EN MASSE'S GUIDE TO CALIFORNIA’S NATIONAL PARKS
Want to visit the National Parks in California but don't know where to start? En Masse is devoted to helping guide those who seek greater connections to the beautiful world around them. As a brand born and bred in California, En Masse finds its home in a state that ranges from misty peaks to roiling waters. Home to more national parks than any other state, California has nine gorgeous national parks that sweep from deserts to volcanoes. We encourage our fellow campers and backpackers to experience each of the unique beauties that each park offers — an opportunity to connect with oneself through nature. That is why supporting these natural beauties is important to us at En Masse. From the southernmost to northernmost, here are En Masse’s takes on each sprawling beauty.
JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK
Off the coast of Ventura and Santa Barbara, Channel Islands National park is perfect for those with a fondness for marine life. Comprised of five islands and their surrounding one mile of ocean, the national park is the ultimate destination for those seeking seclusions. Campers can hike and kayak their way through the islands, and boaters will enjoy diving and snorkeling off the island shores. For our primitive campers: prepare your food and gear ahead of time if you’re to set out on this amenities-free paradise.
SEQUOIA & KINGS CANYON NATIONAL PARK
In the southern Sierra Nevadas, these twin parks offer two extremes: Sequoia housing the world’s largest trees, and King’s Canyon being the deepest canyon in the entire continent. Joined by giant tree groves, these parks are our pick for long river-side hikes, marble cave spelunking, and the age-old art of Sierra fly-fishing.
PINNACLES NATIONAL PARK
This lava plain from an extinct volcano is California’s newest and most obscure national park. Among falcons and eagles, you’ll find the enormous California condor soaring among this park’s rocky spires. For the unconventional adventurer, there’s a unique experience to be found in braving climbs on its notoriously weak rock and weaving through its bat-inhabited talus caves.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
Perhaps the most famous of them all, Yosemite National Park is an awe-inspiring force of nature. The sheer sublimity of its glacier-carved canyons, staggering granite cliffs, and gorgeous waterfalls inspired the first conservationists to establish the national park system. Whether you're laying in a flower meadow or scaling near-vertical slabs of granite, there’s an endless joy to be found in Yosemite’s landscape.
“It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.” –John Muir, “Father of the National Parks”
LASSEN VOLCANIC NATIONAL PARK
Lying under Lassen’s gorgeous alpine peaks and idyllic meadows is a long history of geothermal activity. Known for its sulfuric vents, steaming geysers, and roiling pools, Lassen Volcanic National Park is a largely undiscovered gem of California. This is the place for you if you want to return home with stories of the Chaos Crags and Devil’s Kitchen. If you’re up for a rustic camping experience, get away from the conventional park and enjoy a signature golden California sunset reflected upon the clear mirrors of Manzanita Lake.
REDWOOD NATIONAL AND STATE PARKS
While Sequoia boasts the largest trees by volume, this park’s namesake trees tower in sheer height, the tallest in the world. Aside from the classic hiking, biking, camping, and horseback riding you can typically experience in forested parks, this park also reaches the coastline and is perfect for scenic drives.
We hope this article helped you plan your next trip to one of these beautiful landmarks. We'd love to see you on your next adventure. Share your stories and tag #WeAreEnMasse. Leave a comment below of your favorite National Park!