Have You Visited One of These Less Traveled Natural Wonders?

Fewer crowds and more to love.

California’s State Parks offer some of the most diverse natural terrain in the country. There are also plenty of spots that get overshadowed by some of the more famous landmarks. San Francisco Chronicle highlighted 10 often-overlooked state parks that are worthy of your visit. Here are a few of our favorites:


Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park

“One of the largest freshwater springs in the country, Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park is only accessible by boat. “Where the waters come together” is a translation of the word Ahjumawi, used by the band of Pit River American Indians who have inhabited this area. The waters which come together here among tree-studded islets are Big Lake, Tule River, Ja-She Creek, Lava Creek, and Fall River — and more than two-thirds of the region is covered by recent lava flows (3,000 to 5,000 years), including jagged black basalt.”


Harmony Headlands State Park

“Watch the ocean breeze ruffle the coastal prairie grasses and wildflower meadows of Harmony Headlands State Park, a swath of rare, untouched Central Coast landscape. Once part of a Spanish land grant, the property has belonged to ranchers and dairy families over the years, and became a state park in 2003. Wander along the 1.5-mile Headlands Trail from the parking lot through fields of San Luis Obispo morning glory, California buttercups, and owl’s clover to the coastal marine terrace grassland overlooking the Pacific Ocean.”


Humboldt Lagoons State Park

“Formed by the clash of two tectonic plates, Humboldt Lagoons State Park is part of the largest lagoon system in the United States. Lagoons are shallow, enclosed bodies of water along the coast that are separated from the ocean by coastal strands or spits of land. The four separate areas in the park — Big Lagoon, Dry Lagoon, Stone Lagoon, and Freshwater Lagoon — sprawl along the coastline, with rich opportunities for fishing, kayaking, camping, and picnicking.”

Get the full list here.