California is a state known for its natural beauty and geographic diversity. When it comes to landscapes, the Golden State has it all: snowy mountain peaks, wide open deserts, lush forest, lakes, rivers and beautiful oceanside can all be found in abundance in California. A van rental in California lets travelers explore this beautiful and diverse state from top to bottom.
With so many different areas of natural beauty to be had, it is no wonder that California is rich with state parks. California is home to an astounding 280 state parks. These state parks are extremely popular travel destinations for hikers, climbers, swimmers, photographers and general lovers of the great outdoors. Renting a van in California allows for an astonishing adventure of a road trip in which you can see dozens of California's gorgeous natural parks and ensure that you won’t miss a thing, from beaches and deserts of Southern California to the mountains and redwood forests up north.
While renting a van in California to explore state parks, Joshua Tree State Park is one stop you can’t afford to miss while driving in Southern California Mojave Desert. Joshua Tree is a vast protected desert in Southern California. The park is appropriately named for its abundance of twisting, Dr. Seuss-like trees that tower above the desert floor, giving the place its unique character.
Scattered with countless towering rock formations, Joshua Tree is a haven for bouldering and rock-climbing enthusiasts from around the world. Although its desert weather can make for dramatic changes in temperature throughout the day and night, the region’s perennially dry climate makes it one of the most popular winter climbing destinations in the country. With countless activities and stunning desert beauty, Joshua Tree is the gem of the Mojave Desert.
Red Rock Canyon State Park
One of California’s most stunning geographical features is the vast Sierra Nevada mountain range. This majestic mountain range stretches an astonishing 400 miles across much of western California and offers as much diversity as the California itself. From Yosemite National Park, home of the famous Half Dome to Mount Whitney, the highest mountain peak in the continental United States, The Sierra Nevadas are home to some of California’s most incredible sights and adventures. Renting a van in California is an ideal form of travel for those wishing to explore what this fantastic mountain range has to offer. At the southernmost tip of the Sierra Nevadas lies Red Rock Canyon State Park, a preserved section of desert land that has striking cliffs and outstanding rock formations. Good for both adventuring and sightseeing, this state park is a famous filming location, featured in popular movies such as Jurassic Park, The Mummy, and Zorro Rides Again.
One of the main draws for nature lovers traveling in California is the sight of the rare and majestic redwood trees. These beautiful giants dot the entire Pacific West Coast, but are found nowhere else in the world! A fabulous display of these magnificent trees can be found in California’s oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Established in 1902, this national landmark is located along a winding road through the spectacular Santa Cruz mountains.
Traveling in a van rental in California will allow visitors to wind along the twists and turns of Santa Cruz’s Highway 9, spotting magnificent redwoods all along the way.
Garrapata in Big Sur
Located in iconic Big Sur, Garrapata State Park is a stunning stretch of preserved land along California’s famous Highway 1, about 20 miles south of Central California’s Monterey Peninsula.
Highway 1 is a winding highway is arguably the most beautiful way to see California from top to bottom, hugging the Pacific Coast all the way from Los Angeles to North of San Francisco. A drive along this historic highway is a worthwhile traveling endeavor in its own right. Choosing a van rental in California would allow travelers to drive along various parts or even the entire Highway 1 for a once in a lifetime adventure. A rental van could even offer a secure and comfortable option for car-camping along the Pacific ocean.
Garrapata State Park is almost 3,000 acres of pristine natural beauty along the coast. The park has two miles of beach front. Garrapata Beach is a beautiful beach with a few unique features. The lack of directional signs posted along the highway makes finding the beach a bit of a challenge. The reward, however is a lack of large crowds for those adventurous or lucky enough to find it. It has also been known to be one of Big Sur’s “clothing optional” beaches, so don’t be surprised if you spot a nude sun-bather or two.
Garrapata State Park also offers several challenging and beautiful coastal hikes through redwood groves. A 50-foot climb rewards hikers with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.
The park offers diverse coastal vegetation and animal life. Dozens of California's native plants can be found along any of Garrapata’s numerous trails. For lovers of marine animals, sea lions, harbor seals, sea otters, and even dolphins are often found along this part of the coast. Whale watching is also very popular here during the bi-annual migration of the California Gray Whale.
Explore California’s Natural Beauty
California is a large state rich with diversity and spectacular natural beauty. There is no better way to experience this than by exploring California’s State Parks. From the sprawling deserts and countless rock formations of Joshua Tree to the stunning coastlines and towering redwood forests of Northern California, California's State Park offer something for every nature lover.
The prospect of seeing it all is almost overwhelming. Renting a van in California allows for travelers to explore California and visit many of it’s stunning state parks from north to south. If you’d like to learn more about our van rentals in California or to make a reservation, contact us today by calling 877-826-4680, or visit the reservations page on our website.
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