If you wish to know the finest Nationwide Parks close to San Francisco, you’ve come to the fitting place.
San Francisco is likely one of the most stunning cities on the planet, however do you know that it is usually inside driving distance of a few of the finest Nationwide Parks within the nation? Whereas this wonderful metropolis is well-known for its sights and vacationer sights just like the Golden Gate Bridge, many individuals don’t notice that it’s the excellent place to see a number of nationwide parks close to San Francisco!
For these touring to California, the town of San Francisco generally is a nice place to begin for exploring far more than simply massive cities. It’s strategically positioned very near many breathtaking places to see, all inside a straightforward day’s drive!
Nationwide Parks Close to San Francisco
Except for the few nice nationwide parks discovered inside driving distance of San Francisco, there are additionally loads of Nationwide Leisure Areas, Nationwide Monuments, Nationwide Preserves, and State Parks to discover. I put collectively all these locations to offer you a listing of places and nearly limitless choices!
1. Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space
Distance: 10 miles, Driving time: 20 minutes
Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space is probably the most well-liked vacationer vacation spot in San Francisco and simply probably the most recognizable and iconic. This park encompasses over 80,000 acres and contains scenic views, totally different biospheres, and even historic websites.
A number of the extra distinguished and widespread of those websites embody a museum commemorating the constructing of the Golden Gate Bridge, Level Bonita Lighthouse, and the notorious Alcatraz Island.
Except for these sights, this park has loads of scenic mountain climbing trails the place you may get pleasure from seeing the plentiful wildlife. That is one park you do not need to overlook, as it’s far more than simply seeing this historic landmark!
2. Muir Woods Nationwide Monument
Distance: 20 miles, Driving time: 40 minutes
Discovered solely 40 minutes from San Francisco, Muir Woods Nationwide Monument has grown in reputation over time and is now one of many Bay space’s greatest sights. It’s the excellent vacation spot for nature and forest lovers.
Established in 1908, this park permits guests to hike amongst coastal redwoods, a few of the tallest bushes discovered anyplace on the planet.
With a number of mountain climbing trails and surreal forest groves, this place will be very fashionable, relying on the time of yr. Make sure you arrive early to make sure a parking spot, that is one park you’ll not need to miss!
3. Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore
Distance: 40 miles, Driving time: 1 hour
Being in California means some stunning ocean sights, and top-of-the-line ones is Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore. This place is house to some wonderful cliffs and rocks with an ocean backdrop that gives a few of the most gorgeous views in the entire state.
Level Reyes additionally acts as a large coastal wildlife protect, defending over 1,500 totally different animal and plant species with its distinctive and exquisite shorelines.
When visiting Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore, don’t neglect to go to Level Reyes Lighthouse.
If you happen to love animals, Level Reyes is the place to go to. Dwelling to the uncommon Tule elk, seal colonies, and migrating gray whales, you by no means know what sort of wildlife you would possibly see!
4. Pinnacles Nationwide Park
Distance: 125 miles, Driving time: 2.10 hours
If exploring and climbing massive cliffs, caves, and rocks sound like your thought of enjoyable, then Pinnacles Nationwide Park could be an incredible nationwide park to go to. Positioned within the coronary heart of the Salinas Valley, this park is stuffed with cliffs, caves, and buildings fashioned by an historic volcano that erupted 23 million years in the past.
Whereas well-known for its mountain climbing and mountain climbing, this park can also be well-known for being one of many 4 locations the place critically endangered California condors are bred and launched into the wild.
Guests to this park will simply get their fill of pure wonders, nice mountain climbing trails, and ample wildlife. And solely slightly over a two-hour drive from the town, this park makes for a superb day journey!
5. Level Lobos State Reserve
Distance: 120 miles, Driving time: 2 hours
Level Lobos State Reserve has been referred to as one of many biggest shorelines on the planet and is known as “the crown jewel of Califonia’s state parks.” Individuals flock right here from all around the world to get pleasure from its diving, mountain climbing trails, and scenic ocean vistas.
The wildlife discovered at Level Lobos is world-class, and right here you’ll find sea lions, sea otters, elephant seals, harbor seals, and even killer whales!
From migrating whales, ample wildlife, and coastal overlooks, there may be nearly no finish of lovely issues to see at Level Lobos State Reserve, and it’s only a brief two-hour drive from San Fransisco!
Are you planning an epic journey to Level Lobos? Make certain to verify the articles beneath:
6. Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park
Distance: 150 miles, Driving time: 2.30 hours
This wonderful state park is discovered proper the place California’s well-known redwoods meet their southernmost habitat, and the coastal surroundings is world famend due to the Huge Sur coastal drive that winds via it.
A number of the extra widespread sights at this park, other than the coastal drive, is Pfeiffer Seashore and McWay Falls. Each provide some wonderful surroundings and images alternatives!
Nonetheless solely slightly over 2 hours away, Pfeiffer Huge Sur State Park is loads shut sufficient to San Francisco for a fast day and even half a day journey to go to. You’ll not remorse visiting this stunning state park!
7. Yosemite Nationwide Park
Distance: 170 miles, Driving time: 3 hours
Obtain the official Yosemite Nationwide Park Map (PDF)
Yosemite Nationwide Park is likely one of the most well-known parks in the US, and lots of are stunned to be taught that San Francisco is situated solely 3 quick hours away. It’s house to large numbers of wilderness, granite cliffs, and a few of the most rugged terrains in California.
Yosemite has many nice locations to go to inside the park, together with some wonderful rivers and waterfalls. Simply be ready, as this park will be very busy from April to November.
It’s simple to see why hikers and photographers fall in love with a spot like Yosemite, and San Francisco might be the right staging level to go to this widespread nationwide park.
Are you planning an epic journey to Yosemite? Make certain to verify the articles beneath:
8. Lassen Volcanic Nationwide Park
Distance: 240 miles, Driving time: 3.30 hours
Lassen Volcanic Nationwide Park is one other nationwide park near San Francisco, and the freeway that runs via it is likely one of the most breathtaking and scenic drives in all the nationwide park system.
This freeway passes two stunning alpine lakes, and each Emerald Lake and Lake Helen will blow you away. For hikers, Bumpass Hell Path is notorious for being an incredible hike with some steaming sulfur swimming pools as a reward to see!
Hikers will love this wonderful park, and the surroundings has a few of the finest mountain and alpine views California presents.
9. Kings Canyon Nationwide Park
Distance: 240 miles, Driving time: 3.30 hours
Kings Canyon Nationwide Park sits proper subsequent to Sequoia Nationwide Park, however as a result of they’re so shut collectively, most individuals will go to them on the identical journey.
Kings presents views of the wonderful Kings Canyon, one of many deepest canyons within the nation, in addition to loads of totally different mountains, waterfalls, lakes, and mountain climbing trails to discover.
The terrain right here is similar to Yosemite Nationwide Park, with fewer individuals to cope with. It additionally has loads of tenting and horseback driving adventures for individuals who need to discover it even additional!
10. Sequoia Nationwide Park
Distance: 260 miles, Driving time: 4 hours
As we talked about with Kings Canyon Nationwide Park, these two parks sit so shut collectively that they’re usually visited on the identical journey. However whereas Kings Canyon has its trademark canyon, Sequoia is legendary for its big bushes.
Sequoia Nationwide Park is a land filled with big redwood bushes, together with the world’s largest tree (by quantity) named Common Sherman.
Guests to this park can wander across the groves of those big bushes, discover mountain climbing trails, and luxuriate in scenic meadows and canyons. There are additionally some underground sights to discover referred to as Crystal Cave. Sequoia is effectively definitely worth the drive from the town, as each location right here is breathtaking.
11. Mono Lake Tufa State Pure Reserve
Distance: 250 miles, Driving time: 4.30 hours
This reserve was created to protect the favored “tufa towers,” naturally occurring spires and knobs fashioned by the realm’s freshwater springs and alkaline lake water. It additionally protects all of the native wildlife, together with the hundreds of thousands of birds touring to Mono Lake yearly.
Mono Lake itself covers over 65 sq. miles and is over one million years outdated. This makes it one of many oldest lakes in North America!
Due to how outdated it’s, all the salt and minerals have constructed up within the lake and it is rather salty. These have contributed to all the wonderful towers and formations which are seen right here.
12. Redwood Nationwide and State Parks
Distance: 320 miles, Driving time: 5.30 hours
Obtain the official Redwood Nationwide Park Map (PDF)
Whereas this is likely one of the furthest drives from San Franciso, it is likely to be the one that’s the most price it! These parks are in a league of their very own, and the large redwood bushes are one thing that everybody ought to see a minimum of as soon as of their lifetime.
Whereas Sequoia Nationwide Park has the largest (per quantity) bushes on the planet, Redwood has the tallest bushes on the planet.
With a lot wilderness and trails to discover, you can spend an infinite period of time right here, and it nonetheless wouldn’t be sufficient. It is likely to be a stretch for a day driving journey, however it’s effectively price it!
Nationwide Parks Close to San Francisco| Conclusion
When visiting nationwide and state parks, it will possibly typically be a problem to seek out the right metropolis to fly or journey to with a purpose to startyour adventurer. Fortunately, there are locations like San Francisco which are in shut proximity to so many alternative and wonderful pure wonders!