Distance: 66 miles
Approximate time: 1.25 hours
Along a section of the Californian coast you will find one remarkable national park. But it is not your typical park. In fact, Channel Islands National Park is made up of five separate islands – Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara – all stunning in their own rite. Rich lands of wildlife, flowers, plants, and stunning views are here for visitors to explore.
Note that the directions are to the Visitor's Center in Ventura, California. The National Park itself is only accessible by park concessionaire boats and planes or private boat.
Distance: 736 miles
Approximate time: 12.3 hours
It is hard for visitors to forget their first view of Crater Lake. On a clear summer day, the water is such a deep blue many have said it looks like ink. With stunning cliffs towering over 2,000 feet above, the lake is tranquil, stunning, and a must-see for all who find beauty in the outdoors.
Distance: 304 miles
Approximate time: 5.75 hours
Death Valley is the largest national park unit outside of Alaska and includes more than 3 million acres of wilderness area. This large desert, nearly surrounded by high mountains, contains the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere. The area includes Scotty's Castle, the grandiose home of a famous prospector, and other remnants of gold and borax mining.
Distance: 492 miles
Approximate time: 8 hours
About five million people visit Grand Canyon National Park each year and it comes as no surprise why. The main attraction, Grand Canyon, is a mammoth gorge stretching 277 miles showcasing amazing depths of colorful geology. It boasts some of the nation's cleanest air and a great deal of the park's 1,904 square miles are maintained as wilderness. Visitors cannot help but be blown away by stunning views from almost any vantage point.
Distance: 168 miles
Approximate time: 3 hours
The 1,017,748-acre park draws more than 1.3 million visitors per year. Few areas more vividly illustrate the contrast between high and low desert.
Distance: 557 miles
Approximate time: 9.5 hours
Lassen Peak erupted intermittently from 1914 to 1921 and, before the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens in Washington, was the most recent volcanic outburst in the contiguous 48 states. Active volcanism at the park includes hot springs, steaming fumaroles, mud pots, and sulfurous vents.
Distance: 737 miles
Approximate time: 12.7 hours
Comprising 45 percent of all the old-growth redwood forest remaining in California, this park - together with four other parks in California - are a World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. The ancient coast redwood ecosystem preserved in the parks contains some of the most majestic forests scenery anywhere in the world.
Distance: 237 miles
Approximate time: 4.5 hours
Ranging from 1500' to 14,494' in elevation, these adjoining parks protect immense mountains, deep canyons, huge trees, and diverse habitats. Great groves of giant sequoias, (including the General Sherman Tree, the world's largest living thing), Mineral King Valley, and Mount Whitney (the highest mountain in the U.S. outside of Alaska), are spectacular attractions in Sequoia National Park. Two enormous canyons of the Kings River and the summit peaks of the High Sierra dominate the mountain wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park.
Distance: 311 miles
Approximate time: 5.9 hours
Yosemite is home to some of the nation’s most spectacular waterfalls, meadows, and ancient sequoia trees. Within its 1,200 miles of wilderness, visitors can find everything nature defines as beauty—wild flowers, animals grazing, crystal clear lakes, and amazing domes and pinnacles of granite.