California State Park Passes

You can visit California State Parks for free by checking out a Parks Pass with your library card. We also offer Outdoor Exploration Packs if you need some extra equipment. Adventure is out there...waiting for you!

What's Available

Park Passes

  • What It Is: Free State Parks vehicle day-use passes
  • What It Gets You: Valid for entry of one passenger vehicle with capacity of nine people or fewer or one highway-licensed motorcycle at participating state park units
  • How to Get It: Passes may be requested in-person or via our catalog with a San José Public Library card. They have a three-week checkout period with no renewal. Happy Trails!

Outdoor Exploration Packs

  • What It Is: A backpack with adventure gear to jump-start getting out into nearby nature
  • What It Gets You:
    • 1 California State Library Parks Pass,
    • 1 pair of binoculars,
    • 1 flashlight,
    • field guides,
    • and more!
  • How to Get It: Packs may be requested in-person or via our catalog with a San José Public Library card. They have a three-week checkout period with no renewal.

How It Works

Check out a Park Pass or Outdoor Exploration Pack from any SJPL location with your library card. You can request the item in-person (first-come, first-served) or place a hold via our catalog (to ensure that the item will be ready for you when you pick it up). They each have a three-week checkout period with no renewal. Happy Trails!

Places to Explore

All of the Parks

Know before you go! Verify that your destination is a participating parks before you strike out on your adventure.

More About This Program

California is home to 280 state park units, over 340 miles of coastline, 970 miles of lake and river frontage, 15,000 campsites, and 4,500 miles of trails. These state parks are for everyone. However, many Californians do not access these majestic locations due to barriers both financial and systemic. California State Parks and the California State Library developed this borrowing program as an opportunity to advance safe and equitable outdoor access to all.

Thanks to this partnership between California State Parks and the California State Library, the San José Public Library (SJPL) joined other public libraries across the state to offer free State Parks vehicle-day use passes.

NOTE: This program and provided information was supported in whole or in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • There are two ways to get a pass:

    • In-Person: Please check in with library staff to see if there is a pass available.
    • Place a Hold: We also have some reservable passes. Those requestable passes can be placed on hold.

    Related Page: California State Park Adventure Pass

  • 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.

    The pass will not be honored at state park units operated by federal or local government and private agencies or concessionaires. Also, the pass is not valid for per-person entry or tour fees (such as museums), boat use, camping, group use or sites, special events, additional/extra vehicle fees, sanitation disposal use or for supplemental fees.

    Related Page: California State Park Adventure Pass

  • There are over 200 California State Parks accepting the pass, but there are some that are not. Here is the link to ineligible park locations. Federal parks are not included in this program.

    Related Page: California State Park Adventure Pass

  • No, there is a limit of one pass at a time on an account. You can check out the pass more than once.

    Related Page: California State Park Adventure Pass

  • Return the pass in its case to any SJPL location. If possible, we prefer passes to be returned to staff at the information desk during library operation hours. This can help prevent the item from being lost or damaged.

    Related Page: California State Park Adventure Pass

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