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Top National Parks in California

Top National Parks in California

From the heights of Yosemite’s Half Dome to the depths of Death Valley, California has no shortage of awe-inspiring national parks, which draw some 40 million visitors annually. The state’s varied terrain makes for stunning landscapes rich with natural and cultural history. Here’s what you need to know about California’s top national parks.

Yosemite National Park

Nestled in the Sierra Nevada, Yosemite National Park can be explored on a day trip from San Francisco or Lake Tahoe. Hike through Yosemite Valley for close-ups of Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall as well as the granite peaks of El Capitan and Half Dome, or book a tour that includes panoramic views from Glacier Point.

Death Valley National Park

Most often visited from Las Vegas, this extraordinary desert landscape—much of which lies below sea level—seems worlds away. Despite record-high temps and droughts, Death Valley supports an array of wildlife. Tours typically stop at viewpoints such as Furnace Creek, Artist’s Palette, Badwater Basin, Devil's Golf Course, Dante's Peak, and Zabriskie Point for photo ops and guided walks.

Joshua Tree National Park

Straddling the Mojave and Colorado deserts, Joshua Tree is revered by rock climbers for its distinctive geological formations. But the park is perhaps best-recognized by its namesake plant, actually a yucca palm, whose twisty, spiky branches make a great backdrop for a selfie. Choose your vehicle—van, Jeep, or Hummer—and make your getaway to Joshua Tree from Palm Springs.

Muir Woods National Monument

Just across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, one of the Bay Area’s most popular natural treasures contains some of the tallest trees you’ll find anywhere. Stroll the easy, paved pathways through groves of old-growth coast redwoods and marvel at their height and girth. Tours include transport and parking (which itself requires a reservation if you visit independently), with easy side trips to nearby Sausalito.

Alcatraz Island

Otherwise known as the Rock, Alcatraz is strategically placed on San Francisco Bay. Your admission ticket to the former federal penitentiary includes its award-winning audio tour and the boat ride to and from the island. Combine San Francisco sightseeing and other attractions to make the most of your visit to this National Historic Landmark District.

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11 Tours and Activities | All California Tours

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San Francisco Super Saver: Muir Woods & Wine Country w/ optional Gourmet Lunch

San Francisco Super Saver: Muir Woods & Wine Country w/ optional Gourmet Lunch

star-4.5
For one of the best wine country tours from San Francisco, combine a visit to Northern California wine country with a Muir Woods experience for a truly fabulous day out. This Super Saver provides two popular tours at one discount price, allowing you to see and taste the delights of Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties. You’ll begin with a walk through Muir Woods National Monument with an informative guide to stare up in wonder at the towering redwood trees. Then you'll visit three wineries, with wine-tasting included. You’ll also cross the Golden Gate Bridge and have free time on Sonoma Plaza to buy lunch if you haven't opted to upgrade to the lunch option.
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  • 10 to 11 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$154.00
Price varies by group size
From
$154.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Muir Woods and Sausalito Half Day Tour (Optional Sausalito Ferry Ticket)

Muir Woods and Sausalito Half Day Tour (Optional Sausalito Ferry Ticket)

star-4
Wander through an ancient coastal redwood forest and explore the artistic bayside enclave of Sausalito on this half-day tour from San Francisco. Travel across the Golden Gate Bridge to visit Muir Woods, home to some of the oldest and tallest trees on Earth. Then, soak up stellar views of the San Francisco skyline and browse art galleries along the Sausalito waterfront. At the end of your tour choose between getting dropped off at Union Square in San Francisco or taking the Sausalito ferry back to San Francisco.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$73.00
From
$73.00
Taking safety measures

Combo Tour: Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Grand City Tour

Combo Tour: Alcatraz Island and San Francisco Grand City Tour

star-4
Explore San Francisco and Alcatraz on this 2-in-1 tour. Hop aboard a ferry for a scenic ride to Alcatraz and enjoy the award-winning audio walking tour. Plus, enjoy a coach tour with a knowledgeable local guide. Learn about the City by the Bay through visits to top attractions such as Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, the Presidio, and the Palace of Fine Arts.
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  • 6 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$120.00
From
$120.00
Taking safety measures

Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Day Trip from San Francisco

Yosemite National Park and Giant Sequoias Day Trip from San Francisco

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Discover the rugged beauty of the Sierra Nevada on this full-day trip to Yosemite National Park from San Francisco. Travel aboard a comfortable van through historic Gold Rush towns to reach the park, where you’ll be amazed by supersized natural wonders like Yosemite Falls and the granite cliffs of Half Dome and El Capitan. Take a hike among ancient sequoia trees, and enjoy several hours to explore the park’s wonders on your own.
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  • 14 to 15 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$189.00
Price varies by group size
From
$189.00
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Muir Woods Tour of California Coastal Redwoods (Entrance fee included)

Muir Woods Tour of California Coastal Redwoods (Entrance fee included)

star-4.5
Explore the famous groves of the Northern California redwoods on this tour of Muir Woods. Departing from Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, a local guide drives you over the scenic Golden Gate Bridge and into the moist air of Muir Woods National Monument. Crane your neck to admire these 1,000-year-old trees standing 260 feet (80 meters) tall. Afterward, enjoy a drive through the charming town of Sausalito before heading back to the city.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$85.00
From
$85.00
Taking safety measures

Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour

Joshua Tree National Park Driving Tour

star-5
Explore the uncanny landscape of Joshua Tree National Park with a 4.5-hour van tour from Palm Desert, near Palm Springs. Enjoy the comfort of an air-conditioned van or SUV as you navigate soaring granite formations and groves of the park’s famously spiky trees, and capture unforgettable images of terrain that spans the Colorado and Mojave deserts. Trace a gentle trail into the rocks at Hidden Valley and Keys View, watch for the park’s reclusive wildlife, and experience the unique beauty of one America’s most remarkable national parks.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$177.67
From
$177.67
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Death Valley National Park Day Trip from Las Vegas

Small-Group Death Valley National Park Day Trip from Las Vegas

star-4.5
Discover the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere at Death Valley National Park, the largest National Park in the U.S., on this guided, full-day excursion from Las Vegas. Travel on board an air-conditioned minibus to one of the most desolate places on earth, and learn about Death Valley’s history, landscape, and wildlife along the way. See other desert highlights including Furnace Creek, Artist’s Palette, Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point, and more. A boxed lunch, plenty of bottled water, and hotel pickup and drop-off are included.
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  • 10 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$239.00
From
$239.00
Taking safety measures

Half-Day Joshua Tree National Park Jeep Tour

Half-Day Joshua Tree National Park Jeep Tour

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The lush resorts of Palm Springs will feel a million miles away when you get out in the wilds of Joshua Tree National Park on this small group Jeep tour. Leave the city behind as you head off-road and over a rocky landscape some people say feels like being on another planet. See plants and rock formations that are unique to the desert, and learn what makes Joshua Tree so special.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$177.67
From
$177.67
Taking safety measures

Yosemite Hiking Excursion

Yosemite Hiking Excursion

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Explore the stunning trails of Yosemite National Park on this guided hiking excursion. Select a specific hike for your skill level, with options ranging from beginner to strenuous, and enjoy the views from Glacier Point, Sentinel Dome, El Capitan, Half Dome and more. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of this renowned landscape as you hike in the fresh air. An experienced guide will provide insightful commentary along the way.
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  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$152.57
Price varies by group size
From
$152.57
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Death Valley Explorer Tour by Tour Trekker

Death Valley Explorer Tour by Tour Trekker

star-4.5
Discover the lowest point in the Western Hemisphere while visiting Death Valley National Park, the largest National Park in the US, on this full-day excursion from Las Vegas. Travel on board a custom-built Tour Trekker vehicle to one of the most desolate places on earth. Learn about Death Valley’s history, landscape and wildlife, plus the urban legends of ghost towns and long-abandoned gold mines along the way. Also, see other desert highlights like Furnace Creek, Badwater Basin, Zabriskie Point and more. Lunch, bottled water and a hotel pickup/drop-off are included.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$275.00
From
$275.00
Taking safety measures

Small-Group Day Trip to Yosemite from Lake Tahoe

Small-Group Day Trip to Yosemite from Lake Tahoe

star-5
Explore the scenic highlights of Yosemite National Park on a full-day, small-group guided trip from Lake Tahoe with a lunchtime picnic beside Cascade Falls. Capture unforgettable images of the park’s soaring rock walls and craggy peaks then enjoy an invigorating hike to Yosemite Falls or Bridalveil Falls, where high-mountain rivers tumble from sheer granite cliffs. Spot rock climbers scaling the face of El Capitan, watch for deer in alpine meadows, and take in the timeless beauty of California’s High Sierra mountains.
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  • 14 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$205.13
From
$205.13
Taking safety measures