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Guide to California's Must See Natural Wonders

If you’re going to California,
these are natural wonders you must see.

A person jumping into a lake in Yosemite National Park in autumn.
Yosemite National Park is one of the most famous national parks in the world,
being home to majestic attractions and a must-see natural wonder in California.

California is a very popular destination for vacations and relocations alike. If you’re heading there for either, you should definitely plan ahead. In terms of land area, it’s the third largest state in the US – so there’s lots of ground to cover, literally. With so many sightseeing options, before you embark on your journey, you should make sure you look up all the places you may like to see up close. Pack some comfortable shoes while you’re at it, because there are so many must-see natural wonders. If you really want to make the most out of your time in California, this guide should point you in the right direction!

Joshua Tree National Park

Located in the south-eastern part of California, Joshua Tree National Park is a magnificent sight. It is where the Mojave and Colorado deserts meet, and the entire area is shaped by frequent strong winds.

A Joshua tree next to rocks in Joshua Tree National Park.
Joshua Tree National Park is a stunning natural wonder, home to Joshua Tree
that thrives in the national park and Mojave Desert.

Joshua Tree National Park was officially recognized as a national park in 1994, and it offers a fantastic view. It is home to various plants and animals, and is perfectly safe for year-round hiking and camping.

Big Sur Coastline

An equally stunning, must-see natural wonder, the Big Sur Coastline is a sight to behold during your summer vacation. Its rugged terrain’s length of 90 miles is adorned by redwood trees, and it offers amazing views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Lucia mountains. Highway 1 is a very popular route to drive through to take the view in, and there is no shortage of ideal stops for exploration. As far as California’s must-see natural wonders go, the Big Sur Coastline is worth your time.

Mount Shasta

No list of California’s must see natural wonders could be complete without Mount Shasta. A single peak in the Cascade mountain chain, it is an eye-catching trademark of northern California’s landscape. Its height of 11,000 feet does not make it the tallest mountain in California, but it is still very prominent and impressive. It offers endless miles of hiking, trekking, and biking trails to explore, as well as stunning views of the valley below. Its natural wonders include mountains, forests, and waterways, and the lake at the base of the mountain is ideal for fishing or even canoeing. It is actually so popular that it makes many visitors consider a move near their favorite attraction. If you’re an active person looking for outdoor activities, Mount Shasta is the destination for you.

Death Valley

Despite the name, Death Valley is not without life. It is one of the hottest places on earth, and it is, no doubt, worth a visit. Park rangers offer guided tours, and visitors can explore the canyons as they wait for Death Valley’s infamous sunsets. Outside of its range of wildlife, it also offers stunning displays of natural beauty, such as Artist’s Palette. This famous hill offers a stunning, unique landscape of different colors, because of the oxidation of different metals in its soil. Located in eastern California, Death Valley is a sight worth seeing.

Lake Tahoe

Located on the border of California and Nevada, Lake Tahoe is a truly magnificent body of freshwater. It contains around 40 trillion gallons of water, which makes it a lake that’s as massive as it is beautiful. As one could expect, it offers magnificent views of natural landscapes, such as Emerald Bay – whose stunning green-blue waters and the picturesque island at its center can take your breath away.

A bay in a lake, surrounded by deep forestation.
Lake Tahoe offers breathtaking views of beautiful natural landscapes,
straddled between California and Nevada.

The main attraction is, of course, the lake itself, which offers many opportunities for water sports and activities, such as fishing, swimming, and boating. But the area also offers winter ski resorts, hiking and biking trails, camping areas, and more. This plethora of options makes it a popular destination for families too. If there’s one of California’s must see natural wonders you can’t afford to miss, it’s probably Lake Tahoe.

Napa Valley and its vineyards

Napa Valley’s famous vineyards couldn’t be missing from a list of California’s natural wonders. They cascade through the valley and offer a truly unique view of red and white. If it convinces you to consider relocating closer, Los Angeles luckily offers many professional movers, such as Good Movers LA. But if Napa Valley’s beautiful view isn’t alluring enough, it also offers many activities throughout the year, from marathons to wine tasting. It also offers fine establishments, such as restaurants and inns that can make your stay all the more enjoyable.

Yosemite Falls

The highest natural waterfall in Yosemite Park, Yosemite Falls, offers a drop of over 2,400 feet. It runs from November to July, so it’s accessible during most of the year. This breathtaking natural wonder is made up of three waterfalls that join into one, and it is truly a sight worth seeing.

A waterfall rushing down the side of a mountain in Yosemite Park.
Yosemite Falls are, without a doubt, among California’s must see natural wonders,
and the highest falls in the park at nearly 2500 feet height.

The steep, challenging climb up to Yosemite Falls will satisfy hiking enthusiasts, and the view will make up for it for everyone else. The journey to the bottom of the falls is much easier, as there is a one-mile loop rail that leads there. Due to rainfall, the falls tend to peak in May, and tend to be at their lowest around July and August. The local Yosemite Valley Lodge and Yosemite Village are great places from which to enjoy the view as well. In short, Yosemite Falls are no doubt among California’s must-see natural wonders.

Glass Beach

While not entirely natural, Glass Beach is not really man-made; it’s really how nature responded to human interaction. Located next to MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, this beach is composed of smooth little glass pieces you can walk on – hence the name. This is where the glass from Fort Bragg was dumped into the ocean until 1967 and, decades later, this marvelous sight was created. The substance is known as sea glass, and it is perfectly safe; saltwater weathers glass naturally, creating what’s now natural frosted glass. Due to its unique beauty, Glass Beach is now a famous attraction that is visited by thousands of tourists each year. State Park Rangers discourage tourists from collecting the glass pieces so that there is some left for others to enjoy, but you can still take pictures and enjoy the amazing, unique view.

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