The 10 Most Breathtaking California State Parks (2024 Updated)

In this web story, we’ll explore the 10 most breathtaking state parks that showcase the Golden State’s diverse landscapes, from rugged coastlines to towering redwoods.

Discover the iconic El Capitan, thundering waterfalls like Bridalveil Fall, and the serene beauty of Mariposa Grove

Yosemite National Park

1

Twisted Joshua trees, rugged rock formations, and star-studded skies. Don’t miss the Cholla Cactus Garden at sunset.

Joshua Tree National Park

2

Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway for jaw-dropping views of cliffs, turquoise waters, and hidden coves. Do not forget to Hike the McWay Falls Trail!

Big Sur State Park

3

Stand in awe beneath the towering coastal redwoods—the tallest trees on Earth. Explore the Fern Canyon Trail and feel like you’ve stepped into a prehistoric world. 

Redwood National and State Parks

4

Witness the surreal landscapes of Badwater Basin, the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes, and the Artist’s Palette. Don’t forget your hat and sunscreen! 

Death Valley National Park

5

Spot migrating gray whales, hike to the Point Reyes Lighthouse, and marvel at the rugged coastline. Don’t miss the Tule Elk Reserve.

Point Reyes National Seashore

6

Visit in spring to witness a burst of colorful wildflowers. Explore the Slot Canyon Trail and discover hidden oases.

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

7

Enjoy year-round outdoor activities—kayaking, hiking, and skiing—against the backdrop of the stunning Lake Tahoe.

Lake Tahoe State Park

8

Hike through ancient redwood groves, camp by the Big Sur River, and take in the dramatic coastal views.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

9

Explore bubbling mud pots, steaming fumaroles, and the Lassen Peak Summit Trail. Don’t forget your camera!

Lassen Volcanic National Park

10

NEXT

The top 10 must-see exhibits at San Diego Zoo!