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#73 of 90 state parks in California

Best trails in Great Valley Grasslands State Park

19 Reviews
Explore the most popular trails in Great Valley Grasslands State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.
Description

Great Valley Grasslands State Park is one of the view preserved native grasslands left in California. Many endangered plants and animal species live in the park. Enjoy hiking and fishing in the park. There is an entrance fee.

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Map of trails in Great Valley Grasslands State Park
Park information
Park hours
Monday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Contact
(209) 826-1197
Helpful links
Top trails (2)
#1 - Great Valley Grasslands State Park
Great Valley Grasslands State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(10)
Length: 6.9 mi • Est. 2 h 48 m
#2 - Great Valley Grasslands Exploration
Great Valley Grasslands State Park
easyYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray Star(9)
Length: 2.1 mi • Est. 52 m
Great Valley Grasslands is one of the less known, out of the way places in the State Park system. It's been barely developed beyond parking, a restroom, boat ramp, and partial trail along the San Joaquin River levy. Trails from the HWY 140 entrance are effectively non-existent, bare tracks through the wildflowers and brush created by local anglers. The seasonal flooding makes permanent trails problematic. A lightly used park, the only folks there are typically local anglers fishing the river. Trails...from the HWY 140 entrance, nearly non-existent! After reaching the end of the levy road, it's a case of following the river along the most used path, using the river bank and sand and gravel bars when possible. Turn around when a machete looks like it will be needed, it gets thick ahead! Along the way are plenty of gorgeous spots for fishing or having some lunch. Keep an eye out for turtles and other critters along the river. One thing that really struck me was the river kayaking possibilities - this Park could make a great stop or put in on a longer run! The Park is but a small component of a larger system called the Grasslands Ecological Area, a collection of preserved lands run by several state and federal agencies. Most of the park is essentially inaccessible, being comprised of fenced off vernal pools and open grasslands that haven't changed since before the Central Valley was settled. In that is its charm! This park preserves one of the few remaining intact native grasslands on the Central Valley's floor. Grasslands is part of a larger Grasslands Ecological Area (GEA) made up of parcels owned by federal, state and private lands which are managed specifically for wildlife preservation. As such the GEA is the largest remaining block of wetlands in California. A number of rare plant and animal species inhabit Great Valley Grasslands which include: a native bunch grass called alkali sacaton, the Delta button celery (Eryngium racemosum) listed as an endangered species which is found in the flood plain of the San Joaquin. Both the California Tiger Salamander and the endangered vernal pool fairy shrimp and tadpole shrimp have been found. Locally, Great Valley Grasslands is well known for it's native flower displays.Show more