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 California gull population nests here in spring – 44,000 to 65,000 of them nest on the lake's islands.
Best View of the World in the United States
Mount Diablo State Park. The summit - 3,849' - offers a sweeping panorama – on a clear day you can see over 8,500 square miles, and parts of 40 of California's 58 counties.
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 Americans
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 only 2" of 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.
Smallest California State Park
Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park – 0.11 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 Fully in California
Clear Lake State Park
Largest Number of Grinding Rock Mortars in a California State Park
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
Providence Mountains State Recreation Area - Mitchell Caverns Niptus Beetle (Niptus arcanus) and Mitchell Cavern Pseudoscorpion (Archeolarca aalbui)
Tallest Tree in the World
Coast redwood, (Sequoia sempervirens), 379.3 feet tall in the Redwood National and State Park.
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 – over 25' 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