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Does California offer free park passes?

Honorably discharged war veterans who are residents of California with an overall / combined rating at 50% or greater service-connected disability, or were held as prisoners of war by forces hostile to the United States, or recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor are eligible to receive the Distinguished Veteran Pass (formerly Disabled War Veteran/Prisoner of War Pass).

Entitles the holder to the use of all basic facilities (including day use and camping) in California State Park operated units at no charge. The pass is not valid at units operated by local government, private agencies or concessionaires.  It is not valid for group use or sites, special events, commercial use, or for supplemental fees and cannot be used in conjunction with any other pass and/or discount. Admittance and use subject to available space.  For complete Distinguished Veteran Pass Program Terms and Conditions, please see Page 2 of application.

Download the Distinguished Veteran Pass Application (PDF format)

Download the Distinguished Veteran Pass Application (Excel format)

Application may be made in person at the Park Pass Sales Office located at 1416 9th Street, Room 144, Sacramento, California.  Click here for a location map

Or, send completed application with required documentation including copy of Photo ID to:

California State Parks
Attn:  Distinguished Veteran Pass Program
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001

Please allow 4-6 weeks for processing. Once pass is received, you may use passcard for reservations and applicable benefits. The pass holder is required to present the Distinguished Veteran Pass and a valid California Driver License or other suitable photo identification, along with any campsite reservation or tour ticket, and to pay any supplemental fees at the park.

For more information, please call 800.777.0369 ext. 3 or 916.653.8280, or to the California State Parks website.

State Parks and Recreation Pass; Fishing and Hunting Licenses
Veteran Services Benefits - FAQ

Does California offer free park passes?