Contribute to the State Park Protection Fund

Purchase a California State Parks $195 California Explorer Annual Pass When Filing Your California State Income Taxes

Now you can purchase a California State Parks $195 California Explorer Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass when you file your California State Income Taxes by directing a portion of your refund to California State Parks.  The first $195 of your contribution to the California State Parks Protection Fund buys the California Explorer Annual Pass that will grant access to over 130 State Parks operated Parks and Recreation areas that charge a Vehicle Day Use Fee.  Plus, if you make a contribution above the price of the $195 California Explorer Annual Pass to the State Parks Protection Fund, your additional contributions are tax deductible on your State Income Taxes. With our new tax deduction program, supporting State Parks can be rewarding to your bottom line and your inner spirit.

For more information contact your income tax professional or use this link to email the California State Franchise Tax Board:  Email Franchise Tax Board

You can also call the Franchise Tax Board Information Line toll free at 800-852-5711, available from 8am to 5pm, Monday through Fridays, except holidays. Additional contact means are listed on the following FTB ( webpage.

Annual Passes purchased through the State Parks Protection Fund program will be mailed directly to the residence of the tax filer by California State Parks. See the Frequently Asked Questions at the right for more details.

Below is the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) description of the State Parks Protection Fund and our Annual Pass Purchase and Tax Deductible Contribution Program:

Code 423, State Parks Protection Fund

California residents can make a voluntary contribution to the funds listed on Form 540, Side 4.

You can contribute any amount to the State Parks Protection Fund/Parks Pass Purchase. To receive a single annual park pass, your contribution must equal or exceed $195.  When applicable, FTB will forward your name and address from your tax return to the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) who will issue a single $195 California Explorer Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass to you. Only one pass will be provided per tax return. You may contact DPR directly to purchase additional passes. If there is an error on your tax return in the computation of total contributions or if we disallow the contribution you requested because there is no credit available for the tax year, your name and address will not be forwarded to DPR. Any contribution to the State Parks Protection Fund/Parks Pass Purchase will be considered a voluntary contribution. Amounts contributed in excess of the parks pass cost may be deducted as a charitable contribution for the year in which the voluntary contribution was made. For more information, go to the Franchise Tax Board Website.

About the $195 California Explorer Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass

The "California Explorer" Annual Pass at $195 offers the most value including the popular Southern California beaches along the Orange, Los Angeles and San Diego Coasts like Huntington Beach, Leo Carrillo and Carlsbad State Beaches. This pass is also honored at most parks throughout the state that are operated by California State Parks and charge a vehicle day use fee. 

The California Explorer Vehicle Day Use Annual Pass is valid for 12 months from the month purchased.  This pass does not provide access to Off Highway Motor Vehicular Recreation areas (OHV), is not valid for camping, boat use fees, oversized vehicle fees, additional/extra vehicle fees, sanitation disposal use, or other supplemental fees, and is valid only in parks operated by California State Parks. Admittance and use subject to available space.  The pass (photocopies not accepted) must be presented at entrance station and displayed on the rearview mirror or vehicle dashboard (as applicable) when visiting state parks that honor this pass; proof of purchase not accepted for entry.  View California Explorer Terms and Conditions and complete list of parks accepting and not accepting the pass.