10 Under-Appreciated State Parks In Northern California You’re Sure To Love

When you consider how many beautiful places there are in Northern California, it’s pretty easy to overlook some of our ridiculously epic state parks. We honestly have some amazing parks here – ones that tend to be tragically underrated, if you ask us. Take a look at these awe-inspiring state parks in NoCa that are sadly under-appreciated, and make plans for a visit to one (or more!) of them soon.

What’s your favorite northern California state park? Tell us about your most recent visit.

If you’re ready to get out and explore more of northern California’s beauty, take our Lighthouse Road Trip.

Address: Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park, McArthur, CA 96056, USA
Address: McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, 24898 CA-89, Burney, CA 96013, USA
Address: Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, Whitethorn, CA 95589, USA
Address: Angel Island, Tiburon, CA 94920, USA
Address: Emerald Bay State Park, 138 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA
Address: Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, 14881 Pine Grove Volcano Rd, Pine Grove, CA 95665, USA
Address: Donner Memorial State Park, 12593 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, CA 96161, USA
Address: The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, Aptos Creek Rd, Aptos, CA 95003, USA
Address: Humboldt Redwoods State Park, 17119 Avenue of the Giants, Weott, CA 95571, USA
Address: Russian Gulch State Park, California 95460, USA
The OIYS Visitor Center

State Parks to Visit in Northern California

February 13, 2022

What are the best state parks in Northern California?  

The beautiful – and remarkably diverse – state of California is home to an impressive 280 parks and recreation areas managed by the state. Northern California is home to some of the most amazing state parks in the nation, if you ask us, and it’s obvious why: this region is so incredibly scenic that people flock to it from all over the world just to experience it. Some of our favorite state parks in Northern California include McArthur Burney Falls Memorial State Park, which features a breathtaking waterfall, and Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, which is home to a magnificent shoreline and some of California’s most picturesque, rugged landscapes. If you’re a fan of ghost towns, you can’t miss Bodie Historical State Park, which is an amazing little place that will remind you very much of what used to be. Donner Memorial State Park is another hidden gem with a crystal-clear lake and incredible mountain views. Want more? Check this article out for more information about each of these, plus many more! 

What are the most epic hiking trails in Northern California?  

The entire state of California is home to more than 11,000 hiking trails – many of which just so happen to be in the northern portion of the state. Many of our most epic hikes are located in our state and National Parks, and it’s pretty easy to see why – they. Are. Amazing. Some of the most epic hiking trails in Northern California are the unforgettable trails at Yosemite National Park, like the Mist Trail, Upper Yosemite Falls Trail, and John Muir Trail. Other amazing hikes in NoCa include the Lower Yosemite Falls Trail, Vernal Falls Trail, and so many more. With more than 11,000 trails all over the state to choose from, you’re sure to find something to fall head over heels – or should we say head over hiking boots? – in love with.  

Address: Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park, McArthur, CA 96056, USA
Address: McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, 24898 CA-89, Burney, CA 96013, USA
Address: Sinkyone Wilderness State Park, Whitethorn, CA 95589, USA
Address: Angel Island, Tiburon, CA 94920, USA
Address: Emerald Bay State Park, 138 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150, USA
Address: Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park, 14881 Pine Grove Volcano Rd, Pine Grove, CA 95665, USA
Address: Donner Memorial State Park, 12593 Donner Pass Rd, Truckee, CA 96161, USA
Address: The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, Aptos Creek Rd, Aptos, CA 95003, USA
Address: Humboldt Redwoods State Park, 17119 Avenue of the Giants, Weott, CA 95571, USA
Address: Russian Gulch State Park, California 95460, USA