Ca State Parks Pass For Seniors

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How Much Is The Day Use Fee For California State Parks How About Camping Fees

California State Library Parks Pass

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.

Are There Additional Free Pass Options

Other pass programs that provide free access to state parks include the Golden Bear Pass program, which provides CalWORKS recipients free admission to the same parks. Eligible Distinguished Veterans have free access, and fourth graders have free access to 19 state parks through the Adventure Pass. Check out for more information.

States Parks That Provide Discounts

The majority of senior discounts offered at state parks are for those 60 years or older, although some senior discount programs start at age 50 or 55. There are even a few states that offer both a discounted rate and free admission to people over 70.

You can find a toll-free number on the respective state parks’ contact information page for more details and assistance with this process.

Following are a few of the states that provide senior discounts:

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Limited Use Golden Bear Pass $20 Per Calendar Year

Californians who are age 62+ can receive a Limited Use Golden Bear pass for $20 per calendar year . Its essentially the same as the Golden Bear Pass with two major exceptions:

  • Theres no income limitation.
  • The pass cannot be used in the peak season. It is not valid from the Friday before Memorial Day until Labor Day at most parks.

    Golden Poppy Annual Day Use Pass

    Senior Discounts and Passes
    • Cost: $125
    • Best for: Most people who will be visiting 13+ parks per year
    • Format: Auto hangtag

    This is the best California State Parks pass for most people. However, there are some places where this pass doesnt work.

    The Poppy pass inexplicably excludes 20 parks. It does include all of the major redwood parks, Big Sur spots, Tahoe parks and most of the states public beaches. But it excludes a few popular spots like Torrey Pines, Malibu Creek, Huntington and Carlsbad beaches. So, before buying this pass, check their list of included parks to make sure that the pass doesnt exclude somewhere that you visit frequently.

    There are some state historic and cultural sites which charge a per-person fee to enter. So neither the Poppy Pass nor the Explorer Pass would be accepted. This includes: Bodie State Historic Park, California Mining and Mineral Museum, El Presidio de Santa Barbara , Fort Tejon, State Indian Museum, Railtown 1897 and Sutters Fort.

    There are also a handful of state parks which are co-managed by local jurisdictions. So, you may find that your annual pass wont work there either. The more notable beaches include Santa Monica, Pacifica, Will Rogers and Corona del Mar.

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    Changes To The Senior Pass

    On , the price of the America the Beautiful The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass increased for the first time since 1994. The additional revenue will be used to enhance the visitor experience in parks. Learn more about the changes, what they mean for you, and how the additional funds will be used.

    Why did the price of the Senior Pass increase?The price of the America the Beautiful The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Senior Pass increased as result of the Centennial Legislation P.L. 114-289 passed by the US Congress onDecember 16, 2016.

    When was the last time the price increased for the Senior Pass? The Senior Pass has been $10 since 1994.

    How much did it increase?The lifetime Senior Pass increased from $10 to $80.

    Why $80?The legislation states that the cost of the lifetime Senior Pass be equal to the cost of the annual America the Beautiful The National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass, which is currently $80.

    What if a senior citizen is on a fixed budget?The legislation also establishes an annual Senior Pass for $20. That pass is valid for one year from the date of issuance. Four annual Senior Passes purchased in prior years can be traded in for a lifetime pass. Additionally, access to the majority of National Park Service sites remains freeonly 108 of more than 400 National Park Service sites have an entrance fee.

    What if I have a current Senior Pass?The current passes are lifetime passes and will remain valid.

    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.

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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.

    Is There A Lifetime Pass For California State Parks

    California State Library Parks Pass

    DISTINGUISHED VETERAN PASS – No Fee Entitles the holder to the use of all basic facilities in California State Parks at no charge. Subsequently, do california state parks offer senior discounts? SENIOR CITIZEN DISCOUNT Permits year-round $1.00 discount for vehicle day use and a $2.00 discount for family camping in most California State Park operated units regardless of income status without the need to purchase any pass.

    Yes, it most certainly is. The America the Beautiful pass is valid at ALL national parks, monuments, national seashores, and other public managed lands. Yellowstone is a national park. 4.

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    California State Library Parks Pass Offers Free Entry To State Parks

    During the COVID-19 pandemic, two things that saw an exponential increase in interest and activity were public parks and public libraries. Now, a new program in California is combining the two in a way that helps make our parks more accessible to all with the California State Library Parks Pass.

    Californias Outdoors For All Initiative is launching a new three year pilot program in April 2022 that will allow people to check out a California State Parks hangtag at their local public library with their regular library card. Card holders will be able to check out the pass for the number of days allowed by that local library, then return it for others to use.

    At the launch, every library branch will have at least one hangtag and Im assuming the larger and more popular branches will likely get a few more. These hangtag passes will allow one passenger vehicle or one motorcycle free vehicle day use entry at more than 200 California state parks throughout the state.

    The pass does not guarantee a parking space, nor can it be used for additional fees like per-person entry fees or tour fees, camping, boat use, etc. The pass is only good for State Parks, not federal lands or local parks, and there are a number of state parks that are not participating in the program. But the passes are valid any day of the week including holidays and some of the vehicle entry fees at state parks can really add up, so this has the potential to save quite a bit of cash with good planning!

    Golden Bear Pass $5 Per Calendar Year

    Do you qualify for a Golden Bear Pass?! This pass is just $5 per calendar year and must be renewed each year. The pass entitles you and your spouse to visit California State Parks without paying a vehicle day use fee. The pass completely covers one passenger vehicle with a capacity of nine people or less!

    You qualify for the Golden Bear Pass if you meet one of the following requirements:

    • You receive Supplemental Security Income
    • You are receiving aid from the CalWORKS Program.
    • You are age 62+ and have a limited income. If single, your average gross monthly income must not exceed $952. If married , your combined average gross monthly income must not exceed $1,751. If your income exceeds these thresholds, you can still obtain the Limited Use Golden Bear Pass.

    This only works at parks with vehicle day use fees, not those that have per-person entry or tour fees. It also does NOT cover boat use, camping, group use, special events, commercial use, extra vehicles or supplemental fees.

    For Golden Bear Pass terms and conditions, please click here. You can

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    California State Park Pass

    California offers a number of different annual state park passes depending on how you plan to use the California State Park system: Annual Day Use Pass, Golden Poppy Annual Day Use Pass, Annual Boat Use Pass, Off Highway Vehicle Day Use Pass, Sno-Park Season Pass, Disabled Discount Pass, Distinguished Veteran Pass, Golden Bear Pass and Limited Use Golden Bear Pass:

    Annual Day Use California State Park Pass: $125

    The California Annual Day Use State Parks Pass allows for vehicle parking at 125 California State Parks that charge a day use parking fee. The California Annual Day Use State Parks Pass is good for one year after the month of purchase. This pass is not honored at all California State Parks. You can download a list of the California State Parks that accept the California Annual Day Use State Parks Pass here

    Golden Poppy Annual Day Use California State Park Pass: $90

    Golden Poppy Annual Day Use California State Park Pass allows for vehicle parking at 97 selected inland, northern and reservoir California State Parks that charge a day use parking fee. The Golden Poppy Annual Day Use California State Park Pass is good for one year after the month of purchase. This pass is not honored at all California State Parks. You can download a list of the California State Parks that accept the Golden Poppy Annual Day Use California State Park Pass here This pass can be ordered online or purchased at the ranger station at most California State Parks.

    Sno-Park Season Pass: $25

    How To Use A National Parks Pass For California

    How to Buy a California State Parks Annual Pass

    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.

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    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.

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    Find The Right California State Parks Pass For You

    Last Modified: April 8, 2022 by Carol Guttery

    California has 281 state parks that range from beach parks, historic sites, wildlife reserves, redwood forest, waterways and off road vehicle parks. They are spread across over 163,000 square miles of California, sharing jurisdictions with counties, cities and even the Federal Government. There are a myriad of different ways to get discounted California State Parks passes and sorting through the options can be confusing.

    This guide is designed to de-mystify our California park pass system and help you find the right pass to use for your adventures. Well help you figure out if its a better deal to simply buy a California parks day pass or whether its worth it to get an annual pass.

    Californias discount pass offerings do change periodically and weve updated this article for 2022 offerings.

    When you are finished reading this article, but sure to visit our complete guide to ALL California State Parks. It includes listings by county, FAQs, a map and links to our itineraries and guides which feature state parks.

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    Why Buy A California State Parks Pass

    First of all, CA State Parks are such treasures that youll want your kids to be able to experience them over and over again!

    These parks fit all the parameters of the Nature Kids Institute Nature Connection Pyramid.

    Secondly, see the Monthly block on the pyramid? And how it notes the #1 reason for closures is under-utilization by the public.

    So you can save a park, just by visiting it.

    California State Park Passes

    California State Parks free day of parking pass available at public libraries

    Are you a frequent visitor to a favorite state park or love to sample the beauty of the state from north to south? A California State Parks Pass may be for you. Our park passes offer something for everyone and make great gifts throughout the year, including free passes for fourth graders, CalWORKs families, Supplemental Security Income recipients, and distinguished veterans. We invite you to explore this webpage and find the right pass for you.

    Below you will find key resources and a list of the available passes.

    Key Resources

    Available Passes

    Note for all passes: A lost or damaged pass may be replaced only through reapplication and no refunds can be issued.


    • Cost: Free annual pass valid for the duration of the fourth graders school year through the following summer .
    • What? In partnership with the First Partners Office and the Natural Resources Agency, the California State Park Adventure Pass provides free entry for fourth graders and their families at 19 select state parks throughout the state. Mountains, deserts, forests, rivers the choice of where to visit is yours. Learn more about the California State Park Adventure Pass .








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    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.

    Disabled Discount Pass $350 Lifetime

    Permanently disabled persons can obtain a Disabled Discount Pass for just $3.50. This pass never expires and entitles the bearer to 50% off vehicle day use fees, family camping fees and boat use fees at California State Parks .

    To qualify, the applicant must be a disabled person who has a physical or mental impairment which substantially limits one or more of such persons major life activities, and 2) has a current record of such impairment. These disabilities could include autism, cerebral palsy, mental retardation, hearing disabilities, vision impairments, mental disability, mobility loss, respiratory disease, multiple sclerosis or other disability. You must submit some sort of record, such as a doctor certification, social security statement, or proof of DMV permanently disabled status.

    This discount pass does not apply to per-person entry or tour fees, group use sites, special events, oversized vehicle fees, extra vehicle fees or other charges.

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