Many people associate California with theme parks but the state also has an impressive list of national parks. Over twenty percent of the state is protected national park area that is as diverse as it is spectacular. From ancient forests, volcanic regions, expansive deserts and alpine lakes, below is just a taste of the breath-taking natural offerings in California.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park
In an untouched part of the state lives the world’s largest living thing, the giant Sequoia tree, General Sherman. Amazingly, four of the world’s five biggest trees grow in this park. You could comfortably drive a car through General Sherman’s trunk which measures 10 metres in diameter and fit a 25-story building under the towering 83 metre tree. He’s estimated to be somewhere between 2,300 and 2,700 years old.
Joshua Tree National Park
When most people think of star-gazing in California they think of Hollywood. However, if your idea of star-gazing means looking upwards towards the skies, Joshua Tree National Park near Palm Springs in Southern California is known for its night-time views. Visitors can’t help but be awed by the sky which illuminates the unique desert landscape on clear nights.
Yosemite National Park
This is truly the great outdoors in the sense that everything is immense and plentiful, not to menton really, really big. There is nowhere better to immerse yourself in the grandeur of waterfalls, granite cliffs, giant trees and lakes. It was for this reason that it was declared America’s first official national park. People have long considered Yosemite to be one of the United States’ most majestic parks.
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Feel the earth bubble and brew in this steamy corner of northern California. Lassen Peak, the southernmost (currently dormant, though heavily monitored) volcano in the Cascade Range is responsible for a turbulent landscape spotted with boiling mud pots, hissing fumaroles and steaming ground. Visitors will feel like they are witnessing a scene from the earths creation with the mix of hydrothermal activity and untouched pine forest.
Death Valley National Park
Claimed to be the hottest, driest and lowest part of North America, this park of extremes offers sights rarely found elsewhere. Contrary to its name, this park is bustling with animal and plant life with many species unique to the valley. Far from the barren desert one might expect, the park bursts into bloom after rainfall with wildflowers carpeting the ground, transforming the harsh, dry environment into a sea of colour.
For a Californian Brochure and State Map call California Tourism on (02) 9361 0660 or email email@example.com