Road Trip | California Camping Trip with Kids

The Best Bets for a California Camping Road Trip with Kids

California is a wonderful road tripping destination. Throughout the state there are outdoor destinations that the whole family will love. Northern California is home to the amazing Lassen Volcanic National Park. In San Francisco road trippers can stop and enjoy the beaches and history at The Presidio of San Francisco. The coast has amazing beaches and nature. California also has some amazing national parks and the whole family can enjoy the stunning natural features.

redwood-giantAvenue of the Giants

One great way to enjoy the amazing redwood forests of California is to drive the Avenue of the Giants. This scenic drive stretches for over 30 miles and showcases some of the most beautiful examples of giant redwoods.  The drive is completely surrounded by the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, which preserves the largest old-growth forest in the world.


Shelter Cove

Shelter Cove in Humboldt County is another fantastic destination in the North Coast of California. This destination is located on California's Lost Coast, which is a wonderful secluded spot for a quite family vacation. The area around Shelter Cove has approximately 64 miles of trails to enjoy hiking and view wildlife. In addition, much of the region is protected by the King Range Conservation Area. Visitors to Shelter Cove can enjoy watching for the abundant wildlife, including bald eagles, sea lions, grey whales and more. Fishing enthusiasts will also enjoy exploring Shelter Cove, either fishing off the coast, or fishing on the Mattole River.


Lassen Volcanic National Park

The Lassen Volcanic National Park is a great park to view some of the volcanic areas of the Cascade Range. There are 30 volcanoes that have been active in the last 300,000 years located within Lassen Volcanic National Park. Lassen Volcanic National Park has many fascinating outdoor activities. There are miles of trails ranging from difficult to easy. Most of the time you can hike up to Lassen Peak. In the Lassen Volcanic National Park you can view many hydrothermal areas. There are steam and volcanic-gas vents, called fumaroles, as well as mud pots, steaming ground and boiling pools. One of the best areas to see the park's hydrothermal areas is at Bumpass Hell. Families can enjoy some of the Ranger Guided programs to learn more about the unique natural features of the park.

Point Reyes

Point Reyes National Seashore and Point Reyes National Park are great options for enjoying California's natural environment and outdoor recreation. At Point Reyes you will find trails, historic structures and visitor centers where visitors can enjoy all aspects of the unique area. Visitors can enjoy camping, hiking, biking and kayaking. Point Reyes National Park also features the Point Reyes Lighthouse and visitor center, at the visitor center you can learn all about the lighthouse and for the very adventurous a trip down the 308 stairs to the Lighthouse is a great option. Point Reyes is a great place to enjoy the coast and inland areas of California.


The Presidio of San Francisco

This is located in San Francisco and is a National Historic Landmark, and visitors can enjoy amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and there are many areas for recreation as well as historic sites and more. The whole family can enjoy learning about the history and architecture of the landmark. In addition visitors can explore the coastal bluffs, the Presidio Forest and Baker Beach at the foot of cliffs. All of these destinations are great for exploring the nature and recreation within the city of San Francisco.


Yosemite National Park

Located in central California, Yosemite National Park is an amazing destination for recreational enthusiasts, especially rock climbers. Climbers travel from around the world to take on the challenges presented at Yosemite. If you want to enjoy some other recreational activities there are many activities to enjoy including biking, hiking, backpacking and much more. Yosemite Valley has a wide range of stunning sights, rock formations and waterfalls. Maybe you want to see the giant sequoias at Mariposa Grove. If you are looking for a less visited spot, Hetch Hetchy is a fabulous destination.


Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

If you are looking for a wide range of California's amazing natural sights all in one area, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park is a great destination. The Park varies from deep canyons to tall mountains, in fact within the park you will find the highest peak in the lower 48, Mount Whitney. The park also has some amazing specimens of the giant sequoias, be sure to stop and see the General Grant Tree in Grant Grove and the General Sherman Tree in Giant Forest. At Redwood Canyon you can visit the largest grove of sequoias in the world.


Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park is home to the lowest, driest and hottest spot in North America and there have been years in which no rain was recorded. Although the park gets hot and dry there are some truly amazing natural wonders to check out in Death Valley National Park. You can hike through the narrow Mosaic Canyon or view the pupfish found only at Salt Creek in the Stovepipe Wells area. In the Furnace Creek Area you can visit the Devil's Golf Course to see the wind eroded rock salt spires and walk under the natural bridge. Badwater Basin is the lowest point in North America, or take in the vastness of Death Valley from Dante's View. If you have a proper vehicle drive out to the Racetrack to see the mysterious tracks left by the rocks sliding across the lakebed.


Channel Islands National Park

The Channel Islands are an amazing archipelago off the coast of California. Visitors will enjoy a wide variety of both land and water activities. The park protects five of the eight islands of the archipelago's eight islands. These islands make up an impotent aspect of California's environment. They are an amazing ocean environment. Within the protection of this national park there are a wide variety of wildlife, natural and cultural resources. The Visitor Center's located in Santa Barbara and Ventura are a great destination for the whole family to learn about the history of the islands. Then visitors can enjoy a short, but exciting boat trip to the islands, spend time watching for whales, go hiking, enjoy island camping and much more.


Big Sur

Big Sur is a region of California with many wonders to offer visitors. The Santa Lucia mountains are located right on the coast, emerging straight up from the beach. In fact, Cone Peak, located right on the coast, is the highest coastal mountain in the contiguous United States, at over a mile above sea level. The Los Padres National Forest is an excellent destination for hiking. Throughout the forest there are many trails, including trails allowing visitors to walk the coastline. The forest allows visitors to explore beautiful pinyon juniper forests, grasslands, and the stunning redwoods. In addition, Big Sur is also a fantastic destination for wildlife viewing. One of the most exciting sights in Big Sur is the endangered California Condor. This region is one of the few places where the majestic bird can be seen. Beyond trying to catch a glimpse of the California Condor, Big Sur and the California coastline is a great spot to watch migrating grey whales in February. During that time of year the grey whales are migrating from Mexico to Alaska.


Joshua Tree National Park

Located in southeastern California Joshua Tree has some amazing sites to see, even the night skies, especially while camping. There are many nature trails, hiking trails, as well as options for mountain biking and rock-climbing. Visitors to Joshua Tree can enjoy the beautiful desert ecosystem. At Joshua Tree you can see the Milky Way with amazing clarity, using only binoculars. Using binoculars you can look into the dense star clouds of the Milky Way, and see clearly. These star clouds are especially dense and bright to the south near the horizon.
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