Skip to Main Content
Contact Us Search
Parks Title

About Us

Our Mission

To provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state's extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation.

California Department of Parks and Recreation

Parks are essential to the well-being of environments, economies and all people. California’s state parks and the recreational programs supported by the California Department of Parks and Recreation and its divisions of Boating and Waterways, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation, and Office of Historic Preservation, are gateways to these benefits and to opportunities to connect with families, friends, and communities.

With 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, the department contains the largest and most diverse recreational, natural, and cultural heritage holdings of any state agency in the nation.

More than 67 million people annually visit California’s state park system. The system includes:

  • Beaches
  • Coastal Beaches
  • Conference Centers
  • Ghost Towns
  • Historic Homes
  • Historic Monuments
  • Historic Parks
  • Lakes and Reservoirs
  • Lighthouses
  • Marine parks
  • Museums
  • Natural and Cultural Preserves
  • Natural Reserves
  • Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Areas
  • Parks
  • Recreation Areas
  • Seashores
  • Spanish-era Adobe Buildings
  • Visitor Centers

Together, state park system lands protect and preserve an unparalleled collection of culturally and environmentally sensitive structures and habitats, threatened plant and animal species, ancient Native American sites, historic structures and artifacts... the best of California's natural and cultural history.

Additionally, the Office of Grants and Local Services (OGALS) develops grant programs to provide funding for local, state, and nonprofit organization projects. Since 1964, more than 7,400 local parks throughout California have been created or improved from OGALS' grant funding. Since 2000, the program has administered approximately $3 billion in grant funding throughout California.