California’s state park system represents the best of California. The 280 parks feature unmatched natural, cultural, and recreational treasures and span ancient redwoods, sandy beachfronts, historic sites and monuments, and more. With over 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites and 4,500 miles of trails, the parks provide wonderful recreational, educational, and inspirational opportunities for over 67 million visitors a year.

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Fun Facts about California State Parks

1.5 million+ acres

2 million+ archeological specimens

3,000+ historical buildings

Largest California State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – 600,000 acres–the largest state park in California

Smallest California State Park
Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park .11 acres

Oldest California State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park – 1902–founded as California Redwood Park

Highest Point in California State Parks
Mount San Jacinto State Park – The view from the top –10, 804 feet–takes in most of Southern California; highest point in State Park System, second highest peak in Southern California.

Lowest Point in California State Parks
Salton Sea State Recreation Area – 230 feet below sea level

Best View of the World in the United States
Mount Diablo State Park. The summit – 3,849′ – offers a sweeping panorama–more of the earth’s surface can be seen from the mountain than any other peak in the world, except Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Coldest Place in California State Parks
Mount San Jacinto State Park – Lowest recorded temperature-12° below zero 1972-73

Hottest Places in California State Parks
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park – Summer temperatures in the range of 120°
Salton Sea State Recreation Area – Summer temperatures in the range of 120°

Driest California State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Some areas average 2″ a year.

Wettest California State Park
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park – 92.77″ average rainfall
Sinkyone Wilderness State Park – Unofficial 100″ rainfall a year

Plants or Animals Native only to California State Parks
Caswell Memorial State Park – Riparian Brush Rabbit Sylvilagus bachmani riparius
Mount Diablo State Park – Mt. Diablo bird’s-beak Cordylanthus nidularius

Tallest Tree in the World
Humboldt Redwoods State Park – Sequoia sempervirens 368′-369′ tall in the Rockefeller Forest

Tallest Waterfall in California State Parks
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial SP – Burney Falls–129′

Widest Diameter Tree in California State Parks
Calaveras Big Trees State Park – Louis Agassiz Tree, South Grove–24′ wide

There are additional wonderful California state parks that you can visit, which are not participating in the free Green Friday day-use parking pass program. For more information, including features, hours, fees and directions, visit the California State Parks website: