California’s Top 10 National Parks

California’s Top 10 National Parks

I read this article from The Guardian, where they list what they feel are the top 10 national parks in California. Are they right? Are these really the top 10 parks?

Well, we’ve been to Yosemite and that park definitely deserves to be on the list. Especially, now that some of the falls just started working again since California has had a little rain and let me tell you, there is nothing like being at the bottom and being misted by the falls.

We’ve also been to Pinnacles National Park, back before they officially became a park.  We really enjoyed walking through those caves walking up to the lake. Yes, that one deserves the list also. It sure makes me want to go see a few more parks.

I’m thinking Death Valley over Christmas vacation??? LOL

Check out the article, you’ll want to check them out too…

 

Top 10 national parks in California

 

… California’s national and state parks are home to some of the most iconic views and landscapes on the planet. Here’s how to explore them

 

Death Valley national park

 

Death Valley National Park Free Images/Koen van Gelderen
Death Valley National Park                                                                      Free Images/Koen van Gelderen

It sounds like a place to avoid, but don’t let the ominous name scare you away. Most of the year, this vast and rugged expanse of east Californian desert is brutally hot, but visit in winter or early spring (though even in the dead of winter, midday temperatures can hit 30C) and you’ll find a surprisingly beautiful and vibrant place. First-time visitors are often awestruck by the desert’s vivid colours…

 

Yosemite national park

 

Yosemite National Park Free Images/Christopher Bruno
Yosemite National Park                                                                                 Free Images/Christopher Bruno

With its stunning glacier-sculpted geology, abundant wildlife and world-class recreational opportunities, Yosemite, 200 miles east of San Francisco, is one of the crown jewels of America’s national park system. Yosemite’s granite wonderland was carved by massive glaciers around three million years ago, when ice covered all but the highest peaks in the Sierra Nevada.

 

Today, Yosemite valley is known for fantastic hiking, rafting, fishing and wildlife watching, not to mention being a mecca for big-wall rock climbing. A year-round destination, Yosemite is resplendent but often crowded in the summer; winter transforms the park into a quiet snowy paradise…

 

Point Reyes national seashore

 

Elephant Rock in Point Reyes National Seashore Yahoo Travel via Pinterest
Elephant Rock in Point Reyes National Seashore                                          Yahoo Travel via Pinterest

California is known for its beautiful beaches, but those preferring seals and solitude to bikini babes and boardwalks should head to Point Reyes national seashore, 37 miles north of San Francisco. Protected in 1962 to save the area from residential development, the peninsula is one of California’s few wild beaches. The 180-square-mile park is nearly cut off from the mainland by Tomales Bay, an elongated body of water that sits in the rift zone created by the San Andreas fault.

 

Headlands and sea cliffs provide a sanctuary for wildlife, including raptors and nesting sea birds. A large herd of tule elk – a subspecies that once roamed throughout California – grazes in the northern highlands of the peninsula…

 

Joshua Tree national park

 

Joshua Tree National Park Sunset Pixabay/kyzlikova
Joshua Tree National Park Sunset                                                                                         Pixabay/kyzlikova

The park was named after the otherworldly trees that dot the landscape – actually an unusually tall species of yucca – but the real stars here are the rock formations: jumbled piles of outsize boulders that glitter with crystals in the southern Californian sun. Rock climbers come from all over the world to scale these boulders, but you don’t have to be a pro to have a blast scrambling around this pink granite jungle gym.

 

The other stars of Joshua Tree are the stars themselves: with no humidity and skies devoid of light pollution, the Milky Way is overwhelmingly vivid…

 

Lassen Volcanic national park

 

Lassen Volcanic national park Free Images/Randall Hop
Lassen Volcanic National Park                                                                              Free Images/Randall Hop

Yellowstone national park in Wyoming is world-famous for volcanic features such as geysers, fumaroles and mud springs, but northern California boasts its very own version: Lassen Volcanic national park, 50 miles east of Redding.

 

The park is capped by 10,462-foot Lassen Peak, the world’s largest volcanic dome. Lassen’s 1915 blast makes it one of only two volcanoes to have erupted in the continental US in the 20th century (the other being Washington’s Mount Saint Helens in 1980).

Go to the next page for the remaining 5 parks.

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