Author: Kathryn GerkenFamily Travel National Destination

National Park Week – California

California is a great place to visit for its National Parks. From north to south a few parks to see are Lassen Volcanic N.P., Yosemite N.P., and Sequoia and Kings Canyon. If you want to jump out to the northern coast, don’t miss the Redwood N.P.

The redwoods are located in the northwestern corner of California. The are the silent giants guarding our coast land. While it doesn’t rain there a lot, the mist and fog that rolls in from the ocean is the primary source of water for these magnificent trees. There is hiking and viewing for all levels and ages. We have taken our family on multiple trips to see the trees and hike around. Lady Bird Johnston grove is a flat easy walk with interpretive signs telling you about the redwoods. There is a campground at Elk Prairie, which takes reservations and often times the elk herd will be longing at the entrance. For those how would like hotels, Crescent City, CA is the closest access to the park.

Lassen Volcanic Park is another great destination. Part of the Cascade range of volcanos, Lassen has spectacular hiking. The most unusual geology here are the thermal vents, which make mud pots and bubbling lake shores. The Bumpass Hell board walk is an easy way to see these Hydrothermal exhibits, but if you wish a longer hike, the trail does continue to a lovely lake. Camping is the primary form of lodging here, but you can find limited accommodations at the Drakesbad Guest Ranch. Lassen Park and Crater Lake make a great National Park Combo trip.

Gerken Getaways

Yosemite National Park -Half Dome

Further south is Yosemite National Park. This may be one of the busiest parks in California. But, for good reason. There are many vistas to drive to around the park as well as hiking paths. For the more adventurous, many people climb El Capitan and Half Dome. Lodging is available within the park with reservations. Both camping and lodges fill up during the summer months.

Continue to head south from Yosemite and you will find Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park. The Sequoia N.P. is home to the General Sherman tree. The largest  tree by volume in the world and the largest Sequoia. Our family and our traveling companions could not reach around it. Camping is all you have here, but if that is not for you, this park can be a drive through experience, if necessary. The Crystal Cave is also located in this park as well as many day hikes and plenty of big trees.

California is host to many more National Parks as well. To learn more visit the National Park web sites linked above. If you are interested in a guided tour of some of these great areas, give me a call and we can get you signed up.