Wonder & Inspiration

Marvel at our state parks scenes — from dramatic surf to faraway treetops to battling elephant seals to endangered birds to insects scurrying along a grass blade.

Species & Habitat Protection Unique Natural Wonders Fire and Consequences
Changing Landscapes Invasion!



Species & Habitat Protection

California State Parks conserves the state's diverse biological and geological areas, their plant and animal inhabitants, and the conditions in which they thrive. Read more to learn about species and environments that have come under our protection.

Northern Elephant Seals Marvelous Marbled Murrelets Bringing Back the Tule Elk
California State Wildernesses Snowy Plover and Least Tern

Bringing Back the Tule Elk

Tule (too-lee) elk herds once roamed the central valley from Shasta to the Tehachapis. Learn more about this endemic member of the deer family and California State Parks' efforts to protect the species.

Tule Elk
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Unique Natural Wonders

Currently, 280 park units preserve the geological remnants of eons of glacial movement, volcanic eruptions, and tectonic clashes. Read more to learn about just a few of the outstanding natural wonders under the care of California State Parks.

Ahjumawi Lava Springs Exploring Mitchell's Caverns The Lake of the Sky

Exploring Mitchell's Caverns

A would-be silver miner named Jack Mitchell staked his claim on these amazing limestone caverns, which are now part of California State Parks. Learn more about these fascinating geological wonders.

Mitchell Caverns
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Fire and Consequences

Fire is a complex natural phenomenon. California State Parks environmental scientists and resource managers use fire to fight fire with planned burns when possible. Read more to learn about how we use fire to our benefit, and about our efforts to regenerate lands that have suffered from uncontrolled firestorms.

Fire with a Purpose Regenerating Cuyamaca Fire and the Giant Sequoia

Regenerating Cuyamaca

Fire is a part of nature, but sometimes a blistering inferno can truly damage an environment. A raging fire devastated much of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in 2003. Learn more about how California State Parks and CAL FIRE are trying to restore what was lost. 

Fire at Cuyamaca
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Changing Landscapes

Our physical environment is always in flux, whether from natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, or from human and animal impact on the environment. Read more to learn about some of the most significant changes to the landscape and California State Parks' response.

Flooding at Humboldt Redwoods Restoring Malibu Lagoon
Shifting Sands

Flooding at Humboldt Redwoods

In 1964 a particularly severe winter brought what is still called the "greatest natural disaster" to the northwest. Learn more about the effects of the flood on this redwood habitat.

Humboldt Flood
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Invasion!

Human and animal movement through California can introduce a host of problems when seeds of unwanted species come along for the ride. Read more to learn about specific non-native species and our attempts to eradicate them.

Hungry Valley Native Grasslands
Invasive Species in California State Parks

Invasive Species in California State Parks

California has many different ecosystems, but all have one thing in common: invasive species threaten their delicate balance. From bullfrogs to pampas grass, plants and animals released into established habitats can wreak havoc in nature. Learn more about California State Parks' efforts to manage these areas. 

Invasive Cape Ivy
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Adventure & Excitement

OHV road 

Wind down from the plethora of recreational adventures in our state parks with a serene night sleeping under the stars after a campfire program

Click here for more activities and interpretative programs in California State Parks

Vision & Dedication

Ranger 

Farsighted groups and partners join committed employees and generous volunteers to move each of our state parks from concept to reality.

Click here to discover the pioneers, founders, volunteers and staff of California State Parks

History & Heritage

Point Cabrillo 

Irreplaceable cultural landmarks — from Native California Indian grinding rocks to forts and missions to mansions — are preserved for posterity in our state parks.

Click here to learn more about the treasures preserved and interpreted by California State Parks.

A Promise to the Future

Children playing 

"In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations."
—Great Law of the Iroquois Confederacy

Click here to learn more about California State Parks' promises to the future.

 California Forever

The story of California State Parks dramatically comes to life in "California Forever," a powerful and moving two-part television program composed of stunning cinematography and rare archival imagery. Click here to learn more about "California Forever."