National Parks in California

Alcatraz Island

Location: San Francisco, CA

Alcatraz reveals stories of American incarceration, justice, and our common humanity. This small island was once a fort, a military prison, and a maximum security federal penitentiary. In 1969, the Indians of All Tribes occupied Alcatraz for 19 months in the name of freedom and Native American civil rights. We invite you to explore Alcatraz's complex history and natural beauty.

Fees: A daily scheduled ferry to Alcatraz has a round-trip fee. Reservations are strongly recommended as we often sell out. See www.alcatrazcruises.com for reservations, and ticket types and pricing.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/alca/

Cabrillo National Monument

Location: San Diego, CA

Climbing out of his boat and onto shore in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo stepped into history as the first European to set foot on what is now the West Coast of the United States. In addition to telling the story of 16th century exploration, the park is home to a wealth of cultural and natural resources. Join us and embark on your own Voyage of Exploration.

Fees: The pass is valid for seven full days.

Hours Info: The park is open 365 days a year including holidays from 9 am until 5 pm. The Bayside Trail closes at 4pm and the tidepools close at 4:30pm.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/cabr/

California National Historic Trail

Location: Various States CA,CO,ID,KS,MO,NE,NV,OR,UT,WY

Follow in the footsteps of over 250,000 emigrants who traveled to the gold fields and rich farmlands of California during the 1840s and 1850s: the greatest mass migration in American history. The California National Historic Trail is over 5,000 miles long and covers portions of 10 states. Step into history along more than 1,000 miles of ruts and traces from travelers and their overland wagons.

Fees: There are no user or entry fees for the California National Historic Trail. Fees may be charged at some trail-related federal, state, or locally owned historic sites and interpretive facilities. Please contact individual trail sites before visiting for more information.

Hours Info: The California National Historic Trail is not a clearly marked hiking trail. Instead it is a corridor that passes through communities, urban areas, public lands, and Wilderness. The route travels across a variety of land ownerships and management, including private land. Each location varies as to the hours of operation and access. Please contact individual trail sites before your visit for more information.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/cali/

Castle Mountains National Monument

Location: Barstow, CA

Castle Mountains represents some of the most unique elements of the Mojave Desert. Nestled between the Nevada state line and Mojave National Preserve, the nearly 21,000 acres of Castle Mountains boasts Joshua tree forests, unbroken natural landscapes, rare desert grasslands, and rich human history. This intriguing area provides serenity and solitude from nearby metropolitan areas.

Fees: There are no fees to enter Castle Mountains National Monument.

Hours Info: Castle Mountains National Monument is open year-round. There are no facilities in the Monument. Visitor Centers in neighboring Mojave National Preserve provide information and orientation.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/camo/

César E. Chávez National Monument

Location: CA

Yes, we can! Widely recognized as the most important Latino leader in the United States during the twentieth century, César E. Chávez led farm workers and supporters in the establishment of the country's first permanent agricultural union. His leadership brought sustained international attention to the plight of U.S. farm workers, and secured for them higher wages and safer working conditions

Fees: No entrance fees are charged at César E. Chávez National Monument.

Hours Info: The monument is open daily from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm except for the following holidays: Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and the Friday after, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/cech/

Channel Islands National Park

Location: Ventura, CA

Channel Islands National Park encompasses five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, preserving and protecting a wealth of natural and cultural resources. Isolation over thousands of years has created unique animals, plants, and archeological resources found nowhere else on Earth and helped preserve a place where visitors can experience coastal southern California as it once was.

Fees: There is no entrance fee to visit the Channel Islands National Park.

Hours Info: The park is open 24 hours a day. Services and facilities have separate hours. Please see descriptions of those facilities elsewhere.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/chis/

Death Valley National Park

Location: Death Valley, CA,NV

In this below-sea-level basin, steady drought and record summer heat make Death Valley a land of extremes. Yet, each extreme has a striking contrast. Towering peaks are frosted with winter snow. Rare rainstorms bring vast fields of wildflowers. Lush oases harbor tiny fish and refuge for wildlife and humans. Despite its morbid name, a great diversity of life survives in Death Valley.

Fees: This permit allows all persons traveling with the permit holder in one single private, non-commercial vehicle (car/truck/van) to leave and re-enter the park as many times as they wish during the 7-day period from the date of purchase.

Hours Info: The park is open daily all year.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/deva/

Devils Postpile National Monument

Location: the Sierra Nevada near Mammoth Lakes, CA

Established in 1911 by presidential proclamation, Devils Postpile National Monument protects and preserves the Devils Postpile formation, the 101-foot high Rainbow Falls, and pristine mountain scenery. The formation is a rare sight in the geologic world and ranks as one of the world's finest examples of columnar basalt. Its' columns tower up to 60 feet and display a striking symmetry.

Fees: The Reds Meadow Shuttle Bus has provided transit service into the Reds Meadow Valley and to the Devils Postpile National Monument for over 30 years. Most visitors must ride the shuttle to access the Valley and Devils Postpile.

Hours Info: In the operating season, Devils Postpile National Monument is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Monument usually opens in mid-June. By mid to late October, early winter storms in the High Sierra typically begin to bring snow to the area.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/depo/

Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site

Location: Danville, CA

America's only Nobel Prize winning playwright, Eugene O'Neill, chose to live in Northern California at the height of his writing career. Isolated from the world and within the walls of his home, O'Neill wrote his final and most memorable plays; The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten.

Fees: There are no entrance fees for this site. Entrance is by reservation only.

Hours Info: Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site must be accessed through a private, gated road owned by a community of neighboring residents. In order to experience Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site, visitors need to make reservations and will be driven by a park shuttle from the Town of Danville, California. You'll receive a tour of Eugene O'Neill's "Tao House" and have time to explore the grounds before returning to Danville on the shuttle.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/euon/

Fort Point National Historic Site

Location: Presidio of San Francisco, CA

From its vantage point overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate, Fort Point defended the San Francisco Bay following California's Gold Rush through World War II. Its beautifully arched casemates display the art of 3rd system brick masonry and interacts gracefully with the Golden Gate Bridge.

Fees: There is no charge to visit Fort Point.

Hours Info: The days in which Fort Point is open varies throughout the year. Fall through Spring the fort is generally open Friday through Sunday. During the summer season the fort is open 5 days a week most years. The timing of the shift in days is not consistent from year to year but generally occurs in October and May. Hours are 10 am to 5 pm. Closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. Visit our web site for current open days.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/fopo/

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Location: San Francisco, CA

Experience a park so rich it supports 19 distinct ecosystems with over 2,000 plant and animal species. Go for a hike, enjoy a vista, have a picnic or learn about the centuries of overlapping history from California’s indigenous cultures, Spanish colonialism, the Mexican Republic, US military expansion and the growth of San Francisco. All of this and more awaits you, so get out and find your park.

Fees: With the exception of the entrance fee for Muir Woods National Monument and the cost of the ferry to visit Alcatraz Island, there is no fee to visit lands of Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Hours Info: Although this urban park is accessible 24 hours a day in most areas, most parking lots are open between sunrise to sunset.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/goga/

John Muir National Historic Site

Location: Martinez, CA

John Muir played many roles in his life, all of which helped him succeed in his role as an advocate for Nature. As America’s most famous naturalist and conservationist, Muir fought to protect the wild places he loved, places we can still visit today. Muir’s writings convinced the U.S. government to protect Yosemite, Sequoia, Grand Canyon and Mt. Rainier as national parks.

Fees: The John Muir National Historic Site and Mount Wanda are free to visit.

Hours Info: The main park site and visitor center hours of operation.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/jomu/

Joshua Tree National Park

Location: Southern California between I-10 and Hwy 62; headquarters in Twentynine Palms, CA

Two distinct desert ecosystems, the Mojave and the Colorado, come together in Joshua Tree National Park. A fascinating variety of plants and animals make their homes in a land sculpted by strong winds and occasional torrents of rain. Dark night skies, a rich cultural history, and surreal geologic features add to the wonder of this vast wilderness in southern California. Come explore for yourself.

Fees: 7-day vehicle permit, admitting the passengers of a single, non-commercial vehicle on the day of purchase and for the next six days.

Hours Info: Joshua Tree National Park is open 24 hours a day and may be visited at any time of the year. Visitation increases as temperatures moderate in the fall, peaks during the spring wildflower season, and diminishes during the heat of summer. Some areas of the park are designated for day use only. Visitor centers keep separate hours; please see descriptions.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/jotr/

Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail

Location: Nogales, AZ to San Francisco, CA, AZ,CA

"¡Vayan Subiendo!"("Everyone mount up!") was the rousing call from Juan Bautista de Anza. In 1775-76, he led some 240 men, women, and children on an epic journey to establish the first non-Native settlement at San Francisco Bay. Today, the 1,200-mile Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail connects history, culture, and outdoor recreation from Nogales, Arizona, to the San Francisco Bay Area.

Fees: The 1,200-mile Anza Trail connects historic, cultural, and recreation sites from Nogales, AZ, to the San Francisco Bay Area that reveal the legacy of our Spanish colonial heritage. To learn more, visit http://www.nps.gov/juba. Each site along the Anza Trail is managed independently. Contact individual sites for hours, directions, fees, and other details.

Hours Info: Hours listed are for the Richmond, California administrative office of the Anza Trail (admin office not currently open to public). The 1,200-mile Anza Trail connects historic, cultural, and recreation sites from Nogales, AZ, to the San Francisco Bay Area that reveal the legacy of our Spanish colonial heritage. To learn more, visit http://www.nps.gov/juba. Each site along the Anza Trail is managed independently. Contact individual sites for hours, directions, and other details.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/juba/

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Location: Mineral, CA

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to steaming fumaroles, meadows freckled with wildflowers, clear mountain lakes, and numerous volcanoes. Jagged peaks tell the story of its eruptive past while hot water continues to shape the land.

Fees: Valid for 1-7 days at Lassen Volcanic National Park between December 1 and April 15.

Hours Info: The park is always open. Road access is limited during the winter season, approximately November through May, due to snow.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/lavo/

Lava Beds National Monument

Location: Tulelake, CA

Lava Beds National Monument is a land of turmoil, both geological and historical. Over the last half-million years, volcanic eruptions on the Medicine Lake shield volcano have created a rugged landscape dotted with diverse volcanic features. More than 800 caves, Native American rock art sites, historic battlefields and campsites, and a high desert wilderness experience await you!

Fees: The entrance fee is good for 7 days and can be paid for with cash, check, or credit card. Entrance fee is per vehicle.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/labe/

Manzanar National Historic Site

Location: Independence, CA

In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where the US government incarcerated Japanese immigrants ineligible for citizenship and Japanese American citizens during World War II.

Fees: There is no fee to enter Manzanar National Historic Site. Enjoy your visit!

Hours Info: The driving tour and grounds remain open daily from sunrise to sunset. See visitor center hours for more information on building access.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/manz/

Mojave National Preserve

Location: Southern California between I-15 and I-40; headquarters in Barstow, CA

Singing sand dunes, cinder cone volcanoes, a large Joshua tree forest, and carpets of spring wildflowers are all found within this 1.6-million-acre park. A visit to its canyons, mountains, and mesas will reveal long-abandoned mines, homesteads, and rock-walled military outposts. Located between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Mojave provides serenity and solitude from major metropolitan areas.

Fees: Mojave National Preserve does not charge a fee to enter the park

Hours Info: Outdoor areas of the Mojave National Preserve including trails, roads, campgrounds are OPEN 24 hours a day, 365 days per year. Be sure to check Alerts and Conditions for any temporary closures.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/moja/

Muir Woods National Monument

Location: Mill Valley, CA

Walk among old growth coast redwoods, cooling their roots in the fresh water of Redwood Creek and lifting their crowns to reach the sun and fog. Federally protected as a National Monument since 1908, this primeval forest is both refuge and laboratory, revealing our relationship with the living landscape. What will you discover in Muir Woods?

Fees: The entry fee to Muir Woods is $15 a person, ages 16 and over. Children are free.

Hours Info: Muir Woods is open every day of the year.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/muwo/

Old Spanish National Historic Trail

Location: AZ,CA,CO,NV,NM,UT

Follow the routes of mule pack trains across the Southwest on the Old Spanish National Historic Trail between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Los Angeles, California. New Mexican traders moved locally produced merchandise across what are now six states to exchange for mules and horses.

Fees: There are no user or entry fees for the Old Spanish National Historic Trail. Fees may be charged at some trail-related federal, state, or locally owned historic sites and interpretive facilities. Please contact individual trail sites before visiting for more information.

Hours Info: There are many places of history and commemoration on the Old Spanish National Historic Trail to visit. Museums, interpretive centers, and historic sites provide information and interpretation. Please contact each site before you go to obtain current information on closures, changes in hours, and fees.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/olsp/

Pinnacles National Park

Location: Paicines, CA

Some 23 million years ago multiple volcanoes erupted, flowed, and slid to form what would become Pinnacles National Park. What remains is a unique landscape. Travelers journey through chaparral, oak woodlands, and canyon bottoms. Hikers enter rare talus caves and emerge to towering rock spires teeming with life: prairie and peregrine falcons, golden eagles, and the inspiring California condor.

Fees: Valid for 7 days

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/pinn/

Point Reyes National Seashore

Location: Point Reyes, CA

From its thunderous ocean breakers crashing against rocky headlands and expansive sand beaches to its open grasslands, brushy hillsides, and forested ridges, Point Reyes offers visitors over 1500 species of plants and animals to discover. Home to several cultures over thousands of years, the Seashore preserves a tapestry of stories and interactions of people. Point Reyes awaits your exploration.

Fees: There is no entrance fee to visit Point Reyes National Seashore.

Hours Info: Point Reyes National Seashore is open to visitors every day of the year! Most of the park is open from 6 am to midnight, but the Point Reyes Lighthouse area (anything west of the lighthouse parking lot) is only open until 10 pm. Overnight parking is only permitted in the park with a valid backcountry camping permit or for visitors staying at the Point Reyes Hostel.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/pore/

Pony Express National Historic Trail

Location: Various States CA,CO,KS,MO,NE,NV,UT,WY

It is hard to believe that young men once rode horses to carry mail from Missouri to California in the unprecedented time of only 10 days. This relay system along the Pony Express National Historic Trail in eight states was the most direct and practical means of east-west communications before the telegraph.

Fees: There are no user or entry fees for the Pony Express National Historic Trail. Fees may be charged at some trail-related federal, state, or locally owned historic sites and interpretive facilities. Please contact individual trail sites before visiting for more information.

Hours Info: The Pony Express National Historic Trail is not a clearly marked hiking trail. Instead it is a route that passes through communities, urban areas, public lands, and Wilderness. The route travels across a variety of land ownerships and management, including private land. Each location varies as to the hours of operations and access. Please contact individual trail sites before your visit for more information.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/poex/

Presidio of San Francisco

Location: San Francisco, CA

For 218 years, the Presidio served as an army post for three nations. World and local events, from military campaigns to World Fairs and earthquakes, left their mark. Come enjoy the history and the natural beauty of the Presidio. Explore centuries of architecture. Reflect in a national cemetery. Walk along an historic airfield, through forests or to beaches, and admire spectacular vistas.

Fees: There is not entry fee.

Hours Info: The Presidio is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/prsf/

Redwood National And State Parks

Location: Del Norte & Humboldt counties , CA

Most people know Redwood as home to the tallest trees on Earth. But the Parks also protect vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild rivers, and 40 miles of rugged coastline. People have lived in this verdant landscape since time immemorial. Together, the National Park Service and California State Parks are managing and restoring these lands for the inspiration, enjoyment, and education of all.

Fees: There are no entrance fees to drive the scenic roads or highways in our three state parks and national park.

Hours Info: The national and state parks are always open to enjoy. Roads, trails and public access remain open year round. Some campgrounds and information centers are closed in the off-season (October-May)

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/redw/

Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park

Location: Richmond, CA

Explore and honor the efforts and sacrifices of American civilians on the World War II home front. Find out how they lived, worked and got along. Many faces, many stories, many truths weave a complex tapestry of myths and realities from this time of opportunity and loss.

Fees: Entrance is free to the Visitor Education Center. No park passes are needed or sold.

Hours Info: Hours Of Operation: The Visitor Center is open from 10:00am to 5:00pm, seven days per week, excluding three holidays. Holidays Closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/rori/

San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

Location: San Francisco, CA

Located in the Fisherman's Wharf neighborhood, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park offers visitors the sights, sounds, smells and stories of Pacific Coast maritime history. The Park includes a magnificent fleet of historic ships, a Visitor Center, Maritime Museum, Maritime Research Center, and Aquatic Park Historic District.

Fees: Per person fee to board the historic ships at Hyde Street Pier. Good for seven days. Children 15 and younger are free.

Hours Info: Hyde Street Pier is open daily from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Last entrance at 3:30 PM) The pier is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Days.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/safr/

Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area

Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

The Santa Monica Mountains offer easy access to surprisingly wild places. Experience the famous beaches of Malibu or explore more than 500 miles of trails. The park abounds with historical and cultural sites, from old movie ranches to Native American centers. What will you and your family discover?

Fees: Entrance to the park (visitor center and all trailheads) is free.

Hours Info: The park sites are open year-round. Our parking lots are open from 8 am to sunset.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/samo/

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Location: In the southern Sierra Nevada in Tulare and Fresno counties, CA

Huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world’s largest trees exemplify the diversity of landscapes, life, and beauty here. Explore these pages to learn about the plants and animals here and the threats they face. Our ancient giant sequoias may seem invincible, but they, too are vulnerable.

Fees: This pass is valid for 1-7 days and includes everyone traveling in a single vehicle for Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks and Hume Lake District of Sequoia National Forest/Giant Sequoia National Monument.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/seki/

Tule Lake National Monument

Location: Tulelake, CA

The Tule Lake National Monument includes both the the Tule Lake Segregation Center, the largest and most controversial of the sites where Japanese Americans were incarcerated during World War II, and Camp Tulelake, which was first a Civilian Conservation Corps camp, then an additional facility to detain Japanese Americans, and finally a prisoner of war camp.

Fees: While there is no fee for Tule Lake National Monument, the Tulelake - Butte Valley Fairgrounds does charge a fee to visit their museum.

Hours Info: Rangers are staffed at the visitor center between Memorial Day and Labor day and provide tours every Saturday. The visitor center is located at the Tulelake Fairgrounds Museum, at 800 Main St., Tulelake, CA. The Tule Lake National Monument sites can only be accessed while on a ranger guided tour, otherwise the sites are closed to the public and can only be viewed from outside of the monument.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/tule/

Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

Location: Whiskeytown, CA

Whiskeytown Lake’s crystal-clear water is perhaps the most recognized feature of the park. However, water-based recreation is only a part of what the 42,000-acre Whiskeytown National Recreation Area has to offer. Visit waterfalls, hike through rugged mountains, explore California Gold Rush history, and observe post-fire ecology in action. Your national park is calling...

Fees: This pass gives access to the park for one individual to enter on foot, by bicycle, or by public transit. It is valid for seven days and can be applied towards an Annual pass until it expires.

Hours Info: The park is open year-round, 24 hours a day. Certain areas of the park are subject to seasonal and COVID-19 temporary closures or limited hours. Some areas of the park remain closed due to hazardous conditions from the Carr Fire. Please check the park website for current information.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/whis/

Yosemite National Park

Location: the Sierra Nevada, CA

Not just a great valley, but a shrine to human foresight, the strength of granite, the power of glaciers, the persistence of life, and the tranquility of the High Sierra. First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 square miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

Fees: This fee is valid for seven days.

Hours Info: Yosemite National Park is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. Reservations are temporarily required to enter Yosemite until local public health conditions improve.

More Info: https://www.nps.gov/yose/

National Parks in California