Did you know that Northern California and Southern Oregon are home to seven National Park sites? This circle of parks protects everything from America’s oldest trees and deepest lake to hydrothermal areas, ice caves, and dramatic waterfalls.
We are so lucky to have these places so close to us in Far NorCal. Let’s take a look at these 7 incredible parks:
*Note: This is a Far NorCal list. This list does not include the many National Parks in the southern area of Northern California like Muir Woods or Yosemite National Park
Crater Lake has inspired people for hundreds of years. No place else on earth combines a deep, pure lake, so blue in color; sheer surrounding cliffs almost two thousand feet high; two picturesque islands; and a violent volcanic past. It is a place of immeasurable beauty and an outstanding outdoor laboratory and classroom.
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 700 caves, Native American rock art sites, historic battlefields and campsites, and a high desert wilderness experience await you.
The Tule Lake Unit, WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument includes both 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 a prisoner of war camp, and finally an additional facility to detain Japanese Americans.
Come witness a brief moment in the ancient battle between the earth shaping forces of creation and destruction. Nestled within Lassen’s peaceful mountain forests you will find that hissing fumaroles and boiling mud pots still shape and change the land.
Most people know Redwood as home to the tallest trees on Earth. The parks also protect vast prairies, oak woodlands, wild riverways, and nearly 40 miles of pristine coastline, all supporting a rich mosaic of wildlife diversity and cultural traditions. Together, the National Park Service and California State Parks manage these lands for the inspiration, enjoyment, and education of all people.
Deep inside the Siskiyou mountains lies the “Marble Halls of Oregon”. The caves formed when acidic rainwater dissolved the surrounding marble, creating one of the few marble caves in the world. The monument’s ancient forests contain endemic Port Orford Cedar and one of the largest Douglas-fir trees in Oregon.
Whiskeytown Lake’s beautiful crystal-clear waters, surrounded by mountain peaks, are perhaps the most prominent feature of the park. However, water-based recreation is only a small part of what the park has to offer. The 39,000 acres surrounding the lake hold four waterfalls, pristine mountain creeks, 70 miles of trails, and opportunities to explore the history of the California Gold Rush.
Which National Park are going to explore on your next adventure? Let us know in the comments!
Northern California’s Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine