California State Outdoors

California State collage of images.

Select an outdoor activity
State Parks
Camping and Hiking
Hunting and Fishing
Other Outdoor activities

California State Parks

Ahjumawi Lava Springs State Park
This unique park northeast of Redding is accessible only by boat. an island made of old lava flows sits in the midst of Big Lake. The park offers excellent hiking, fishing (trout and bass) and a breathtaking view of Mount Shasta. The park is surrounded by a network of rivers and lakes and contains an abundance of cold, clear springs. The spring water originates form Tule Lake, 50 miles north. Boaters, canoeists and hikers can explore the 6,000-acre park's waterways, pools and lava flows. The park is also an excellent site for wildlife watching. For information call: (530)335-2777


Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park
Visitors can enjoy fishing, boating and picnicking at Bidwell-Sacramento River State Park. With 180 acres, including four miles of riverfront, the park serves as an access point for river rafters, canoeists and kayakers. For information call: (530)342-5185


Fremont Peak State Park
Fremont Peak State Park (elevation 3,169 feet) features expansive views of the Monterey Bay from its hiking trails in the grasslands of the higher peaks of the Gavilan Range. Other views include the San Benito Valley, Salinas Valley, and the Santa Lucia Mountains east of Big Sur. The park also features an astronomical observatory which is open for public programs on selected evening. Pine and oak woodlands in the park are home to many birds and small animals. There are picnic facilities in the park. For information call: (831)623-4255


Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Established in 1929, this 10,000 acre predominately old growth coast redwoods park is bisected by the last major free flowing river in California, the Smith River. This is a World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. almost all of the park land is water shed for the Smith River and Mill Creek, a major tributary. Conifers other than redwoods include western hemlock, Sitka spruce, grand and Douglas fir, as well as the less common Port Orford cedar. Primary examples of the understory include tanoak, madrone, red alder, big leaf and vine maple, and California bay. Ground cover is dense with a wide range of species and varieties of shrubs, bushes, flowers, ferns, mosses and lichens common to the coast redwood environment. For information call: (707)464-6101 ext. 5112 on season (5101 off season).


Salt Point State Park
Salt Point State Park includes six miles of the Sonoma Coast, ranging from sandy beach coves to steep bluffs and sandstone cliffs. at the top of the coastal ridge there is a large prairie and pigmy forest. Wildlife includes the long-tailed weasel, wild pigs, brown pelicans and other water birds, blacktail deer, raccoons, coyotes, and a variety of rodents. The park has miles of hiking and horseback trails. The area is also the site of an underwater reserve for divers. For information call: (707)847-3221


Camping and Hiking in California

Verdugo Mountains
The Verdugo Mountains are a free-standing mini-range. Trails go through chaparral, across shady, oak-forested slopes and along sycamore-lined streams. Hikers who climb to the top of the park's high point (3,126 feet) can have a view of the surrounding mountains, the San Gabriel and the San Fernando valleys, and the Los angeles plain. The park is operated by the City of Glendale. For information call: (818)880-0350


Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Calaveras Big Trees State Park features two giant groves of some of the oldest living redwoods trees in California. Located on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada, the park includes a visitor center. Beaver Creek tumbles through acres of pine trees. The two groves of Big Trees survived heavy 19th century logging. a nature trail guides visitors on an easy stroll through the grove. Other areas of the park provide places for picnicking, fishing and hiking - including a magnificent view of the Sierra Nevada. For information call: (209)795-2334


Candlestick Point State Recreation area
Candlestick Point State Recreation area offers beautiful views of the San Francisco Bay, with picnic areas, fishing (including two fishing piers) and hiking trails (including a fitness course for seniors and a bike trail.) The park has an area popular with windsurfers. There is another area with unique wind and metal musical instruments permanently placed within the park for visitors to enjoy. The name of the area came from the days of the early settlers. When wooden ships were burned off the point, the last part sinking into the water resembled a candlestick. This urban state park features 37 acres of walking and biking trails, scenic vistas of the Bay, spots for picnics, bird watching, fishing and windsurfing and other outdoor activities. For information call: (415)671-0145


Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation area
The Colusa-Sacramento River State Recreation area has 67 acres, with 14 campsites, picnic sites, and a launch ramp for small boats. The River Patwin Indian tribe once lived nearby the area and in 1872 John Muir camped near what is now the park. River-bank cottonwoods and willows shelter one of the finest fishing stretches in California, with king salmon, steelhead, rainbow trout and striped bass some of the catches. The river is also on a major migratory route for birds of the Pacific flyway and provides home to an amazing number of species. The park is within walking distance of downtown Colusa. For information call: (530)458-4927


Castle Rock State Park
along the crest of the Santa Cruz Mountains, Castle Rock State Park embraces 3,600 acres of coast redwood, Douglas-fir, and madrone forest, most of which has been left in its wild, natural state. Steep canyons are sprinkled with unusual rock formations that are popular with rock climbers. The forest here is lush and mossy, crisscrossed by 32 miles of hiking and horseback riding trails. They are part of an even more extensive trail system that links the Santa Clara and San Lorenzo valleys with Castle Rock, Big Basin Redwoods State park, and the Pacific Coast. Primitive campsites for backpackers are the only overnight facilities. Equestrians are urged to call ahead for current trail information, and smokers are advised that, due to high fire hazard, smoking is prohibited on the trails within Castle Rock State Park. Dogs are not allowed on the Trails or in the campground For information call: (408)867-2952


Hunting and Fishing in California

Admiral William Standley State Recreation area
admiral William Standley State Recreation area is at an elevation of 1,700 feet in the Coastal Range. It is located near the headwaters of the south fork of the Eel River. The park features 45 acres of redwoods and is a popular spot for salmon and steelhead fishing. The area is also a favorite place for hikers and picnickers. For information call : (707)247-3318.


Brannan Island State Recreation area
Brannan Island State Recreation area is a maze of waterways through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. This park northeast of San Francisco Bay, has countless islands and marshes with many wildlife habitats and many opportunities for recreation, including boating, windsurfing and swimming. One of the outstanding water-oriented recreations areas in the world, the area offers great fishing, including striped bass, sturgeon, catfish, bluegill, perch and bullhead. Little Frank's Tract, a protected wetland marsh, is home to beaver, muskrat, river otter, mink and 76 species of birds For information call: (916)777-6671


McConnell State Recreation area
McConnell State Recreation area is on the banks of the Merced River. Fishing is popular for catfish, black bass and perch. There are over 70 acres of picnic, camping and play areas. For information call: (209)826-1196


San Luis Reservoir State Recreation area
Nestled in the grassy hills of the western San Joaquin Valley near historic Pacheco Pass, San Luis Reservoir State Recreation area is noted for boating, board sailing, camping, and picnicking. But it's anglers who find the unit's three lakes most inviting. For information call: (209)826-1196


Millerton Lake State Recreation area
Millerton Lake State Recreation area has over 40 miles of shore land for water sports. Recreation includes swimming, fishing, and boating. The lake was created by construction of the Friant Dam across the San Joaquin River in 1944. The hills surrounding the lake provide good hiking opportunities. Wildlife in the park includes ground squirrels, cottontails, mule deer, badgers and bald and golden eagles. During winter, the park has special boat tours to view the bald eagles. The park contains the original Millerton County Courthouse, built in 1867. The park's camping facilities include boat camping. For information call: (209)822-2225


Woodson Bridge State Recreation area
Woodson Bridge State Recreation area is nestled in oak woods flanking both sides of the Sacramento River. Fishing and birding are extremely popular in the park: Fishing enthusiasts from all over come for the runs of king salmon, steelhead, striped bass, catfish and blue gill. Since the park is on the main flyway between Mexico and Canada, birdwatchers can see geese, ducks, herons, jays, quail, owls, hawks, falcons, pheasant and many other species. The west bank has a boat-in campsite and the east shore has a 41-site campground. For information call: (530)839-2112


Hunting Information For hunting information call: (916) 653-7664


Other California Outdoor activities

California also offers the following outdoor activities:
  • Rock Climbing
  • Swimming
  • Golfing
  • In-line Skating
  • Mountain Biking
  • Bicycling
  • Surfing
  • White Water Rafting
  • Sailing
  • Tennis
  • Water Skiing