September 11, 2018

Everyone has heard of Yosemite and Joshua Tree. People from all over the world come to California to stare in awe of the vertical granite faces of Yosemite Valley, or to walk through the desert wonderland that is Joshua Tree National Park. But California is much more than these two iconic places.


Pinnacles National Park

National Parks

Photo by Ed Ruiz

One of the newest and least visited parks in America, Pinnacles is a place to behold. This alien landscape was born millions of years ago from volcanic eruptions creating quite a unique landscape in Central California. Pinnacles offers a ton of opportunities to get your outdoor fix, from climbing on spires to hiking and camping. Pinnacles also contains several talus caves that are not to be missed!

 

Redwood National Park

National Parks

The Coastal Redwoods are the tallest trees in the world, reaching heights of up to 380 feet. At Redwood National Park, you’ll have the opportunity to walk among these and revel in their size, including the tallest of them all, “Hyperion” (although it’s location in the park is a secret, some curious and adventurous hikers have tracked it down.)  Pro tip: bring your belaggles and save your neck when staring up at these magnificent living beings.

 

Lassen Volcanic National Park

National Parks

Photo by Ed Ruiz

California’s very own version of Yellowstone can be found in Northern California. It is a surreal volcanic landscape teeming with geysers and stinky fumaroles. Hundreds of miles of hiking trails wind their way through the park, offering many opportunities for backcountry hiking and camping. Don’t miss the opportunity to hike to the top of Mount Lassen, an active volcano! Lassen is not just a 3-season destination, it is also known for its epic snowfalls, making it a snowbums dream come true!

 

Death Valley National Park

National Parks

Photo by Ed Ruiz

It receives more than a million visitors per year, however, Death Valley National Park is the largest park outside Alaska, making it possible to feel like you are the only person there. Take a walk through giant sand dunes and check out Badwater Basin, the lowest point in the US. Although temperatures reach insane heights, it is still possible to do some hiking in the warmer months through the many slot canyons that provide a reprieve from the scorching sun.

 

Kings Canyon National Park

National Parks

Photo by Ed Ruiz

If you want a true wilderness experience, Kings Canyon is the place to go! Only accessible by one road, the majority of the park is pristine wilderness and can only be reached by backpacking. With over 800 miles of trails that run through SEKI (Sequoia-Kings), you can hike to your heart’s content. Hike in to spend a night at a pristine alpine lake, or combine miles and miles of different trails and loops that exist within the park and spend weeks out in the backcountry. Endless wilderness opportunities await!