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10 California State Parks with Cabins for Big Families

    California is home to 279 state parks. Some are known for their natural beauty, like Redwood National and State Parks, while many others offer activities like camping, boating, fishing, hiking, and more. There are so many great places to explore in California that it’s hard to know where to begin. To expand your time in the parks, we researched park cabins and yurts to find 10 California state parks with big family accommodations. So pack up the kids and plan a great getaway at one of these California state parks. All cabin and yurt reservations can be made at reservecalifornia.com.

    Breath, breath in the air

    Bothe-Napa Valley State Park, California

    Bothe-Napa Valley State Park is one of the prettiest parks in California, offering visitors stunning views of Napa Valley’s vineyards and wineries. The park is just 15 miles from downtown Napa, which makes it an ideal day trip from the Bay Area. Once inside the park, visitors can drive or walk the Napa Valley Vine Trail, which winds for about 2 miles through the heart of the valley. There are also several hiking trails that lead to scenic viewpoints. One of the most popular trails leads to Moore’s Wall, a rock outcropping that’s a great place to stop for a picnic. If you’re coming to the park with little ones, you’ll want to check out the Vintners’ Walk, a self-guided tour that highlights the lives of grape farmers and winemakers through the seasons. The walk begins at the park visitor center and ends at the Oxbow Public Gardens.

    • Three available yurts can sleep families of 6.
    Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California

    Calaveras Big Trees State Park, California

    Calaveras Big Trees State Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Located in the Sierra Nevada foothills northeast of Stockton, the park is home to the world-famous “General’s Giant Sequoias,” some of the largest trees in the world. There are several ways to enjoy the giant sequoia groves, including a one-hour guided walk, a two-hour “Explorer” walk, a self-guided Big Trees Discovery Trail hike, and a hike to the top of Mount Stanford. For little ones, there’s the Discovery Trail, a paved path that leads to the General Noble Tree. The walk takes about 15 minutes, and kids can climb inside the tree’s hollow trunk.

    • The park offers 2 cabins that sleep 6 people and one cabin that sleeps 8.

    Columbia SHP Hotel and Cottages, California?

    The Columbia Hotel and Cottages are a part of Columbia State Historic Park in downtown Sonora, California. Today, the hotel serves as an overnight lodging option, while the cottages on the property are available for day rental. The Columbia Hotel was built in 1876 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The grounds are great for families with kids of all ages. Kids can explore the hotel grounds and play in the nearby playground, while adults can step inside the hotel to see what life was like for travelers in the 19th century. The hotel is home to a museum with artifacts from the gold rush era, as well as “The Best 48 Hours in Gold Rush California,” a self-guided audio tour that explores Sonora’s history.

    • One cottage, #C, sleeps up to 6 people.

    Crystal Cove State Park, California

    Crystal Cove State Park is located in the coastal city of Newport Beach and is California’s oldest developed state park. The park’s 1,800 acres are home to a wide variety of wildlife, including bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, rabbits, and a wide selection of birds. Crystal Cove is a great place to hike and explore nature, but it’s also popular among water sports enthusiasts. The park is home to two swimming beaches, a boat launch, two piers (one of which is a fishing pier), and a tide pool that’s popular with children. Kids can also enjoy the park’s tide pools, which are great for exploring, but please note that they’re closed during certain times of the year.

    The Milky Way in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park

    Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, California

    Cuyamaca Rancho State Park is the largest state park in San Diego County and features a wide variety of outdoor activities. The park’s 2,562-acre California Rancho State Park is home to the park’s visitor center, a nature center, a Native American museum, and a historic ranch house. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park’s trails are fantastic for hikers of all skill levels. If you’re traveling with little ones, you can visit the nearby Fireman’s Hot Springs, or you can take the Self-Guided Nature Trail, which is wheelchair accessible. If you have older kids, the park’s trails lead to spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife, like deer and wild turkeys, while hiking.

    • Four cabins sleep up to 8 people.
    Misty Redwood grove, Hendy Woods State Park

    Hendy Woods State Park, California

    Hendy Woods State Park is an old-growth redwood forest located in the Northern California county of Santa Cruz. The park is a fantastic place to hike and explore, and it’s one of the few places where you can experience a redwood forest without needing a tree trunk-like frame to see above the forest’s canopy. Hendy is a great place for families with younger kids. The park’s trails are stroller and wheelchair accessible, and the forest is relatively kid-friendly. There are a few trails that are designed to be relatively short hikes, and most trails are less than a mile in length. Families can also enjoy the park’s discovery center, which offers indoor and outdoor activities, like playing with worms and making bird feeders.

    • Two rustic cabins sleeps six in the Cabin Colony.

    Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California

    Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is a coastal redwood forest along Highway 101, just south of Crescent City in Northern California. The park is named after explorer Jedediah Smith, an explorer of the Rocky Mountains and the Western United States. The park’s redwood groves are home to some of the tallest trees in the world, including the “Hyperion” tree, which is the world’s second-tallest living tree. Trails lead to scenic viewpoints, and there are also several campgrounds and cabins inside the park. Families can enjoy the park’s Discovery Center and Arthur Wikoff Environmental Education Center, which offer hands-on activities and exhibits about the park and local wildlife.

    • Four available cabins sleep up to 6. Cabins have electricity; heaters and lights. No kitchen or bathroom.
    Burney Falls

    McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, California

    McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park is a beautiful park in Northern California that’s home to the state’s largest waterfall, Burney Falls. The park is also known for its wide variety of wildlife, including black bears, chipmunks, and wild turkeys. There are a number of trails in the park, including the 5-mile round-trip hike to Burney Falls, which is free and open to the public. McArthur-Burney is also a great place to bring children. The park’s Discovery Center offers indoor and outdoor activities for kids, including a simulated forest, a discovery wall, and a bridge that’s great for observing wildlife.

    • Six two-room cabins sleep up to 6 people.
    Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California

    Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California

    Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is home to some of the world’s tallest redwood trees. Located in the southern section of Humboldt County, the park features a variety of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. Prairie Creek is a great place to visit with children, especially if you’re looking for something a little less hectic than McArthur-Burney Falls. There are fewer people, and many of the trails are relatively short. The park is also home to the Discovery Center, which offers a wide variety of activities, including an exhibit on honey bees, live animal shows, and a short film that introduces the park’s ecosystems.

    • The Meadow Cabin Colony at the Elk Prairie Campground has 4 cabins that sleep up to six people. Cabins have electricity; heaters and lights. No kitchen or bathroom. Each cabin has 2 bunk beds, each with a twin over a double in size.
    Wedding Rock, Sue-Meg State Park

    Sue-meg State Park, California

    Sue-meg State Park is located in the southern Sierra Nevada Mountains. There are lots of trails and activities throughout the park, including lakes, canyons, and rivers, but what makes it the perfect family getaway are the two giant, wooden climbing structures. And if all that climbing has made the kids hungry, they can indulge in a cookout with s’mores for dessert.

    • The Agate Cabin Area offers four cabins which each accommodate six.
    Point Cabrillo Light Station

    Point Cabrillo Light Station, California State Historic Park

    While not a state park, this historic park is a stunning seaside destination. There are plenty of activities to enjoy at Point Cabrillo Light Station, including hiking, kayaking, and fishing. The park is also home to a historic lighthouse and three original lightkeepers’ houses and outbuildings that visitors can tour. Families can enjoy meals and snacks in the park’s cafe, or they can bring their own food for a picnic.

    California-06614 - Asilomar State Beach

    Bonus – Asilomar State Beach, California

    Asilomar State Beach is a great place for family vacations because it offers great spots for surfing, tide pools for exploring, and a beautiful stretch of sand for relaxing. Families can stay at one of the park’s yurts to make their trip even more memorable.

    • Eleven two-bedroom cabins accommodate families of up to 6.

    Check out more big family friendly state park cabins by state.

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    Theresa Jorgensen

    Theresa is the mother of four including twins. She is the owner of SixSuitcaseTravel, a travel site for big families of 5, 6, 7, 8. She enjoys helping other big families build life-long travel memories. Her family's travel bucket list includes Washington, DC (done!), Yellowstone (done!), London, and anywhere in the Caribbean.