California State Library Parks Pass | Cal Parks

California State Library Parks Pass

Published: July 14, 2022

California State Parks and the California State Library have teamed up to improve outdoor access for all Californians. 

This new program – launched during National Library Week in April – distributes the California State Library Parks Pass to public libraries across the state for checkout by library patrons. The new pass allows free vehicle day-use entry at more than 200 participating state parks! 

We are so pleased to see Senate Bill 129 come to life with the launch of this program. California State Parks Foundation was honored to work with California’s First Partner, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, to secure funding for this and other innovative pilot programs to increase access to the state's magnificent state park system. We firmly believe every Californian should have access to the beauty and benefits of parks, and we know that cost can be a barrier to visiting. We're excited that local branch libraries will now be a gateway to state parks. 


First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom joined us last year at Tomales Bay State Park, where we discussed park access and the beginning stages of the California State Library Parks Pass.


As part of a three-year pilot program, each library jurisdiction will receive at least three California State Library Parks Pass hangtags per branch for checkout by library patrons, including mobile libraries. Library-card holders can check out the pass for the allotted number of days allowed by the local library, then return the pass to the library for others to use. 

More information about the passes and how to check them out is available here. To view an interactive map with California’s public libraries and nearby participating state parks, visit this page. 

Libraries are already an important part of Californians’ lives. There are 1,184 public library buildings in California, and more than 23 million Californians have library cards. In 2019-2020, these libraries circulated over 97 million items free of charge. The California State Library Parks Pass program is one more way that Californians can get empowered through their libraries.  

California State Parks Foundation is excited to be partnering with California State Parks and the California State Library to implement this program. We are currently working with the lead team to promote the program, set up evaluation processes, and are looking into other ways to help the passes bring value to Californians who participate – with a special focus on communities that face the greatest barriers to park access.  

Programs like this are made possible thanks to your sustained support. Make a special donation today to ensure our beloved state parks are accessible, safe, and protected for all to enjoy. Your gift will help this program continue past the pilot stage!