Fun Facts About California State Parks

California is full of superlatives, and many of these are located in the diverse units that make up the State Park System.
Here's a sample of what you can find....

Best Place to View California's State Flower -- The California Poppy
Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

Best Place to View California's Native Tule Elk
Tule Elk State Reserve

Best Place To Watch Gulls in the State
Mono Lake Tufa State Reserve. Huge gull population nests here in spring--85% of the gull population.

Best View of the World in the United States
Mount Diablo State Park. The summit - 3,849' - offers a sweeping panorama--more of the earth's surface can be seen from the mountain than any other peak in the world, except Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa.

California's First and Last American Counsul's Home
Monterey State Historic Park. Home of Thomas O. Larkin, posted in 1844.

California's Only Town Founded, Financed and Governed by African American
Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park founded in 1908.

Coldest Place in California State Parks
Mount San Jacinto State Park - Lowest recorded temperature-12° below zero 1972-73

Hottest Places in California State Parks
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park - Summer temperatures in the range of 120°
Salton Sea State Recreation Area - Summer temperatures in the range of 120°

Driest California State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Some areas average 2" a year.

Wettest California State Park
Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park - 92.77" average rainfall
Sinkyone Wilderness State Park - Unofficial 100" rainfall a year

Highest Point in California State Parks
Mount San Jacinto State Park - The view from the top --10, 804 feet--takes in most of Southern California; highest point in State Park System, second highest peak in Southern California.

Lowest Point in California State Parks
Salton Sea State Recreation Area - 230 feet below sea level

Largest California State Park
Anza-Borrego Desert State Park - 600,000 acres--the largest state park in California

Smallest California State Park
Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park .11 acres

Largest Collection of European Antiquities in California State Parks
Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument

Largest Continental Rift
Salton Sea State Recreation Area - Salton Trough: Largest continental rift on the North American Continent

Largest Lake in California
Salton Sea State Recreation Area

Largest Natural Lake in California
Clear Lake State Park

Largest Number of Grinding Rock Mortars
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park - Chaw'se 1,185 mortars in one rock formation

Largest Off-Stream Reservoir Anywhere in the World
San Luis Reservoir State Recreation Area - 2,041,000-acre feet capacity

Largest Amount of Sand Dunes in California State Parks
MacKerricher State Park - Ten Mile Dunes
Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area

Oldest California State Park
Big Basin Redwoods State Park - 1902--founded as California Redwood Park

Oldest Continuously Used Chinese Temple in California
Weaverville Joss House State Historic Park - The Joss House was built in 1874 on site of earlier temple.

Oldest Structures in California State Parks
El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park Cañedo Adobe, 1782--part of Spanish Presidio; El Cuartel, 1788--only remaining intact building of the Santa Barbara Presidio.

Plants or Animals Native only to California State Parks
Caswell Memorial State Park - Riparian Brush Rabbit Sylvilagus bachmani riparius
Mount Diablo State Park - Mt. Diablo bird's-beak Cordylanthus nidularius

Tallest Tree in the World
Humboldt Redwoods State Park - Sequoia sempervirens 368'-369' tall in the Rockefeller Forest

Tallest Waterfall in California State Parks
McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial SP - Burney Falls--129'

Widest Diameter Tree in California State Parks
Calaveras Big Trees State Park - Louis Agassiz Tree, South Grove--24' wide

Wilderness within a City Limit
Topanga State Park

The Farthest North State Park
Pelican State Beach, near the Oregon Border

The Farthest South State Park
Border Field State Park, near the Mexican border