5 Awesome National Parks in Los Angeles (2023)
The city of Los Angeles is so much more than the glamour and sparkle of Hollywood life and the adventure and fun of the extensive coastline. Though people around the world are aware of the world-renowned National Parks of and around Los Angeles, but only the selective know what magnificence of nature awaits there. This sprawling city is covered with such an authentic blessing from mother nature that no doubt one can classify the National parks surrounding Los Angeles among some of the world’s finest.
California is home to about 9 National Parks, the most number in any US state. A lot of the brilliant additions lies in Southern California, within a drive’s away from the city of Los Angeles. Once in a while, when you want to avoid the city’s hustle and bustle and want some peace and tranquillity in life.
5 Awesome National Parks in Los Angeles
These are the 5 Best National Parks in Los Angeles you can head towards. Have a look:
1. Death Valley National Park
One of the unique National Park in the world, on California and Nevada’s borders, lies the magnificent Death Valley National Park. The Park occupies some finest desert zones of earth and is well known for its ghost town, colorful rocks, being North America’s lowest and driest point, Badwater Basin’s salt flats, Titus Canyon, and for being the hottest place on the entire earth. The Death Valley National Park is also noted as the largest National Park in the world outside Alaska, covering almost 3.3 million acres of mysteriously singing rocks, colossal sand dunes sized like mountains, and extensive desert all around. The Park is also home to Badwater Basin, the lowest American Point (282 ft.) below sea level, covered mainly with saltwater flats.
Though despite housing some of the harshest weather and nature’s condition of the earth, Death Valley is still one of the marvelous sites which must be on everyone’s bucket list. Summers here can be harshly hot, but winter turns around the table and becomes freezing cold. It is from the late falls towards the Spring season when the climate at Death Valley is in its pleasant form, welcoming most of the travelers from all around California and the United States. When here, explore the Ubehebe Crater, a 2100 years old site of Volcanic eruption site, where while following the Salt Creeks, you can find tiny Native pupfish, one of the rarest fish species in the world, out of which only a small count is left.
Road Distance: Death Valley National Park is 290 miles away from the city of Los Angeles, served with two routes and a distance of about 4 to 5 hours.
2. Yosemite National Park
One of the most beautiful National Park in California, Yosemite is indeed one magnificence you can drive for from Los Angeles. It is operational all year round and offers world-class majesty every season uniquely than before. The National Park is not only a forested Valley both home to breath taking natural vistas, awe-inspiring waterfalls, fascinating granite icons, grand meadows, vast wilderness area, ancient giant sequoias, mighty glaciers, glorious history, and in short, almost a shrine to human foresight. One can find most of the earth’s ecologies if tried exploring the entire Yosemite, though it covers 748,436 acres of land and thus a slightly tricky and time taking task. The Yosemite granite walls, twice the height of the Empire State Building, are alone considered as one of the natural wonders of the world.
Travelers who cross the Wawona tunnel for the first time states that the view is one of the finest you can get anywhere around naturally. Even the tunnels upper parking lot, the trail Inspiration Point, is from where you can see and adore the magnificence. Apart from exploring Yosemite’s wilderness, visitors often indulge themselves in year-round activities, including mountain hiking, rock climbing, camping, lodging, bicycling, motorbiking, and off-road biking. Yosemite offers opportunities for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, overnight skiing, and other snow fun and adventure during winters.
Road Distance: Yosemite National Park is 279.3 miles away from the city of Los Angeles, nearly a 5 hours 10 minutes continuous drive.
3. Pinnacles National Park
Another American National Park, located on the eastern side of Salinas Valley, is the Pinnacles National Park, the newest Californian National Park. It is known that an ancient volcano (23 million years old) formed the crags and caves here, which now contributes to the beauty of the site. The Park is divided into two divisions: the ease division and the West division, split with rock formation and connected only by foot trails. Where the west division of Pinnacles comprises high walls, the east division constitutes greens, water, and shade. The summers here are excessively harsh; thus, the fall and springs are the time when you can find several visitors exploring the locality of Pinnacles, mainly for activities like rock climbing, hiking, and camping. Hikers often enter through the rare talus caves and further turn up through the towering rock spires.
To have Pinnacles National Park’s best, go through the grasslands, canyons, mountain parklands, magnificent landscapes, oak woodlands, and diverse wildlife. The land of Pinnacles is adorned with some of California’s finest wildlife, colorful wilderness flowers, where the clear skies proud with the presence of golden eagles and peregrine falcons. Travelers who are looking for camping activities in Pinnacles, require to book beforehand. The campsites are mainly located on the Eastern division.
Road Distance: Pinnacles National Park is 273.3 miles away from the city of Los Angeles and about 5 hours’ driving distance from the city.
4. Mojave National Preserve
Mojave National Preserve is located in the Mojave Desert, encompassing 1,542,776 acres of area in total. Mojave is classified as the third-largest unit of the National Park System within the contiguous United States. It is famous for Volcanic formations, lava beds, Marl mountains, Cima Volcanic domes, Kelso Dunes, and the impressive Joshua trees forests. Unlike several other National Parks in Southern California, summers at Mojave do not touch the peaks of temperature but still reach around 100-to-105-degree Fahrenheit. Travelers who choose to speed up at Interstates 15 and 40 would only learn about the rough side of the preserve, but it’s only when you get close, Mojave reveals ancient lava flows, sculpted canyons, limestone caverns, and the massive sand dunes.
When here, do visit the second largest dune system in California (Kelso Dunes), where you can spot one of the most popular sunrises and sunset. The seasoned travelers of Mojave suggest hike towards the summit of 5,775-foot at Teutonia Peak, which is also Cima Dome’s highest points. Also, for the best dose of Mojave National Preserve, consider camping at either the Midhills campgrounds or at the Hole-in-the-Wall.
Road Distance: Mojave National Preserve is 176.61 miles away from the city of Los Angeles and about 3 hours drive away from the city.
5. Channel Islands National Park
The rich and untouched beauty of Southern California, the Channel Islands National Park is home to five of the eight archipelagos off the coast of California in the Pacific Ocean. If you are done with exploring the forested and deserted land in Southern California, Channel Islands National Park is one of the best locations in Los Angeles where you must plan your next trip to. The five islands here include Santa Cruz, Anacapa, San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Barbara, spread over 249,561 acres, out of which 79,019 acres is a spread of federal land. Within the National Park, you can explore more than 2000 Flora and Fauna species and only three land mammals. Out of these 2000 species, 145 are the unique and endangered ones that are nowhere else found on earth. When here, you can view the uniqueness of the largest animal on earth (endangered blue whale) as some of the smallest existence, the microscopic plankton.
To get the best out of your trip, one can indulge in several recreational activities, including camping, day hiking, backpacking, scuba diving, kayaking through the beautiful sea caves, and spearfishing. For having the best diving and camping experience and seeing the Channel in its magnificent form, autumn is the best season to plan your trip here when winds are minimal, oceans are clear and weather is tranquil.
Road Distance: Channel Islands National Park is the nearest National Park escape from the city of Los Angeles, covering a distance of 87 miles. It is only an hour and a half drive away from the city.