Residents of This State Can Use Their Library Card to Visit 200+ State Parks for Free

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  • California residents can use their library card to check out a free state park pass.
  • Since many state parks have a daily vehicle entrance fee of $10, this free park pass could help Californians save money.

Find out how to visit participating California state parks for free with a library card.

If you live in California and like to spend time outdoors, now is an excellent time to get a library card if you don't already have one in your wallet. Residents can use their library cards to get free entry to over 200 state parks. For outdoor adventurers, this is an excellent way to save money on the cost of entertainment. In this piece, you can learn how to get a free state park pass.

Most people think of a library card as a tool to borrow books for free. But the state of California has taken steps to improve outdoor access for its residents, and it involves libraries. As part of the Outdoors for All initiative, the California State Library, California State Parks, and the First Partner's Office have teamed up to offer the California State Library Parks Pass.

State residents can check out a free vehicle day-use pass at a local public library. Each pass enables one passenger vehicle with nine people or fewer to enter a participating park at no cost.

How to get a California State Library Parks Pass

  1. First, you'll need to have a library card from a local public library. If you don't have one, you can get one for free.
  2. Next, you'll need to visit a participating public library to check out a pass. Passes are available at nearly 1,200 public libraries throughout the state.
  3. Once you have a pass checked out, you can park for free at participating parks. Checkout times may vary, so ask your local library how long you're able to keep a pass.

Essential details about the pass

This pass only covers the cost of the vehicle day-use fee at participating parks. Additional expenses, such as tour, camping, swimming pool, and boat fees, are not included.

You can use the California State Library Parks Pass on weekdays, weekends, and holidays if space is available. More than 200 state parks accept this pass. However, a few state parks don't take the pass. You can view a list of ineligible parks.

Is this park pass valuable?

This pass can be valuable if you put it to good use. Before you get the pass, it's an excellent idea to plan out how you will use it to maximize your value.

Your local library can decide how long you can check out the pass. The California State Library suggests a checkout time frame of one to three weeks per patron.

How expensive are state park entry fees? Daily fees vary by park, but many parks have a daily fee of $10 per passenger vehicle. Entry fees may be higher on weekends and holidays.

With this pass in hand, you can avoid paying entry fees and keep more money in your bank account. The savings could add up if you use the California State Library Parks Pass to visit several parks.

Daily life now costs more

We're all feeling the strain of higher prices due to inflation. But for California residents, inflation can be even more stressful due to the already higher living costs.

If you're struggling as everyday expenses rise, you're not alone. Check out these personal finance resources for money-saving tips and guidance.

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