Three National Parks ... Re-opened!

Shortlist These 3 National Parks in California

Sequoia National Park hike pear lake

A lot of national parks are closed because of Covid-19, but we got some good news this week: these three California national parks have all recently re-opened! Start planning, and remember to always check the official websites because there are still restrictions and closures.

1) One and Only

California's first national park (sorry Yosemite), Sequoia National Park, is raw and awesome beauty, and famous for its giant sequoia trees (the biggest trees on earth). Of course they're a must-see, but there's also a remote valley at the park's southern end that will knock your boots off! Mineral King is a subalpine valley reached via a 25-mile drive up a snaky road going deep into the heart of the southern Sierra. Serrated peaks and high alpine lakes await. When the park re-opens, be sure to check out some recommended day hikes in Mineral King.

2) Nowhere Else on Earth

There's only one place in the world where you can go and see the tallest trees in the world ... and it's in the far northern reaches of California. Redwoods National and State Park has epic redwoods, glorious hikes, Roosevelt elk, and spectacular coastline. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park (located within Redwoods National Park) is home to canyons draped in ferns and dripping with small waterfalls, a hike nicknamed Jurassic Park, and the tallest trees on the planet. See some of nature's greatest hits on this 11-mile semi-loop adventure hike.

3) Adventure Channel

Remote, wild, and totally enchanting, Channel Islands National Park, nicknamed "the Galapagos of California," is an undeveloped archipelago off the coast of Ventura in Southern California. It's the start of nesting season (May through July) at Anacapa Island, which is home to the world's largest protected colony of western gulls. More than 10,000 of the seabirds gather on East Anacapa. This island has just one hiking trail, but it’s a beauty. When the time is right, make a date to explore this once lost world comprising five islands.

TIP: Boat service to the island is currently suspended, but they are looking to restart it on May 21 (*subject to change).

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  1. Damme Good Camping

    Just a few miles south of the town of Mendocino is one of the best hike-in (or bike-in) campgrounds on the California coast. Van Damme State Park follows Little River inland from the ocean, and the nine first-come, first-served environmental campsites can be reached via the Fern Canyon Trail.

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  2. Campsite at Loch Leven Lakes in Tahoe National Forest

    Tahoe Trio of Lakes

    Three alpine lakes, superb views, and shoreline camping for soaking it all in … Loch Leven Lakes is pure Tahoe wilderness. This 7.2-mile out-and-back in Tahoe National Forest is great for a long day hike, or a weekend of adventure camping among this trio of crystal waters.

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  3. Calaveras Giants

    Contending as some of the tallest, mightiest, and most muscular spectacles in the state are the hulking (and beautiful) trees of Calaveras Big Trees State Park. Hit the trails to witness spectacular groves of giant sequoia redwoods.

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  1. Backpacking to Rancheria Falls in Hetch Hetchy Valley Yosemite

    Get Hetched!

    Enjoy top-notch valley views on this 13-mile moderately strenuous backpacking trip highlighting some of Yosemite's best scenery. A bonus: This part of the park attracts fewer visitors than the much more famous valley

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  2. Hiker on Proctor Mountain Loop Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

    Storied Trail

    If ever there was a fairy trail, this 6.8-mile lollipop loop on Sun Valley’s Proctor Mountain is it. The Proctor Mountain Trail is a storied route in more ways than one, starting with its tranquil oasis memorial for a famous writer, Ernest Hemingway.

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  3. thousand island lake backpacking

    Picture Worth a Thousand Words

    Catch a mirrored sunrise at Thousand Island Lake back in the Ansel Adams Wilderness. You can reach this jewel—set at 9,500 feet in the High Sierra and backed by the brilliant Banner Peak—via a 10-mile trek along part of the Pacific Crest Trail.

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  4. Two bikers on the Wood River Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

    Two Wheels to Zen

    The family-friendly Wood River Trail goes over an historic bridge, past art sculptures and ranch-roaming horses, all amid sprawling green valley and a mountainous backdrop. Roll out from the Farmers Market at River Run Lodge and pedal the 8-mile (round-trip) ride to Sun Valley’s Sawtooth Botanical Garden.

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