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.

California’s 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 I’m assuming the larger and more popular branches will likely get a few more. These hangtag passes will allow one passenger vehicle (meaning a car with a capacity of nine or fewer people) 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!

Right now, all of the 1184 public libraries in the state have been sent park passes. Find a library near you and sign up for a card if you don’t already have one right here.

Learn more about the California State Library Parks Pass at its official website.

Then go find a good hike near your with our Hike Finder!

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