Touring California’s National Parks

Zack Garhart
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If you’re active in the outdoors and looking to explore the natural wonders of California, you’re in for a treat. This state is home to some of the most breathtaking national parks in the world. In this guide, we’ll take you on a journey through South, Central, and North California, and explore three of the most iconic parks: Yosemite, Sequoia, and Joshua Tree.

Starting in Southern California, we have Joshua Tree National Park, where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet. This park is a climber’s paradise, with hundreds of routes for all skill levels. If you’re not a climber, don’t worry – there are plenty of hiking trails that will take you through Joshua Tree’s stunning landscape. Make sure to check out the Cholla Cactus Garden, which is home to thousands of spiky cacti.

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Moving up to Central California, we have Sequoia National Park. This park is home to the largest trees on earth, the giant sequoias. Make sure to visit General Sherman, the largest tree in the world by volume, and take a hike through the groves of giants. The park also offers stunning vistas of the Sierra Nevada mountains, including the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States, Mount Whitney. Note: certain stretches of the park and access points are subject to closure. Always check before heading that way to make sure!

Finally, in Northern California, we have Yosemite National Park, which needs no introduction. This park is a must-see for any outdoor enthusiast. From the iconic Half Dome to the majestic Yosemite Falls, Yosemite offers some of the most breathtaking views in the world. Take a hike to Glacier Point for a panoramic view of the valley, or visit Tuolumne Meadows for a glimpse of the high country. Again: note that this area is subject to road closures, so check their website before heading up that way!

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In case you didn’t know, California is home to a total of nine national parks, and each one is worth a visit. In addition to the three we’ve highlighted, here are a few more recommendations:

For your next trip out to the West Coast, consider staying at one of our many hostels in California. With locations in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, we have plenty options to choose from!

Now that you have a guide to California’s national parks, it’s time to start planning your adventure. Whether you’re a seasoned outdoorsman or a newbie looking to explore, California’s parks offer something for everyone. So grab your hiking boots, pack your tent, and get ready to experience the natural wonders of the Golden State.

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