What Librarians Are Reporting
Being a small community library, programs such as these are vital to our communities growth. Lower income families tend to be the core of our patrons and these programs mean a great deal to the families we serve.
It is such a wonderful partnership between agencies, and helps ease the financial burden many are feeling with rising gas prices/inflation. Being able to provide access to the natural beauty of this State aligns with library goals of education, access and equity.
Our first Park Pass patron was a young man in his 20s. He came in to get a new library card . At the end of the transaction he said he saw a post on TikTok about Park Passes and was that a real thing. He was thrilled when we told him, Yes!! He left the library with a new library card and a Park Pass and he was very happy!
One of the first people who borrowed the pass loved it. She got to go with her daughter to the state park , and is so happy the Library has items like this.
Families excited about checking out local state beaches/parks since they have this incentive to go exploring. One patron and her family were able to visit three parks during her loan period. She stated she would never even thought to visit them without the free pass. We had a patron who she said she was able to celebrate her anniversary with her husband at Crystal Cove and was so grateful to us for having this pass.
What Is The Oldest State Park In California
Big Basin Redwoods State Park was established in 1902 and is the oldest state park in California. Sadly, a lot of the park was destroyed during the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Wildfires.
Get your FREE California Travel Planner including printable checklists and my favorite two-week itinerary for the state.
Looking for more California travel inspiration? Check out these related posts below!
El Centro Public Library
El Centro Public Library is partnering with California State Parks and the California State Library to offer free State Parks vehicle-day use passes, available for circulation at all branches of public libraries in California.
The goal of the passes is to support parks access equity, removing economic barriers to Californians park visits, and that they should be made available to those that need it or may not be using parks already.
To learn more about parks, visit the Parks website.
Pass Validity & Term:
- The pass is valid for entry of one passenger vehicle with capacity of nine people or less or one highway licensed motorcycle at participating state park units.
- Passes will be valid at 200+ participating state park units. The pass will not be honored at state park units operated by federal or local government and private agencies or concessionaires, or at parks that do not require a vehicle day-use pass, such as marine areas or kayak-in parks.
- The pass is not valid for per-person entry or tour fees , boat use, camping, group use or sites, special events, additional/extra vehicle fees, sanitation disposal use or for supplemental fees.
A map showing all library outlets in California, as well as all State Parks that accept the pass or are free to access, is coming soon. For more information about pass validity and terms, visit checkoutCAstateparks.com.
Circulation guidelines are:
- One pass per patron at a time
- Checkout period of 3 weeks
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How Do I Show My Pass At A Site That Doesn’t Have An Entrance Station
At Federal recreation sites that don’t have entrance stations you need to display your pass or show proof of pass ownership to compliance officers via one of the two following methods:
HANGTAGSA pass can either be displayed on your rearview mirror using a free hangtag or on your dashboard with the signature side showing. Remember, the hangtag itself is only a way to display your Pass, and is not valid for entry unless it holds a valid Pass.
If you own an open-topped vehicle you may obtain a free decal to attach to your vehicle that will serve as proof of payment at sites that don’t have a staffed entrance station.
- your Pass, driver’s license and vehicle registration. The name on all three documents must match.
- All sites that issue passes issue free hangtags
What Are The Discount Guidelines
The pass program is managed by six Federal agencies that operate under different regulations and have different fees. Therefore, the discount program for the Senior Pass is not handled in the same way on all Federal recreation lands.
In general discounts are honored as follows
- Individual Campsites: The discount only applies to the fee for the campsite physically occupied by the pass owner, not to any additional campsite occupied by members of the pass owner’s party.
- Campsites with Utility Hookups: If utility fees are charged separately, there is no discount. The discount may apply if the utility fee is combined with the campsite fee.
- Group Campsites and Facilities: : There is no discount for group campsites and other group facilities that charge a flat fee. If the group campsite has a per person fee rate, only the pass owner receives a discount others using the site pay the full fee.
- Guided Tours: The pass offers discounts on some guided tours. Only the pass owner receives a discount if one is offered.
- Transportation Systems:
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What Is The Senior Pass
The $80.00 lifetime and $20 Annual Senior Passes provide admittance to more than 2,000 recreation sites managed by six Federal agencies, with up to 100% of the proceeds being used to improve and enhance visitor recreation services.
At many sites the Senior Pass provides the pass owner a discount on Expanded Amenity Fees .
How Much Is The Day Use Fee For California State Parks How About Camping Fees
Most California state parks have a day-use fee of $10 per vehicle. If theres a ranger at the entrance kiosk, you can usually pay with cash or card.
However, its usually a good idea to bring a pen and exact cash in case a ranger isnt working the booth when you arrive so you can fill out a self permit.
Camping fees depend on the popularity of the park but usually run around $30 or so per night. You can find exact fees for specific parks and current availability at the Reserve California website.
Campsites book up quickly at state parks in California, so its recommended that you book at least 3-6 months in advance.
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California State Parks Vehicle Day
Through a partnership with California State Parks, the California State Library Parks Pass program provides 5,000 free vehicle-day use passes for circulation at public libraries in California. As part of a three-year pilot program, the new Library Pass program will be launched April 2022. The passes are valid at over 200 parks for one cars access and are a physical hangtag.
Are National Parks Passes Good For California State Parks
No. The CA state parks are a completely separate set of lands with their own jurisdiction.
The only exception to this are the Jedediah-Smith Redwoods and Prairie Creek Redwoods state parks. Both are in northern California and are managed in partnership with the National Parks service. So, both CA and federal passes work in those two parks.
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How To Use A National Parks Pass For California
In addition to the state park passes, you can also use National Parks passes at selected sites.
California boasts eight national parks, including the popular Yosemite, Death Valley and Joshua Tree parks. We also have an additional 25 national park sites. Not to mention the 19 million acres of publicly managed forest and most of it is under the jurisdiction of the the National Forest Service.
You can use your national parks annual pass to get into all of those national parks, the forests that charge day use fees, and even score discounts for camping spots on federal land. The annual pass costs $80, but there are discounted options for seniors, veterans and the disabled.
If you live in Southern California you could skip the national parks pass and get the Forest Service Adventure Pass for $30. It covers day use fees for the Angeles, Cleveland, Los Padres and San Bernardino forests.
Bytheway, both the Angeles and San Bernardino forests as well as a pile of other state and national parks are featured in our list of eyepopping scenic California drives.
California State Library Parks Pass
The Buena Park Library District has partnered with California State Parks and the California State Library to offer free State Parks vehicle day use passes to borrow! This program is part of a state initiative to advance equitable access to state parks and open spaces for all Californians.
How does the program work?
Adult Buena Park Library card holders will be able to check out a pass for 2 weeks, then return the pass to the library for others to use. Due to high demand, California State Library Parks Passes are non-renewable and limited to one pass per per library card.
Pass Validity & Terms:
- The pass is valid for entry of one passenger vehicle with capacity of nine people or less or one highway licensed motorcycle at participating state park units.
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Can I Use America The Beautiful Pass At State Parks
No, the America the Beautiful Pass can only be used for federally-owned lands that are run by the Forest Service, National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Bureau of Reclamation.
This includes national parks, national monuments, national forests, and national historic sites, but not state parks.
The California State Parks In General
The California State Parks are managed by the California Department of Parks and Recreation. The State Parks System was established in 1926, but preservation efforts began much earlier. There are more than 270 State Parks units covering nearly 1.4 million acres, or about 1.4% of California’s total land and water surface. The system has over 280 miles of coastline 625 miles of lake and river frontage more than 15,000 campsites and 11,000 picnic sites and 3,000 miles of hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.
Some facilities are free at others, day-use fees for private vehicle parking range up to $15, and there may be additional fees for services such as boat launching and tours. Senior discounts are available. State Parks passes are available, including annual passes, Golden Bear passes for seniors with limited incomes, and disabled and veteran passes. See Reservations and Fees: Camping, Tours, and Day Use.
- Telephone Mon-Fri 8am-5pm 916.653.6995
There are two additional state park properties without visitor services in the Big Sur region. These are “reserves”, designed to preserve and protect resources. These properties are not described in this Web site and, as far as I know, their locations are not marked along Highway 1.
- John Little State Reserve
- Big Creek State Reserve
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Explore More Of Californias Cool State Parks
- Visit the Bodie State Historic site, which is another old mining town and one of our favorite ghost towns in California.
- Explore San Franciscos military and immigrant history at Angel Island State Park.
- Plan a NorCal weekend getaway at one of these charming coastal towns. Most of them sit on or are very near lovely state beach parks.
- Spend a day driving through Big Sur, which is chock-a-block with state parks like Garrapata, Julia Pfieffer SP and Pfeiffer Big Sur SP.
- Visit both Estero Bluffs SP, Cayucos state beach and an elephant seal rookery with our Cayucos getaway guide.
- Hit up Ed Zberg Sugarpine, DL Bliss and Emerald Bay state parks by driving around Lake Tahoe.
California State Parks List
Use this California state parks list to plan your next outdoor adventure in the Golden State.
California is known for its outdoorsy culture and natural beauty, so its no surprise that there are a ton of state parks and beaches to visit throughout the state.
This is the full list of every single California state park and beach so you can work your way through one beautiful park at a time.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
- Bethany Reservoir State Recreation Area
- Carnegie State Vehicular Recreation Area
- Emeryville Crescent State Marine Reserve
- Lake Del Valle State Recreation Area
- McLaughlin Eastshore State Seashore
- Robert W. Crown Memorial State Beach
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Is There A Senior Pass For California State Parks
And even without a pass, seniors are eligible for a $1.00 discount off day-use vehicle fees at California State Parks and $2.00 off camping reservations.
You Will Need The Following:
1.) A copy of your Massachusetts drivers license showing Massachusetts residency and age 62+.
- Government Issued ID showing age 62+ANDProof of Massachusetts Residency
2.) A contact phone number or email in case we need to reach you.
3.) Senior passes are not offered to out of state residents. This means your registration and license needs to be issued by the state of Massachusetts.
Senior Parking Passes cannot be purchased online or at the parks.
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Where Can You Play
There are 20+ family-friendly parks and beaches in the LA/OC/SD area to visit by purchasing this pass.
It gives you the freedom to visit these places multiple times during the week, too!
You can just drive in to park at Crystal Cove and see the sunset!
Make this your Year of State Parks!
You get access to ALL of these for your whole carload of people for $195/year.
Orange County State Parks and State Beaches
- South Carlsbad SB
- Torrey Pines SB & SNR
Before you freak out too much about the cost, read my post about 3 Ways to Make Your Investment in California State Parks More Affordable. Ive done the math for you and I think its pretty convincing of the value you will get from this pass!
Is There An Annual California State Park Pass You Can Purchase
Yes, there are a few different types of California State Park Passes you can buy. These are the most common annual passes:
- California Annual Explorer Day Use Pass This is the most popular state park pass that gets you into most Southern California state beaches and most state parks throughout the state. You can see the full list of which parks accept this pass here.
- Golden Poppy Annual Day Use Pass This is the second-most popular pass that you can use for parks in the redwood region around Northern California and most state reservoirs. You can see the full list of parks and reservoirs that you can use this pass at here.
- Historian Passport Day Use Admission Annual Pass This pass is for getting into state historic parks in California. You can see a full list of parks that you can use this pass at here.
- Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Day Use Pass You can use this pass at all State Vehicle Recreation Areas in California, view the full list of SVRAs here.
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Check Out A Parks Pass From Your Library And Explore California State Parks
Use your library card to place a hold and pick up a Parks Pass for free vehicle day use entry. Valid at 200+ participating state parks. Hang the pass from the rear-view mirror of your car and enjoy the day!
Information to know before you check out a pass from the Library:
- You can check out one pass per library card
- Passes check out for 3 weeks and due to limited supplies are not renewable
- Passes cannot be reserved for specific dates
- Please return passes in person to the Monrovia Public Library, do not drop off in the book drop
- Passes are not valid for per-person entry or tour fees , boat use, camping, group use, or special events
To place a hold on a pass, search for “Parks Pass” in the library’s catalog or call the library at 626-256-8274.
For a list of parks that accept the pass, please and read full terms and conditions here.
Places To Get Interagency Passes
The America the Beautiful The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass Series includes different options of interagency passes that provide access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas across the United States. Participating agencies include the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, US Fish and Wildlife Service, US Forest Service, and US Army Corps of Engineers. Most interagency passes are available through the USGS Online Store. Use the search list below for options to purchase or pick up passes at participating agencies’ sites across the country.
CHECK BEFORE YOU GO
This list is not comprehensive and may include errors. Some federal recreation sites are only open part-time, may change what passes are issued, or be out of passes. Please contact the site prior to traveling to obtain the most current hours of operation and information on availability of all passes.
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