California State Parks in San Francisco include parks, redwood forest, state beaches, recreation areas, wilderness areas, reservoirs and historic parks & homes. Below you'll find a list of popular CA State Parks and ones we personally recommend from the panoramic vistas of Mt. Tamalpais to the Redwood Trees of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Camping in California is a popular activity with most San Francisco campgrounds offering redwoods camping, RV parks and conveniences like flush toilets, running water and firewood.
An entry fee is required at almost all California State Parks. It may be beneficial to purchase a yearly California State Park Pass if planning to make multiple visits to CA State Parks. Several discounts are available including passes for Day Use, Veterans, Handicapped, Surfing, Seniors and more.
Samuel P. Taylor State Park is located 15 miles west of San Rafael off Sir Francis Drake Boulevard. Situated within a Redwood forest, Samuel P. Taylor has a rich history in the logging industry. Activities include camping, picnicking, biking, hiking and horseback riding.
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
Lagunitas, California 94938
Mt. Tamalpais State Park is located north of San Francisco off PCH (Highway 1 - Pacific Coast Highway). Also known as 'Mt. Tam', Tamalpais is the tallest mountain in the San Francisco region. It offers vistas of the Farallon Islands, Marin Headlands, San Francisco Bay and on rare occasions, the Sierra Nevada mountains. Activities at Mt. Tamalpais include camping, hiking, fishing, biking and horseback riding.
Mt. Tamalpais State Park
801 Panoramic Highway
Mill Valley, California 94941
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is located in Santa Rosa off Highways 128 & 29 between Calistoga and St. Helena. Activities at Bothe-Napa Valley include camping, picnicking, swimming, hiking and horseback riding. Hiking trails head through an oak and redwood forest. A Visitor Center, early pioneer cemetery and picturesque creek are popular attractions for visitors. A swimming pool is available during the summer months. A short hiking trail connects Bothe-Napa with Bale Grist Mill to the south.
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
3801 St. Helena Highway
Calistoga, CA 94515
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park is located 3 miles north of St. Helena off Highway 29/128. It's the site of an historic water-powered grist mill that was built in 1846. Early Napa Valley settlers would head for Dr. Edward Turner Bale's mill to get their corn and wheat ground into meal or flour. The water from Mill Creek was harnessed to turn a huge milling stone. A short hiking trail connects Bale Grist Mill with Bothe-Napa to the north.
Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park
St. Helena, CA 94574
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is located in Kenwood off Highway 12. Activities at Sugarloaf Ridge include camping, picnicking, hiking, astronomy and horseback riding. Hiking trails follow Sonoma Creek through lush forest and meadow. Hiking destinations include Bald Mountain for panoramic views and a 25-foot waterfall. The Robert Ferguson Observatory offers powerful telescopes for public use. Triple Creek Horse Outfit offers horseback riding tours.
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
2605 Adobe Canyon Road
Kenwood, CA 95452
Jack London State Historic Park is located in Glen Ellen off Highway 12, north of Sonoma. This is the place where Jack London lived out the final years of his life. Situated in a Redwood forest, this park contains London's cottage where he did his writing, his grave site, stables, silos, historic ruins, hiking trails and more.Triple Creek Horse Outfit offers horseback riding tours.
Jack London State Historic Park
2400 London Ranch Road
Glen Ellen, CA 95442
Angel Island State Park is located in San Francisco Bay just a short distance from Tiburon. This island has been used by the U.S. Military since the Civil War. Its uses were many including an immigration processing station from 1910 to 1940, a POW processing station during WWII and a Nike missile site during the Cold War. Angel Island is most notably known for its poor treatment of Chinese immigrants. Their stories are carved into the walls in some of the buildings. Today, Angel Island welcomes boaters, nature lovers, backpackers, sightseers and fisherman. Various tours are offered around the island including bike and shuttle tours. A café and cantina serves fresh salads, sandwiches, burritos, refreshments and more.
Angel Island State Park
Tiburon, CA 94920
China Camp State Park is located 4 miles east of San Rafael off North San Pedro Road. Situated along the shores of San Pablo Bay, China Camp has remnants of an old Chinese shrimp-fishing village dating back to the late 1800's. Activities at China Camp include biking, hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and windsurfing.
China Camp State Park
101 Peacock Gap Trail
San Rafael, California 94901
Lake Del Valle State Recreation Area is located southeast of Livermore and Interstate 580, off Mines Road. Lake Del Valle offers a 5-mile long lake and over 4,000 acres of oak-covered hills. Activities at Lake Del Valle include camping, boating, fishing, swimming, horseback riding and windsurfing. Visitor center, amphitheater and marina with boat rentals are on site.
Lake Del Valle SRA
7000 Del Valle Road
Livermore, California 94550
Mt. Diablo State Park is located five miles east of Danville and Interstate 680, off Diablo Road. Mt. Diablo is known for its unobstructed views of the Farallon Islands to Mount Lassen and Yosemite from the top of Mount Diablo. Telescopes are mounted on the observation deck for visitor use. Activities at Mt. Diablo include camping, picnicking, hiking, biking, horseback riding and stargazing.
Mt. Diablo State Park
96 Mitchell Canyon Road
Clayton, California 94517
Half Moon Bay State Beach is located in Half Moon Bay off Kelly Avenue. Bluffs overlook a wide sandy beach to the ocean. Activities include beach camping, horseback riding, picnicking, surfing, and surf fishing. Half Moon Bay is the site of the world renowned 'Mavericks', with some of the largest waves on the globe. Half Moon Bay State Beach is a great choice for camping on the beach.
Half Moon Bay State Beach
95 Kelly Avenue
Half Moon Bay, California 94019
Henry W. Coe State Park is located 13 miles east of Morgan Hill and Highway 101, off East Dunne Avenue. Road is very narrow and windy. This is Northern California's largest State Park and offers of variety of terrain including high ridges, steep canyons, and many streams, ponds and lakes. Activities at Henry W. Coe include camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.
Henry W. Coe State Park
9000 East Dunne Avenue
Morgan Hill, California 95037
Butano State Park is located 5 miles southeast of Pescadero and Highway 101, off Cloverdale Road. This Redwood Park is situated in a canyon filled with redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The main activities at Butano are redwoods camping and hiking along the many ocean view trails. Nearby Pescadero State Beach offers beach access. Visitor Center on-site.
Butano State Park
Pescadero, California 94060
Portola Redwoods State Park is located west of Saratoga and Highway 85, off Highway 35 (Skyline Boulevard). This Redwood Park has two creeks and some of the tallest redwood trees in the Santa Cruz Mountains. The main activities at Portola Redwoods are redwoods camping and hiking on nearly 20-miles of trails that wind through a dense forest of California Redwoods. Visitor center on site.
Portola Redwoods State Park
9000 Portola State Park Road
La Honda, California 94020
Big Basin Redwoods State Park is located northwest of Santa Cruz and Highway 9, off Highway 236 (Big Basin Way). This Redwood Park features a dense Redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Activities at Big Basin Redwoods include hiking and backpacking along the many ocean view and waterfall abundant trails. General store and Visitor Center on-site.
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
21600 Big Basin Way
Boulder Creek, California 95006
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park is located north of Santa Cruz and Graham Hill Road. Activities at this Redwood Park include redwoods camping, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking and fishing. The San Lorenzo River passes through the park and offers salmon and steelhead fishing in the winter. Roaring Camp Railroad is situated next to the park and offers historic train rides through the redwood trees and down to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Visitor center on site.
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
101 North Big Trees Park Road
Felton, California 95018