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National Parks in California Without the Crowds. The Golden State is home to some of the world’s most stunning—and popular—national parks, from the otherworldly desert backdrops of Death Valley and Joshua Tree to the awe-inspiring alpine settings of Sequoia and Yosemite.

National Parks in California Without the Crowds

While each of these belongs on any adventurer’s bucket list, they represent just a proverbial drop of the state’s outdoor wonders. To fully experience California’s rich natural diversity—and to escape (at least some of) the crowds drawn to its marquee destinations—point your GPS to any of these 12 equally impressive public lands. We've included a variety of spaces, from national monuments, deserts, and seashores, to state and national parks in California.

Keep in mind that wildfires are an annual occurrence throughout much of the west, so be sure to research possible fire-related closures before traveling to any of these destinations, particularly in the summer and fall. User Data and Cookie Consent. 101 Free Things To Do In London. Free museums 1.

101 Free Things To Do In London

Come face-to-face with a roaring T-Rex and experience the earthquake simulator at the Natural History Museum. 3. No Reservations? No Problem: Walk-In Campsites Around the Bay Area. Camping is growing in popularity.

No Reservations? No Problem: Walk-In Campsites Around the Bay Area

According to National Park Service data, every kind of camping (tent, backcountry, RV, campsites operated by concessionaires) got a boost in the past few years with overnight stays hitting nearly 8.5 million in 2014, up almost 7 percent from 7.91 million in 2013. Of course, seasoned campers — aware of the key dates to reserve sites — had their Labor Day weekend booked in March, but for those not totally in-the-know who still want to enjoy the outdoors this summer, there is hope. How to Spend the Perfect Day in Oakland’s Redwood Forest. 8 NorCal swimming holes you need to check out this summer. 36 Hours in Oakland, California. 4. ­

36 Hours in Oakland, California

International Breakfast, 9 a.m. By Cesar Chavez Park in a tiny orange stucco building in Fruitvale, Taqueria Campos feels like a modest Mexican home, where the tortillas are fresh and stockpots are simmering with the Jalisco specialties of pozole, menudo and goat birria — three meaty soups that provide a warming winter breakfast. San Francisco's most photographed sites. Susana Guerrero, Updated 4:15 am, Wednesday, December 2, 2015 Photo: Susana Bates, Special To The Chronicle 20.

San Francisco's most photographed sites

Last-Minute Guide to Bay Area Camping. The Most Beautiful Places in California - Road Trip Ideas. Washington's 6 Signature Mountains Are Waiting. Mt.

Washington's 6 Signature Mountains Are Waiting

Si 4,167 feet Named After Josiah “Uncle Si” Merritt, a homesteader who lived at the base in the nineteenth century, but most famous for its starring role in the Twin Peaks credit sequence Found Just over a half hour from Seattle, the North Bend’s massif is a hugely popular destination for day hikers. You’ll need a Discover Pass ($30 annually) and your stars in alignment to score a parking spot. Our favorite hidden gems in San Francisco. Gallery_thumbnails_show|article-gallery-6323933|article-gallery-6323933|0 gallery_overlay_open|article-gallery-6323933|article-gallery-6323933|0 gallery_overlay_open_thumbs|article-gallery-6323933|article-gallery-6323933|0 "OK, here is the secret parking if you’re going to the Stern Grove festival on Sundays.

Our favorite hidden gems in San Francisco