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The 5 Best National Parks In California You NEED To Visit

woman looking at view of Zabriskie point death valley

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When people think of California, they are usually thinking of the vibrancy of LA, the amazing beaches, the endless warm weather and golden sunrays, or the juicy oranges and sprawling vineyards, but rarely do they think of the national parks in California.

California’s natural beauty is something to boast about. Nature lovers will find a plethora or natural landscapes to get lost in, whether you want to go hiking, biking, kayaking, camping or just being in the great outdoors.

Zabriskie Point, Death Valley National Park

On our 18 month road trip of the USA, we spent several months exploring the Golden State and ticking off as many bucket list items and national parks as we could.

We love visiting national parks as we’re huge nature lovers and tree huggers, so we made sure to include the best ones on our trip.

Here’s what we uncovered…

The Best National Parks in California

1. Yosemite National Park

views of water and granite cliffs in yosemite valley view
Look at those reflections

Yosemite National Park is the most famous national park in CA and recieves 3.5 million visitors a year. I can see why, it’s nothing short of breathtaking and even though it’s busy, it’s not lost its natural charm.

I would currently list Yosemite in my top three favorite national parks in the USA we have visited, along with Yellowstone National Park and The Grand Canyon.

The crown jewel of Yosemite is without doubt Yosemite Valley, which is framed by some of the best plunging waterfalls and incredible high granite summits you’ll see anywhere!

This glacial valley is about 7.5 miles long and approximately 3,000–3,500 feet deep. The legendary naturalist John Muir called this place the “Incomparable Valley.”

There is an incredible amount of things to do in Yosemite National Park, we ended up staying there for 5 days. It was a true highlight of our California road trip.

woman sitting on log looking at view of Bridalveil falls from yosemite valley
Yosemite Valley

One of the best things about Yosemite is its diversity. You have majestic waterfalls, giant sequoia trees, incredible hikes, meadows, wildlife, gorgeous lakes, alpine forest, scenic drives, horseback riding, and you might even spot a black bear.

If you’re looking to visit the best National Parks in California, I rank this park in the Sierra Nevada at number one!

Some of the most unmissable attractions in Yosemite are:

  • Bridalveil Falls
  • Vernal Falls (mist trail)
  • Lower Yosemite Falls
  • Mariposa…

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