in the world. Dolphins and whales are often seen passing near the islands. Each summer tourists come just to see the majestic hump whales that are regular guests in the National Park surrounding waters.
The Channel Islands National Park is also known for the spectacular sunsets. The way the sun illuminates the water and surrounding landscapes during that time of the day reveals the exceptional beauty of the park.