Frequently Asked Questions

September 30, 2021

1. Why is California offering a park pass for fourth graders? Children’s physical, mental and social-emotional well-being is a priority to the State of California. Studies indicate that access to parks and greenspace can lead to improvements in children’s physical well-being, social/emotional learning and academic outcomes, with children experiencing reduced stress and demonstrating more enthusiasm for school. One study found that every $1 invested in trails for physical activity led to $2.94 in medical benefits. 

Every child should have easy access to parks. This program is one way we all can make that possible.

2. Who qualifies for this pass? Any fourth-grade student who lives in California. For full terms and conditions, click here.

3. How do I apply? Applying for the free pass online is simple. All that is needed is a name, address, phone number and an email address. For individuals who do not have access to a smartphone, computer or printer, and/or do not have an email address to use when applying online, they can still apply for a pass by visiting a State Parks Pass Sales Office—click here for a list of locations—or by calling (800) 444-7275. For detailed information on the program and the list of participating park units, please visit parks.ca.gov/AdventurePass.

4. Where can I use the California State Park Adventure Pass? The California State Park Adventure Pass is accepted at the following19 state parks.

  1. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (Nearest cities – Borrego Springsand Julian)
  2. Calaveras Big Trees State Park (Arnold)
  3. California Citrus State Historic Park (Riverside)
  4. California State Railroad Museum (Sacramento)
  5. Chino Hills State Park (Chino Hills)
  6. Clear Lake State Park (Kelseyville)
  7. Colonel Allensworth State Historic Park (Earlimart)
  8. Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (Julian)
  9. Empire Mine State Historic Park (Grass Valley)
  10. Hendy Woods State Park (nearest city – Philo)
  11. Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area (Gabilan Mountains, an hour drive from San Jose)
  12. Jack London State Historic Park (Glen Ellen)
  13. Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park (Crescent City)
  14. Millerton Lake State Recreation Area (Fresno)
  15. Morro Bay State Park Museum of Natural History (Morro Bay)
  16. Sue-meg State Park (Trinidad)
  17. Samuel P. Taylor State Park (Lagunitas)
  18. Seacliff State Beach (Santa Cruz)
  19. Silver Strand State Beach (Coronado)

5. I’m a fourth grader. How do I get this pass? It’s easy! Have your parent or guardian create a profile with us on ReserveCalifornia.com. All we need is their name, address, phone number and an email, and we will send them your free Pass via email on the same day. If your parents prefer to talk to a person over the phone, please call us at (800) 444-7275. California State Parks Pass Sales Offices can also help if your parents don’t have an email address (click here for a list of locations). Spanish-speaking representatives are available online (via webchat) and by phone.

6. I’m a parent or guardian of a fourth grader. What do I need to do? Getting one for your fourth-grade child is quick and easy. Set up a profile on ReserveCalifornia.com. All you need to do is enter your name, address, email address and phone number. You can also create a profile by phone (800) 444-7275 or in-person at a Pass Sales Office. Click here for a list of locations.

Once you have your profile, visit ReserveCalifornia.com and access your account. Then simply add the California State Park Adventure Pass(es) to your shopping cart and complete the checkout process. (Passes are free.)

You’ll immediately receive your Pass(es) in your email. You can use it by either printing it out or keeping it on your phone to show a uniformed state park staffer.

If you don’t have an email address, you can still get a Pass: simply visit one of our Pass Sales Offices and they will help you print your Pass. Click here for a list of locations.

Si usted prefiere acceder la información del programa en español, llámenos al 1-800-444-7275 o visítenos en las redes al ReserveCalifornia.com. Contamos con personal que puede asistirlo. 

7. I’m a parent. Can I let my child apply for the pass by themselves? California State Parks is not legally allowed to ask children for any information that might identify them online, like email addresses or phone numbers. We ask that you apply for the Pass for your child instead.

Applying for the free pass online is simple. All that is needed is a name, address, phone number and an email address. For individuals who do not have access to a smartphone, computer or printer, and/or do not have an email address to use when applying online, they can still apply for a pass by visiting a State Parks Pass Sales Office—click here for a list of locations—or by calling (800) 444-7275. For detailed information on the program and the list of participating park units, please visit parks.ca.gov/AdventurePass.

8. What about homeschooled students? Any fourth grader that lives in California is eligible for the California State Park Adventure Pass, no matter how they attend school or how old they are. If they are a fourth grader or fourth-grade equivalent, they qualify.

9. What if there is more than one fourth grader in my family? No problem! You can get California State Park Adventure passes for every fourth grader in your family. Visit parks.ca.gov/AdventurePass for more details.

10. How do I get the Pass if I don’t have email access, a computer or a printer? If you don’t have access to a computer or printer but do have a smartphone, you can still apply for the California State Park Adventure Pass online using your phone. Simply save the emailed Pass to your phone so that you can show it to a uniformed park staffer when you visit the park.

If you don’t have access to a smartphone, computer or printer and/or don’t have an email address to use when applying online, you can apply in person at any one of our Pass Sales Office locations throughout the state. State Parks staff will be able to assist you in printing your Pass.            

11. What if we lose the Pass? You have several options to retrieve your pass –

  1. Log into your ReserveCalifornia account and reprint your Pass.
  2. Call the ReserveCalifornia Contact Center at (800) 444-7275 or connect via webchat (8 a.m.–6 p.m. PT) and ask them to resend it to you.
  3. Visit one of our Pass Sales Locations throughout the state for assistance.

12. Are there any limitations on this Pass? Yes. This Pass is only available for fourth grade students who live in California and valid at the 19 selected state park units. If your child is not a fourth grader or if they do not live in California, they do not qualify for this Pass.

By using this Pass, you and your family also agree to the official terms and conditions of the California State Park Adventure Pass detailed on our website at parks.ca.gov/AdventurePass.

13. Why is the California State Park Adventure Pass only for fourth graders? The State Park Adventure Pass program is a three-year pilot, which provides California fourth graders with free day use access to 19 state parks.  This pilot program mirrors the federal Every Kid Outdoors program, which provides fourth graders with free access to national parks.  The curriculum being taught in fourth grade on the subjects of history, natural, and social sciences makes providing fourth graders with free state park access a great supplement to the lessons being taught to them in school.  Additionally, fourth grade is a unique time in a child’s development where they begin to better understand how the world around them works in concrete ways and they are more receptive to engaging with nature and the environment.

14. What other programs are available for students in parks? California State Parks offers a variety of access programs, including the following:

For detailed information, please visit www.parks.ca.gov/OutdoorAccessForAll.

The National Park Service also offers a similar fourth grade pass program. For more information, please visit them at Every Kid Outdoors.