Nature calls – and what could possibly be a lovelier way of responding to this call than by taking a trip out to California’s beautifully preserved national parks? We’ve headed out on the road for you once again and explored some of the best national parks:
Sequoia National Park: simply gigantic
In Sequoia National Park, you’ll just never stop staring, open-mouthed – because everything here is just… well, bigger. The park takes its name, of course, from its signature giant sequoia trees.
General Sherman Tree, for example, is estimated to be between 1,900 and 2,400 years old, and at 83.8 metres high and with a total volume of almost 1,490 cubic metres, it is the biggest tree on Earth. The trunk of this vast giant sequoia has a circumference of more than 31 metres. Other highlights of the Sequoia National Park include the Tunnel Log, a hollowed-out fallen tree so large that cars can drive through it without touching the sides! One of the loveliest hikes is Crescent Meadow Trail, a walk which will take you a very comfortable 45 minutes, and in the subterranean karst cave the Crystal Cave, you’ll find striking rock formations – and a great place to shelter on those hot summer’s days.
Sequoia National Park information
↦ Opening times: open year-round.
↦ Charge per vehicle: US$ 35
Yosemite National Park: the old favourite
Yosemite National Park is one of the best-known national parks in the world – and not without good reason. The Park’s proximity to San Francisco makes it a popular destination for excursions for visitors and locals alike. Nature lovers will love the national park thanks to its giant sequoia trees, deep valleys, breathtaking waterfalls and varied hiking paths. As well as this, sports enthusiasts and professional climbers go there from around the world. Anyone who overcomes El Capitan or Half Dome clearly has a place in the sporting elite.
Yosemite National Park information
↦ Official website of Yosemite National Park with helpful information to ensure you’re fully prepared.
↦ Opening times: open year-round
↦ Charge per vehicle carrying a maximum of 15 passengers: US$ 35
Channel Islands National Park: get out across the water!
The Channel Islands National Park, which consists of five islands – Anacapa, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa and San Miguel – is located directly next to the megalopolis of Los Angeles. Anacapa, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa und San Miguel. Good preparation is especially important here: there are no hotels on the islands, just campsites, and neither cars nor even bicycles are permitted.
For a short trip, we recommend you visit the island of Anacapa, and enjoy the views from the best lookout points in Channel Islands National Park. Excursions by boat, which you can book on a day-by-day basis, are another good tip. You’ll even have good chances of watching whales from December to mid-April.
When it comes to diving, snorkelling and kayaking, we recommend you head for the island of Santa Cruz, where the sea is usually particularly calm. Also, be sure not to miss the playful seals and sea lions of San Miguel!
Channel Islands National Park information
↦ To find out about a variety of activities and research useful tips for your trip, check out the official website of the Channel Islands National Park.
↦ Opening times: open year-round.
↦ The national park is open to visitors free of charge. The simplest way to get out to the islands is on public boats, or by small aircraft.
Tips for your visit to the national parks of California
↦ Plan your visit to the national parks for off-season, and avoid the hot summer months of July and August if possible. Doing this will mean you’ll be able to enjoy a quiet visit without the huge crowds of people – and the temperatures will be more agreeable, too.
↦ The best way to explore Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks is by rental car. Boats for day-trips out to Channel Islands National Park leave from a point approximately one hour’s drive from Los Angeles.
↦ Good preparation is everything: on longer stays in particular, be absolutely sure to find out in detail about the weather, hiking routes, possible accommodation, wild animals and any appropriate equipment you may need.
Get onto the plane and out into nature – and experience a very special trip to the national parks of California! In our summer flight schedule, we’ll be taking you non-stop from Vienna to Los Angeles – to find the flight that’s right for you, just click here: