The 6 best state parks in California to visit this winter ~ California

Share the article

Last updated

California is a beautiful West Coast state that is home to all types of scenery, from sparkling beaches to giant sequoia trees. A visit to one of the local state parks is an amazing way to experience it for yourself — here are six state parks to visit this winter that won’t disappoint.

The 6 best state parks in California to visit this winter

1. Anza Borrego Desert State Park

This beautiful park is located in Southern California, about an hour and thirty minutes outside of San Diego. Its location in the desert makes winter one of the best times to visit. While summer temperatures can soar well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, visiting in winter means you can expect a much more reasonable range of 60-70 degrees during the day.

The park is home to some unique attractions, including beautiful palm oases. It also offers a wide range of hiking trails suitable for most skill levels. If you head to the nearby town of Borrego Springs, you can offer some additional activities, including touring art galleries and local shops.

Anza Borrego Park

2. Humboldt Redwoods State Park

This California state park is home to some of the largest trees in the country – the legendary redwood trees. Take at least some time to drive down the Avenue of Giants – a 32-mile road lined with giant trees, as the name suggests.

If you’re looking for a quick hike or have limited time in the area, the trail through Founder’s Grove is just over a mile long and is an excellent choice. For those who want to spend more time exploring the area, Burlington Campground is open year-round. However, temperatures can get chilly at night, so bring a warm coat and sleeping bag.

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans for 2023 from $10 a week

Humboldt Redwoods State Park

3. Red Rock Canyon State Park

Not to be confused with Nevada’s Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, this stunning California park is home to stunning, colorful rock formations. Located on the southern edge of the Sierra Nevada, this is a great choice for winter exploration thanks to the mild temperatures, which typically hover in the 60s. The park is home to a variety of hiking trails as well as wildlife – this is a great choice for photographers and hikers alike.

Red Rock Canyon State Park

4. Pfieffer Big Sur State Park

If you’re looking for awe-inspiring scenery, look no further than Pfieffer Big Sur State Park. This beautiful park offers not only a scenic view of the sea, but also a stunning bay with a sparkling waterfall. It should be noted that there is no direct beach access from the state park itself — the cliffs within the park offer beautiful views, but also make water access unsafe.

However, there is still plenty to do, including a variety of hiking trails. If you’re looking for a quick way to get some fresh air, check out the 0.7-mile nature trail. If you’re looking for a bigger challenge, the 3-mile Buzzard’s Roost offers both decent elevation gain — about 750 feet — and beautiful ocean views.

Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park

5. Crystal Cove State Park

This serene state park is not only home to a beautiful beach, but also has some unique historical features in the form of a row of coastal cottages that are among the few remaining examples of coastal development from the era.

It can be a bit chilly to swim a lot on a winter visit — temperatures hover in the low 70s in winter — but you can expect a far less crowded park while exploring the coast, backcountry trails, and historic district explore.

Crystal Cove State Park

6. Prairie Creek State Park

Humboldt Redwoods isn’t the only state park to feature some beautiful redwood trees. However, Prairie Creek State Park is not only home to some beautiful mature trees, but also a variety of outdoor activity opportunities and some really different looking landscapes. Perhaps Fern Canyon looks familiar to you, for example because it appears in one of the Jurassic Park films.

Prairie Creek State Park

travel warning: Don’t forget travel insurance for your next trip!

↓ Join our community ↓

That Travel Off Path Community FB Group has the latest reopening news, talks and Q&A every day!


Enter your email address to subscribe to the latest travel news from Travel Off Path delivered directly to your inbox

This article originally appeared on