The sunny beaches and big cities such as Los Angeles may be the first things to come to mind when California is mentioned. However, the northern part of the state has plenty to offer as well! Here are 7 hidden gems in northern California to check out on your next trip!
1. Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park features landscapes that seem almost alien, with bubbling hot springs and steaming fumaroles. Almost like a smaller version of the more well-known Yellowstone National Park, there are countless things to do at Lassen Volcanic. A few activities include day hikes, camping (for those planning a visit in the warmer months), and winter sports such as skiing.
2. Fern Canyon
Step into a magical feeling jungle without leaving California by visiting Fern Canyon! Located in Humboldt County, this unique area has earned its name thanks to the lush ferns that line the 50-foot canyon walls. One fun fact about this beautiful canyon is that it’s featured in Jurassic Park: The Lost World. The canyon is generally open year-round. However, access can be limited after heavy rains as well as in the winter months, so be sure to check for any relevant closures before heading out!
3. Faery Falls
If you’re looking to enjoy a bit of the great outdoors, consider this short hike! The trail to Faery Falls is about 1.4 miles out and back, making this a great outdoor excursion even for those who don’t have much experience hiking. In addition to viewing the beautiful, 50-foot tall waterfall, the trail also takes you past the ruins of an old resort. It should be noted that the road out to the trail has spotty reception in some spots. Downloading any directions or maps you want to have before heading out is a good choice!
4. Lake Shasta Caverns
Located near the gorgeous Mount Shasta, the Lake Shasta Caverns are a set of stunning caverns filled with stalagmites and stalactites. You can see the caverns for yourself via a guided tour. Tours last about two hours. In addition to viewing the caverns, they also include a boat ride across a portion of Shasta Lake to the cave entrance.
5. The Trees Of Mystery
Head over to Del Norte County, near Klamath, California, to check out the Trees Of Mystery. This one-of-a-kind park features trails winding through giant redwood trees. It also features the SkyTrail, a gondola ride that takes you soaring through the treetops. This is a great choice for visitors of all ages – kids and adults alike will love exploring these gorgeous trees.
6. Empire Mine State Park
This state park in northern California offers not only the beautiful scenery you’d expect but also a unique draw in the form of one of California’s oldest and deepest gold mines. Visitors can look forward to traversing the trails of the park. Guests can also check out the interpretive exhibits and historic buildings to learn more about this park’s unique history.
7. The Exploratorium
If you’re traveling with children, here’s a great option for adding a little adventure to your trip! You won’t even have to go far from a city to check out the Exploratorium. It sits in downtown San Francisco. The Exploratorium features various interactive exhibits, such as the chance to build a 3D virtual skull. For adults looking to visit, the Exploratorium also offers an 18+ event in the evening that features guest speakers and light shows.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com