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Your Library Card Can Now Get You Free Entry At (Most) California State Parks

A group of people walk near a rocky desert canyon with mountains in the background.
People depart an overlook above the Borrego Badlands in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park on March 23, 2022 near Borrego Springs.
(Mario Tama
Getty Images)
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Californians with a public library card can now check out a parks pass the same way they check out a book or a movie.

The pass gives free vehicle entry for day-use at more than 200 state parks and beaches. Each public library will have at least three passes in circulation.

State Librarian Greg Lucas said challenges such as finances or distance might discourage Californians from exploring a state park.

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“There's a lot of different factors and being able to have a free opportunity to visit a state park knocks down some of those barriers," Lucas said.

Lucas added that how long passes can be checked out varies by each library branch and encouraged residents to reach out to their local library to learn more.

One other thing to keep in mind: The passes won't work at all state parks — dozens are on that list including the Governor's mansion, Watt's Towers, Will Rogers State Beach and Will Rogers State Historic Park. More information can be found on the California Department of Parks and Recreation's website.

The library passes are part of a three-year pilot program to increase access to state parks, especially for children in underinvested communities.

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