9 Great California National Parks You Can Visit This Summer

Photo: Tom Gainor

California's National Parks are home to some of the most iconic outdoor landscapes. Out-of-this-world scenery, panoramic views, and beautiful natural formations attract adventurers spanning the globe. 

Photo: Mike Haupt

There’s never been a better time to plan a California National Parks road trip with travel prices soaring. Save on airfare, get away from the city, and hit the open road. 

Photo: Hannah Vorenkamp

If you're on a budget – camp! If you have more cash to spare, stay in a lodge or cabin. California's National Parks will live up to the hype, whatever your travel style.

Photo: Christian Di Fede

The most visited California National Park, Yosemite, was established in 1890 and is situated on California's eastern border amidst the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The park is roughly six hours from Los Angeles and four hours from San Francisco, making it the ideal summer road trip destination.

Yosemite National Park 


Photo: isogood/DepositPhotos

Apart from the canyon and groves of majestic sequoias, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks are home to beautiful meadows, crystalline lakes, and a wide range of wildlife, including deer, black bears, and bighorn sheep.

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks 


Photo: NPS / Rick Cain

Set on the Point Reyes peninsula, Point Reyes National Seashore is a vast expanse of protected coastline in Northern California's Marin County that houses over 1,500 plants and animal species.

Point Reyes National Seashore 


Photo: NPS Photo / Anela Ramos Kopshever

Channel Islands National Park is a marine haven located off the coast of southern California and consists of the five islands of San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara. The islands are home to over 2,000 plant and animal species, of which 150 are found nowhere else.

Channel Islands National Park 


Photo:Brandon Beech/NPS

As you travel through the park, you'll see granite monoliths, natural rock and boulder formations, and a wide range of plant and animal life, none so prevalent as the park's namesake - the Joshua Tree.

Joshua Tree National Park 


Photo: NPS/Robb Hannawacker

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Photo: Lisha Riabinina