California National Park Guide

San Diego to the Bay, Hollywood and LA there’s many reasons to love California. Did you know it’s also home to the tallest waterfall, the highest summit, and the lowest elevation in North America? Here’s what you need to know about exploring some of the world’s greatest National Parks in California.

Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree is a gypsy’s dream. Funky trees, supreme rock climbing and beautiful sunsets make it a perfect place to explore. It’s also the best place for stargazing in southern California. On clear nights you can see the Milky Way Galaxy. Crazy to think it’s just a two hour drive from the bright lights of LA.

Best Rock Climbing:

  • Indian Cove (Easy)
  • Skull Rock (Easy)
  • Hidden Valley (Difficult)

Best Place to Watch the Sunset:

  • Keys View
  • Hall of Horrors

Best Hikes:

  • Lost Horse Mine Trail (Easy)
  • 49 Palms Oasis (Easy)
  • Boy Scout Trail (Difficult)

Must See:

  • Cholla Cactus Garden
  • Arch Rock

Nearby: Salvation Mountain (right)



There’s no better place to run free and be reminded of how small you are than Yosemite. The tallest waterfall in North America, endless vistas, wildlife, and mystical meadows keep you coming back for more. Whether you prefer leisurely strolls or strenuous hikes, this place has something for everyone to enjoy.

Best Place to Watch the Sunset:

  • Glacier Point
  • Yosemite Valley

Must See:

  • Tunnel View
  • Valley View
  • Tuolumne Meadows
  • Mariposa Grove

Best Hikes:

  • Taft Point (Easy)
  • Lower Yosemite Falls (Easy)
  • Mirror Lake (Easy)
  • Upper Yosemite Falls (Difficult)
  • Half Dome (Difficult)
  • Panorama Trail (Difficult)

Nearby: Mono Lake (right)


    There’s many reasons to love Cali.
    — Sabrina

    Death Valley

    Death Valley is the funkiest place on Earth. Sand dunes, salt flats and painted mountains are among the cool stuff to see. It never gets old.

    Best Hikes:

    • Mesquite Sand Dunes (Easy, Moderate)
    • Ubehebe Crater (Easy)
    • Natural Bridge Canyon Trail (Easy)

    Best Place to Watch the Sunset:

    • Zabriskie Point
    • Mesquite Sand Dunes

    Must See:

    • Badwater Salt Flats
    • Artist Drive
    • Race Track Playa

    Nearby: Rhyolite Ghost Town (right)



    Sequoia is the perfect place to disconnect. Home to the world’s largest tree, General Sherman, and the tallest summit in North America, Mt. Whitney, leaves you feeling like a tiny speck of dust. It’s also known for bear encounters. So hide your food! I’ve seen one every time I visit.

    Best Hikes:

    • Congress Trail – home of the giants (Easy)
    • Moro Rock (Easy)
    • East Fork Grove (Moderate)
    • Mt. Whitney (Difficult)

    Best Place to Watch the Sunset

    • Anywhere…literally.

    Must See:

    • Crystal Cave
    • Tunnel Log
    • Hume Lake
    • Crescent Meadow

    Nearby: Manzanar National Historical Site