California State Parks has implemented new visitor guidelines across its state park system to limit the risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the outdoors.

Californians are advise to visit the state parks that are closest to them and to stay local. Californians are also advised to maintain social distancing of at least six feet and not to be with others outside of their household.

The state of California recognizes the importance of outdoor activities. State Parks are working with local entities on a phased in and regionally-driven approach to increase access to state parks while adhering to state and local public health ordinances.

Visitors to state parks should still expect a different experience than they are used to.

Guidelines and recommendations for state parks include:

Visitors are advised to visit https://www.parks.ca.gov/parkindex to find the nearest state park to them that’s open, what guidelines are in effect and if parking is available. It should be noted parking is limited or not available at parks across the state.

The use of coolers, umbrellas, shade tents, barbecues or chairs won’t be allowed in many parks.

Passive activities such as lounging, picnics and sunbathing is being restricted where social distancing will be difficult. In those areas such activities as walking, running, biking, boating, kayaking and using off-road vehicles will be allowed. One-way trails should also be observed when they are in place.

Visitors may also be asked to leave if parks can’t maintain the required social distancing.

Not all restrooms will be open. Visitors should bring soap/sanitizer and pack out all trash.

There will be no guided tours and campgrounds and indoor facilities such as museums and visitor centers will be closed.

State Park Peace Officers and other law enforcement officers do have the authority to issue citations. State Parks will continue to monitor visitation and if condition become unsafe, state parks may be closed again.

Follow State Parks on social media – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – or visit www.parks.ca.gov/FlattenTheCurve for the most up-to-date information on how the department is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tips on how to responsibly go boating, off-highway riding and hiking can be found online at www.parks.ca.gov/SafetyTips

State Parks is committed to providing access for people with disabilities during this difficult time. Should a member of the public encounter an issue at a state park, they’re being advised to contact their nearest district office which can be found here: https://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=24248 

Recommended for you