Frequently Asked Questions

Need more information, follow the links below to help answer your questions:

Contact Information

General FAQs

Is California State Parks Foundation a part of the California Department of Parks and Recreation?

No. The California State Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is the government agency that manages, regulates and operates the state parks. CSPF is an independent non-profit membership organization with a mission to protect, enhance and advocate for our magnificent state parks.

How do I get removed from your mailing list?

Log in to the My Profile page on the CSPF website. Scroll down to the Preferences area and uncheck the "Accept Postal Mail" box.

You can also email our Member Services Team at or call them at 415-262-4400. Explain that you'd like to be removed from the mailing list and give your full address as listed on the most recent mailing you received from us. We can either remove you from the list or limit the number of mailings you receive

How do I change my email preferences?

Log in to the My Profile page on our website. Scroll down to the Preferences area and choose which emails you would like to receive, or opt out of all emails.

How is my donation being used?

Since our founding in 1969, CSPF has worked to help enhance state parks with advocacy, educational programs, capital projects, competitive grants, and fundraising, all while building a vast network of park supporters.

We accomplish our mission by building a diverse membership community of passionate park advocates, raising funds to support and protect state parks and to develop programs that serve the public, advocating for adequate funding and sound stewardship policies for parks, mobilizing volunteers to work on behalf of parks, and facilitating educational programs, habitat restoration, land acquisition, and capital improvements.

For more information, please visit the CSPF Financials & Accountability page of our website.


Is my membership contribution tax deductible?

Your gift is tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. To calculate the tax-deductibility of your donation, deduct the fair market value of any of the items you may have received in consideration of your contribution. You'll find the fair market value of the benefits you received listed on the acknowledgement letter we send you after you make your donation. If you choose to decline all of the benefits with a listed fair market value, then your contribution is fully tax-deductible.

When will I receive my membership card and gift items?

Your membership card and any gift items you've selected will be mailed to you. Please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery.

How do I use my discount for camping reservations?

Discount camping reservations for CSPF members at California State Parks are managed through Reserve America. You will be prompted to enter your discount code during checkout at the Reserve America website. Your discount code can be found by logging into the CSPF website and viewing the Discounts page. The code applies to online reservations only.

When will I receive my Sunset magazine?

Please allow 10-12 weeks for your first issue to arrive, after which you will receive the next 11 issues monthly.

Are there membership levels above $1,000?

The Californians Leadership Circle offers a wide range of giving levels and benefits for donors of $1,000 and above. Visit our Californians Leadership Circle page to join or renew and to see a list of benefits. For more information about the Californians Leadership Circle, please call our Development Department at 415-262-4408.

State Park Passes

Does a CSPF membership come with state park passes or discounts on passes?

No, not as of June 1, 2016. Here's why:

The price CSPF pays for state park passes tripled last year, so we could no longer afford to include complimentary passes with your member benefits. Instead, we began offering discounted park passes for sale through an online store. It seemed like a good solution, but it didn’t quite work.

We repeatedly heard from members that the system for buying discounted park passes was too complex and confusing. We also heard that many people would prefer we spend less of their membership donation on benefits and put more of their donation to work protecting the state parks we all love.

That’s why we introduced a new, simpler membership program on June 1, 2016.

There are two major changes that took effect in June under the new CSPF Membership Program:

  • Membership Donations – Now you can join or renew your membership with a gift of any amount of $25 or more. You choose the amount that feels right and reflects your commitment to taking care of state parks and keeping them open to all.
  • Member Benefits – Membership still comes with benefits like Sunset magazine and our Parklands newsletter. But we no longer offer state park passes as part of the CSPF membership benefits except for members at our Californians Leadership Circle level who renew with an annual gift of $1,000 or more. Leadership Circle members will continue to receive a complimentary Explorer annual park pass.

For those who received 2016 membership renewal notices prior to the change on June 1, here are few things to know:

  • Grace Period Through July 31 – You may renew under the old membership plan until July 31, and you’ll still receive the 20% discount on a state parks pass.
  • Online Renewal System Changes on June 1 – The renewal system on the CSPF website changed to the new program on June 1, so as of that date you won’t be able to renew under the old program using the online system. However, until July 31, you can still renew under the old plan through the mail or by calling our Member Services Team at 415-262-4400.
  • Park Pass Sales – If you renew under the old membership plan by July 31, you will have 90 days to access the CSPF online pass store to purchase your discounted pass. Going forward, you can purchase park passes at the regular prices on the California Department of Parks and Recreation website:

How do I purchase discounted park passes?

As a CSPF member under the old Membership Program in effect prior to June 1, 2016, you have access to a special online store at where you can purchase official California State Park passes.

You may choose any combination of passes, with a limit of one of each type. Your discount will be automatically applied to the single highest priced pass in your cart. For example, if you choose an Explorer Pass ($195), a Boat Pass ($100) and the Day Use Tickets - Bundle of 4 ($50), your discount will be applied to the $195 Explorer Pass.

Keep in mind that you must use your park pass discount within 90 days from when you joined or renewed and made your membership donation.

How is the expiration calculated for my park pass?

Park passes are valid for 12 months from the month in which they are purchased. Requests for park pass terms to begin in future months will not be accepted.

Which passes are available through the CSPF online store?

When you're logged in to the store, you'll find complete information about each type of pass. You may also click on the links below for information about the parks you can access with the most commonly used passes:

California Explorer Annual Day Use Pass

Golden Poppy Annual Day Use Pass

CSPF Day Use Tickets

Tahoe Regional Vehicle Day Use Pass

Historian Passport Day Use Admission Annual Pass

Are the day use ticket packets right for me?

The day use tickets value is based on an average of the cost to get into parks across California. In southern California, usually beaches, it can cost up to $15. In northern California the cost to get into parks tends to be lower, usually around $5 to $8 and even free in many of the parks. The packets of tickets are mostly for members who only wish to go a few times a year to the more expensive parks.

It may be better for some members to consider one of the annual passes we offer. Please be sure to look at which parks are covered by each pass. If you only wish to go a few times a year it might be more cost efficient to pay the day use fee at the park. In all circumstances your money is going towards parks, and we thank you for that support!

I just made my membership donation, but can't access the online pass store?

If you joined or renewed online, please allow up to one hour for our system to process your membership donation and validate your discount for the online pass store. If you joined or renewed through the mail, please allow 2-4 weeks before accessing the store.

If you have any questions about purchasing park passes, please don't hesitate to contact our Member Services Team at 415-262-4400 or

How long will it take to receive my park pass order?

Passes purchased through our online store will be shipped to you via FedEx. Please allow 1-2 days for your order to be shipped. When it's shipped, you'll receive an email with FedEx tracking information.

For questions or problems related to your order, please contact Customer Service at PRIDE Industries at 855-626-7275 or

What happens if my park pass is lost or stolen?

Lost or stolen passes cannot be replaced and no refunds can be issued.

California State Parks Foundation

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