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You can use your library card to get free parking at a bunch of California state parks

Including a dozen beaches and parks in L.A.

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano

Tired of paying to park for a hike at Malibu Creek or to watch the sunset at El Matador? Your library card perks just might get you in for free.

Thanks to a new partnership between California State Parks and the California State Library, you’ll be able to secure a temporary free parking pass for over 200 state parks across California if you have a library card. In L.A. County specifically, you’ll be able to use it at a dozen spots, from Malibu beaches to a grassy park in Chinatown.

Here’s how it works: All 1,184 public libraries in the state will receive at least three California State Library Parks Pass hangtags that’ll nab you free vehicle day use entry at most California State Parks. You’ll use your library card to check out the hangtag and then, after a specified number of days, return it when you’re done.

It’ll be up to each library branch to sort out how to distribute the passes, so you’ll want to contact your local library to figure how their process will work—though maybe wait a little bit, as the three-year pilot program is just starting to circulate passes on a rolling basis this April and May.

The pass won’t get you into state parks (like museums) that require per-person admission, but it is valid for one passenger vehicle (with up to nine people) or motorcycle at sites that would otherwise charge around $3 per hour or $8 to $12 for the day to park. And it also won’t work at every location; of L.A. County’s 25 state parks, the pass is valid at about half of them. Most notably, it isn’t accepted at Dockweiler, Point Dume, Santa Monica and Will Rogers State Beaches, as well as Castaic Lake State Recreation Area and Will Rogers State Historic Park.

Here’s a full list of all of the L.A. County locations that will accept the California State Library Parks Pass:

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve State Natural Reserve
Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area
Leo Carrillo State Park
Los Angeles State Historic Park
Malibu Creek State Park
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Rio de Los Angeles State Park State Recreation Area
Robert H. Meyer Memorial State Beach (El Pescador, La Piedra and El Matador)
Saddleback Butte State Park
Topanga State Park
Verdugo Mountains Park Property

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