5 of the Best State Parks In California 10413

California is one of the best states when it comes to beautiful natural places to visit. The state is home to many national forests and parks. Those big name areas often get a lot of visitors, but there are plenty of state parks that are just as worthy of your time.

If you’re visiting California in your RV, you need to make a point of visiting at least one epic Californian state park. Here are five of the best state parks in California. These aren’t the only ones out there, but they’re the ones I’d place at the top of your list.

1. Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

Beautiful Beach and Falls, Julia Pfeiffer Beach, McWay Falls, Big Sur, California

Situated on the Big Sur coastlines and stretching all the way back to the high ridges Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is a beautiful sight to behold.

It’s one of those places in the Golden State that just begs to be photographed. This makes it a popular spot, but you can still find some seclusion at the state park. You can check out the breathtaking 80-foot waterfall called the McWay Falls, or hang out on the beach, hike around and see what other beautiful spots this park has to offer, and have a picnic.

There’s only primitive camping in the park, according to the park’s department website, so you’ll need to check out one of the surrounding campgrounds suitable for RVs, like Fernwood Resort.

2. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Giant Redwood Trees on Stout Grove Trail, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, CA


One thing you simply have to do if you’re in Northern California is see the Redwoods. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is a fantastic place to do that.

This park is situated right in the middle of the Smith River, Lake Earl, and Crescent City. Not only are all of those places close, but the beach is only a short drive away. With that said, you’ll likely not want to leave the state park because of it’s beautiful sights and hiking trails. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is one of the least developed areas of the Redwoods out there. This gives it an experience like no other.

You can camp right in the park with your tent or RV. Some campgrounds have limits on RV length, so be sure to make a reservation and that your rig will fit.

3. Topanga State Park

This photo is taken on the Eagle Rock Trail of Topanga State Park, Woodland Hills near the sunset hour. This view is about 20 minutes from the Eagle Rock

Topanga State Park is located right in the Santa Monica Mountains. It’s a great place for hikers of all ages and skill levels, from people just beginning to hardcore hikers. It’s also a great way to get out of the city and experience the great outdoors.

The park is actually located inside the Los Angeles city limits. While it might not be the most remote state park, if you’re visiting Los Angeles and you need to get away, this is where you should go.

A good place to camp somewhat near Topanga State Park with your RV is the Malibu Beach RV Park. While it’s a little ways away from the state park, you’ll get a beautiful view of the water and plenty of amenities.

4. Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park stream and mountain range

Also located in the Santa Monica Mountains, Malibu Creek State Park is known by many as the crown jewel of the area, according to its website. The land that now makes up the park was owned at one time by 20th Century Fox Studios and was home to the TV show MASH.

It opened in 1976 as a park and has welcomed millions of visitors to hike the trails and see the landscape that was used in various shows and movies over the decades. It’s located West of Topanga State Park, so if you’re visiting that one, consider hitting Malibu Creek State Park, too.

A good place to camp near the park is Walnut RV Park it’s only about 14 miles away and offers plenty of amenities and good campsite for your RV. Spaces are limited, so make sure to reserve a spot.

5. Empire Mine State Historic Park

A view of the stone cottage located at the Empire Mine State Historic Park in Grass Valley, California. The stone cottage was built by the owner of the gold mine.

Are you looking for something with some serious California history behind it? Then you need to check out the Empire Mine State Historic Park. Located North East of Sacramento, the park is a great spot for anyone visiting the area.

The park is home to one of the longest, oldest, deepest, and richest mines in the entire state and even the country. It produced over 5.8 million ounces of gold during its time in operation. It closed in 1956, and now you can visit the site and see this historical area. There’s guided tours and many of the historic building are still standing and used. There’s also plenty of hiking, too.

Campgrounds around the mine are plentiful. The Inn Town Campground is just north of the state park and has excellent reviews. RV campsites are limited, so make sure to reserve your spot ahead of time.

What other state parks would you recommend? Leave a comment below!

5 of the best state parks in California.

Wade divides his time among various outdoor activities in both urban and rural environments. An adventurer by nature, he is always up for a challenging hike, fun hunt, or day out on the water with friends and family. When he isn’t enjoying the outdoors, he’s writing, reading, or tinkering with motorcycles and cars.
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