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Top 5 California National Parks | Bartell's Backroads

California has nine National Parks. Here are John Bartell's top five favorites.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — It’s National Park Week! It is a time to celebrate one of the greatest ideas in America, the National Park system. 

Here in California, we are lucky to have 9 National Parks; Redwood, Lassen, Point Reyes, Yosemite, Channel island, Pinnacle, Sequoia, Death Valley and Joshua Tree National Parks. 

The great outdoors is a great place to socially distance so, ABC10’s John Bartell put together a list of his Top 5 California National Parks.

Just remember COVID-19 guidelines are still in place so check the park website before you visit.  

#1 Redwood National Park and state park

Stunning beaches, giant Redwood trees and herds of elk are just a few of the natural wonders You’ll find inside this coastal rainforest. Primarily located in Humboldt county; the park has some of the tallest trees in the world. So big you can actually drive your car through some of them. Inside the park you will find miles of hiking trails lead you to places like fern canyon where you can see a wall of lush green fern or you can see the Mother Tree the oldest and complex organism in the forest. Also, don’t forget to check out the many tourist attractions in the Avenue of the giants like chainsaw art, The one log cabin and Paul Bunyan at the Trees of Mystery.

#2 Lassen Volcanic National Park

It's been described as hell on earth and it's just a few hours drive from Sacramento. Few places in California are as volcanically active as Lassen Volcanic National Park. It was in part because President Roosevelt designated Mt. Lassen a National park. Boiling acid pits can be found all over the park. The most popular one to visit is Bumpass Hell named after a man who stepped into a pit with PH levels higher than battery acid.

#3 Pinnacle National Park

Hidden inside the Salinas Valley Mountains is an alien world. Rock spires and caves are just a few of the dramatic rock formations found backroads of San Benito County. Erosion from wind and water carved deep canyon created a network of boulder tunnels and caves. Pinnacle National Park is also home to the Critically Endangered California Condor. There are just over 500 left in the world.

#4 Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park

Drive East of Visalia into the mountains of Tulare County and everything starts to get really big. The Forest is home to 5 of the world's largest trees. The sequoias can get up to 40 wide and 300 feet tall. Below the giant sequoias and the towering mountains Crystal cave. A 1.4-million-year-old cave filled with sparkling minerals, Stalactites and stalagmites.

 #5 Death Valley National Park

Located 15 miles from the Furnace Creek Visitors Center is Badwater Basin the lowest elevation in the Nation at 282 feet below sea level. Badwater basin is the end of the line for salt creek home to the endangered Pupfish. These little guys can survive in the briny water that reached upwards of 100 degrees. A trip would not be complete without visiting Scotty’s Castle. The remote mansion was built in part because of a desert conman.

National Parks are irreplaceable treasures, so get out and explore them safely.

WATCH NEXT: California reopening: safely revisiting some favorite places | A Bartell's Backroads Special

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