State Parks COVID-19 Resource Center
Updated: January 28, 2021
Welcome to the California State Parks COVID-19 Resource Center. The department has created this online resource to serve as a one-stop center to find information on park closures and modifications and resources available to partners. Additionally, you will find information on complimentary broadcast-style home learning programs for K-12 students from various park locations across California. Please check this COVID-19 Resource Center webpage regularly, as it will be updated with new information as it becomes available.
Through this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Californians are continuing to do their part to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for helping reduce the exposure to the virus in the outdoors. Together we are protecting the safety of visitors and those who take care of the State Park System.
The State of California recognizes that outdoor activity is critical for mental and physical health during this challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, State Parks is working with local entities on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. Since the pandemic continues to be dynamic and fluid, the reopening and/or closure of state park units will be made with little advance notice.
With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted earlier this month for all regions in the state, below is an update on accessing the State Park System:
- Campground sites are reopening for existing reservation holders.
- Other state campground sites will be reopened for new reservations using a phased approach starting January 28.
- Not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues.
- Group campsites remain closed.
- Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.
For more information on the availability of campground sites and how to book a reservation, please visit parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
As State Parks increases access to the State Park System, it is critical that Californians continue to recreate responsibly in the outdoors as the pandemic is far from over. Visitors must stay local, plan ahead to find out what is open as some park units and campgrounds remain temporarily closed, wear a face covering, practice physical distancing and avoid gatherings with people outside the immediate household.
Lastly, all visitors are strongly encouraged to protect themselves and their loved ones by properly planning their outdoor experience. Here are some tips:
- Check the weather and plan accordingly. If needed, cancel your outdoor activity.
- Tell a responsible person at camp or at home where you are going and when you plan on returning. Ask that person to notify law enforcement if you do not return on time.
- Observe rules for your planned activity.
- Only swim in designated areas.
- Never turn your back to the ocean – large waves can hit the shore without warning.
- Use proper equipment for your planned activity – e.g., life jackets and helmets.
- Avoid alcohol – don’t drink and drive.
- Actively supervise children.
- Share the road and waterways. Control your speed. Slow down accordingly to avoid accidents.
For more safety tips, please visit parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips.
FULLY CLOSED: Some State Park Units to the Public (View List) – The full closure means there is no public access at these public outdoor spaces on a temporary basis to protect public health from the COVID-19 pandemic. All restrooms are closed, and there are no parking facilities open for visitors, recreational boats or off-highway vehicles. No form of activities is permitted (including sunbathing, walking, jogging or watersports).
Some High Public Use Indoor Facilities – including museums and visitor centers – have been closed until further notice to prevent overcrowding and maintain physical distancing.
Campgrounds --Some campgrounds continue to be closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Learn more at parks.ca.gov/COVID19Camping.
State Parks is working with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to park units only where compliance with state and local public health ordinances has been achieved. The public is advised to plan ahead—check the webpage of their local outdoor destination before leaving home to find out if it is open, what new guidelines are in effect and if parking is available.
Day Use Areas -- Day use outdoor areas of park units currently open to the public remain open.
Campgrounds -- With the Regional Stay at Home Order lifted for all regions in the state, campground sites are reopening for existing reservation holders. The department will be using a phased approach to reopen other state campground sites for new reservations. The public is advised that not all campground sites are open to the public due to the pandemic, wildfire impacts and other issues. Additionally, group campsites remain closed.
Here are some visitor guidelines State Parks has implemented to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors:
- Stay Local – Stay close to home during this pandemic period. If you or anyone in your household is feeling sick, please remain at home and plan your trip for another time.
- Plan Ahead – The COVID-19 pandemic response continues to be dynamic and fluid. Prior to leaving home, check the webpage of the park unit you plan to visit to find out if it is open, if parking is available, and what visitor guidelines are in effect. Additionally, find out what safety precautions you should take when exploring the outdoors at parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips to enjoy them safely.
- Stay Safer at 6 feet – No matter the recreational activity, maintain a physical distance of six feet or more. Your guests should only include those within your immediate household. This means no guests or friends, and no gatherings or parties. If there are too many people to maintain the required physical distance, please visit us on a different day.
- Boating: Do not raft up to other boaters or pull up onto a beach next to other recreators.
- Off-highway Vehicle Recreation: Do not ride next to others or pull up next to someone else as it could put you in close proximity to others. Stage 10 feet or more from each other during unloading and loading.
- Keep Clean – Be prepared as not all services may be available. Some restrooms will be temporarily closed to keep up with cleaning schedules. Bring soap/hand sanitizer. Please pack out all trash. Park units are experiencing heavy use and you can help alleviate the impact on park facilities.
- Stay Covered – The state requires you wear a face covering when you cannot maintain physical distancing of six feet or more. Individuals must have a face covering with them at all times.
Although law enforcement entities have the authority to issue citations, the expectation is that the public is responsible for adhering to the advice of public health officials, visitor guidelines and closures.
To date, State Parks has temporarily implemented the following safety measures:
- Closed some parks fully, meaning all vehicular access, trails and restrooms within these parks are closed.
- Some state parks and beaches have no vehicle access, meaning no parking facilities and parking on roadways is prohibited. Some state parks and beaches may have limited vehicle access available.
- Closed all campground sites. While some sites have reopened, others continue to temporarily be closed.
- Museums and visitor centers continue to be closed. Visitors are advised to visit the individual park webpage for additional information.
- All events were canceled. New event cancellations or requests to postpone already-approved events are not being accepted at this time.
The department is working with local and state officials on a phased and regionally driven approach to increase access to state park units only where compliance with state and local public health ordinances can be achieved. The reopening of state park units will be made with little advance notice.
State Parks understands that outdoor enthusiasts have questions and concerns about the safety measures the department has implemented in the State Park System to slow the spread of COVID-19. It is important for us to keep you informed of our actions. As such, we have developed frequently asked questions (FAQs) – view here. If you do not find the answer to your question, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- January 14, 2021: A Reminder to Recreate Responsibly During MLK Weekend and Amidst the Ongoing Pandemic
- December 4: State Parks to Temporarily Close Campgrounds and Keep Day Use Areas Open in Regions Impacted by Regional Stay at Home Order Triggered by ICU Capacity
- September 15: California State Parks Reopens Some Campsites in San Luis Obispo County Beginning Saturday, September 19
- View More Press Releases...
Online Home Learning Programs - In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Parks Online Resources for Teachers and Students (PORTS) is offering new broadcast-style Home Learning Programs for K-12 students from various park locations across California. Connect with a PORTS program today!