Planning a Road Trip Through California's National Parks

Looking to explore the splendor of California? Plan your next fun-filled national park road trip through California with this ultimate trip guide!
california national parks road trip

Photo credit: Instagram users @thiagovieirafotografo & @carloskill2018

The Golden State of California is packed full of awesome adventures waiting to be had! Featuring views of gorgeous coasts to rocky landscapes and luxurious forests, nothing compares to a California national park road trip. 

Ready to explore the dazzling sights of California’s national parks? Pack up your RV rental and hit the road on your journey through each of these amazing natural wonders.

Planning the Perfect National Parks Road Trip Through California

Redwood National Park

Cruise-America-Redwood-National-Park-andy_best.jpgPhoto Credit: Instagram User @andy_best

The first stop on our California national parks road trip is Redwood National Park! 

First, we should clarify something pretty important. Redwood National Park is actually made up of four parks! These parks include Redwood National Park, Jedidiah State Park, Del Norte State Park and Prairie Creek State Park. 

While Redwood National Park is free to visit, the state parks do collect day-use fees at developed campground entrances. 

When RV camping in Redwood National Park, there are plenty of fun things to do! If you plan a spring trip, head over to Klamath Overlook during your stay. There, you can catch a glimpse of the magnificent local gray whale population. The most popular time to visit Redwood National Park is in the summer. Fun summer activities include hiking, tide-pooling, mountain biking and kayaking! 

RV campgrounds near Redwood National Park:

Have a blast exploring Redwood National Park by renting an RV at Cruise America’s Sacramento location! 

 

Lassen Volcanic National Park

As the name implies, Lassen Volcanic National Park is known for its history of volcanic activity. In fact, it is a popular spot for scientists who study planet formation. Thanks to NASA’s Astrobiology Student Intern Program, local students get to undertake astrobiology research at the park.

Because Lassen Volcanic is open all-year-round, there is plenty of fun to be had no matter when you visit.

During the winter, the park is covered in beautiful powdery snow. If you decide to go RV camping in Lassen National Park during the winter, you may want to try your hand at cross-country skiing. In addition to skiing, you can try out snowboarding or even join a ranger-led snowshoe walk.  

Summer in the park promises lots of fun as well! Lassen Volcanic’s Summer Guide features cool activities like backpacking, stargazing, swimming and more. 

RV campgrounds near Lassen National Park:

Enjoy the beautiful Northern Californian landscape in style by renting an RV at Cruise America’s Sacramento location!

 

Yosemite National Park

When planning your glorious California national parks road trip, Yosemite National Park is a must-see! Almost 30,000 years ago, Yosemite Glacier passed through the valley and formed what is now Yosemite National Park. 

Visitors who explore the park today are greeted with gorgeous sights from roaring waterfalls to tranquil meadows. The best time to go RV camping in Yosemite can vary. The most popular time to visit the park is spring because it’s waterfall season. 

RV campgrounds near Yosemite National Park:

Enjoy the magnificent landscape of Yosemite National Park in an RV rental by visiting Cruise America’s Fresno location!

 

Pinnacles National Park

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Looking to take in California’s dramatic natural landscapes? Head down the coast to Pinnacles National Park to check out the park’s one-of-a-kind rock formations.

After you settle in for your RV camping experience at Pinnacles, there’s plenty for you to explore. One of the most popular times to visit Pinnacles is in the spring because of the park’s mild weather.

When visiting during the spring, make sure you go birdwatching. Because many bird species migrate in the spring, you might just spot a rare bird in the park! 

RV campgrounds near Pinnacles National Park:

Take in the rocky sights at Pinnacles National Park in an RV rental by visiting Cruise America’s San Jose location!

 

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park

Sequoia and Kings Canyon are national park neighbors! Both parks are managed by the National Park Service as Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. 

Due to the elevation range at the parks, weather conditions can vary from 20 to 30 degrees, depending on elevation. The most popular time to go RV camping in Sequoia and Kings Canyon is the spring and summer. As spring rolls in, the foothills of the parks are blanketed with blooming wildflowers. 

Hiking is a popular activity in Sequoia and Kings National Park. For adventure seekers, the rushing Roaring River Falls is a breathtaking sight to behold!

RV campgrounds near Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park:

Travel through the gorgeous forests of Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park in an RV Rental by visiting Cruise America’s Fresno location!

 

Death Valley National Park

Don’t let the name intimate you; Death Valley National Park is one of the most breathtaking stops on your California national parks road trip. This park is home to the lowest point in North America, Badwater Basin, at 282 feet below sea level. 

The best weather for RV camping in Death Valley National Park is found in the winter and spring. Winter brings in visitors who want to avoid chilly weather found in other parts of the state. With temperatures in the mid-60s, you can explore the park’s landscape at your leisure. Plus, Death Valley’s winter lighting is perfect for snapping striking photographs of the park. 

In the spring, the temperature reaches the low 90s—a warm but bearable climate. One of the sights that attract visitors to the park is the Racetrack. Here, you can see one of nature’s mysteries: rocks that move on their own.

RV campgrounds near Death Valley National Park:

Bask in the sights of Death Valley National Park by renting an RV at Cruise America’s Fresno location!
 

Joshua Tree National Park

Cruise-America-Joshua-Tree-National-Park-larissavd.jpgPhoto Credit: Instagram User @larissavd

Joshua Tree National Park is home to two deserts: the Colorado and Mojave Deserts. As a beautiful desert oasis, this park promises an unparalleled experience. 

The hot, dry summers and mild winters make year-round RV camping at Joshua Tree National Park possible. During the winter, Joshua Tree stays mostly snow-free. This makes the park the perfect spot for rock-climbers looking for a winter expedition.

Crowds grow at Joshua Tree as the spring and summer months begin. Spring at the park paints the landscape in a variety of colors as plant life begins to bloom. Visitors can participate in ranger-led activities in the spring or stargazing during the summer.

RV campgrounds near Joshua Tree National Park:

Discover the desert landscape of Joshua Tree National Park in an RV rental by visiting Cruise America’s Indio location!

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Our compact unit is a fully self-contained RV. The floorplan features a unique rear kitchen design with all the amenities of a larger unit. The compact RV is the ideal unit for two adults of any age and a dinette folding to an extra bed allows for a child. With 6.5 foot/2 meter ceilings and walk through convenience even tall campers can enjoy the compact RV.

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