Department of Parks and Recreation (PARKS)
California Department of Parks and Recreation manages 280 park units, which contain the finest and most diverse collection of natural, cultural, and recreational resources to be found within California.
General Information: 800-777-0369
Hearing Impaired: TTY relay service, 711
Make a Camping Reservation
The California Department of Parks and Recreation manages more than 270 park units, which contain the finest and most diverse collection of natural, cultural, and recreational resources to be found within California. These treasures are as diverse as California itself: From the last stands of primeval redwood forests to vast expanses of fragile desert; from the lofty Sierra Nevada to the broad sandy beaches of our southern coast; and from the opulence of Hearst Castle to the vestiges of colonial Russia.
Frequently Asked Questions
No matter what your destination is or whether you have a reserved or a first-come, first-served site, it's always a good idea to call ahead and check on park conditions.
For Reservation Sites - Plan ahead
You can make reservations up to seven months in advance through Reserve America at 1-800-444-PARK (7275) or on-line at Reserve America's website
Determine where you want to camp and be flexible
Have alternate parks in mind in case your first choice is booked.
To help you, get your copy of the California State Parks Camping Reservation Guide by calling (916) 653-6995 or writing to:
California State Parks Information Office
P.O. Box 942896
Sacramento, CA 94296-0001
Consider non-reservation sites
If the reservation sites are full, look for first-come, first-served campgrounds, and try and arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday to maximize your chance to get a campsite. Please call the specific park for details. They include:
Emma Wood State Beach
Indian Grinding Rock State Historic Park
Consider less busy days
Sometimes reservations are easier to make if you can camp mid-week.
Consider less popular camps
Southern coastal campgrounds can be full year-round. You could have better luck getting reservations at State Parks north of Santa Cruz or inland. Look for sites which are more remote and away from major metropolitan areas.
Remember the holiday crush
The closer you try to make reservations to a holiday (Memorial Day weekend, Fourth of July, or Labor Day weekend), the further north and inland you may need to go.
Check the Reserve America website or call the 800-444-7275 phone number. While no waiting lists are maintained, cancellations are rare but they can occur.
Consider visiting the park for a day
If the campgrounds you want to visit are booked, consider a day visit to the park for a picnic, hike or other outdoor recreation.
Consider April, May, September, and October
The "shoulder season" (April, May, September, and October) is a good time to enjoy California State Parks. The weather during these months is usually good.
National Park areas offer visitors a wide variety of adventures from historical and cultural experinces to natural wonders which can be seen nowhere else on earth. Explore the links below to learn more about National Parks in the Golden State.
Cabrillo National Monument
California National Historic Trail
Channel Islands National Park
Death Valley National Park
Devils Postpile National Monument
Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site
Fort Point National Historic Site
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
John Muir National Historic Site
Joshua Tree National Park
Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lava Beds National Monument
Manzanar National Historic Site
Mojave National Preserve
Muir Woods National Monument
Pinnacles National Monument
Point Reyes National Seashore
Pony Express National Historic Trail
Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial
Presidio of San Francisco
Redwood National and State Parks
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks
Whiskeytown National Recreation Area
Yosemite National Park
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Annual and Special Passes
1-800-777-0369, ext. 2
Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW)
For Aquatic Invasive Species inquiries, including the treatment of water hyacinth and egeria densa, please contact AIS@parks.ca.gov
Off-Highway Motor Vehicular Recreation Division (OHV)
Office of Historic Preservation
State Park Districts
District Office Contacts