Estero Bluffs State Park preserves a coastline with a dramatic meeting of land and sea. Bluffs covered in grassland lead to rocky coves with endless ocean vistas. Cottontail rabbits, mule deer, seven butterfly species, brown pelicans, harbor seals and the endangered sea otter can all be spotted enjoying the coast. Enjoy a hike through miles of secluded ocean-front trails.
Carrizo Plain National Monument is a true wilderness experience in California's Great Central Valley. More than 200,000 acres of untouched beauty reveal what the entire valley looked like long before development. Beautiful grassland plains hug rolling hills blanketed by a rainbow of wildflowers in the Spring. The San Andreas Fault cuts right through the plain giving it a rich geological history. Native Chumash considered the plain sacred and inhabited the area for at least 4,000 years.
Today, this is the only original California grassland strand remaining. The highest concentration of endangered species in the state reside here including the tule elk, pronghorn, San Joaquin kit fox & antelope squirrel, blunt-nosed leopard lizard, giant kangaroo rat as well as the California condor. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management as opposed to the National Park Service, the plain is continuously in a controversial debate over grazing, solar power and oil drilling rights. One visit will have you one the side for preservation.
*Access is dirt road only, 4 wheel drive strongly recommended
Malibu Creek State Park is the premier nature wonderland of the Santa Monica Mountains. Grasslands, oak woodlands and rolling hills make up more than 8,000 acres of scenic beauty. The area was once home to the Native American Chumash who had a village here called Talepop. Paramount Pictures & 20th Century Fox both used the area for filming including M*A*S*H & The Planet of the Apes. Hiking trails of every length wind through canyons covered in wildflowers each Spring.
With 12 miles of trails and 3,000 acres of wilderness, Happy Camp Canyon Park is the perfect escape in Ventura County. Peaceful grasslands cover hills with sweeping views of the Santa Monica Mountains, Simi Valley and even the Channel Islands. Native American Chumash used to call this peaceful place home
Located in the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains, Wildwood Canyon State Park preserves 900 acres of wild land. Dedicated in 2003, it is fairly new to the California State Park System which was formed in 1927. The park contains oak woodland, grassland, ancient Native American crossroads as well as the ruins of Pioneer Hunt Ranch. The ranch can be reached from the parking lot by an easy 2 mile out and back hike.