Enjoy a day in America's great outdoors.  
(Entrance Only Fee-Free days for 2014 listed below)

Experience the beauty of nature, sleep under the stars,
 see seal pups, shoot the curls, reel in a winning catch,
enjoy a picnic, learn something new, and discover
California’s State Parks for yourself.

 America’s Best Idea – the national parks – gets even better this year with several entrance fee-free days at more than 100 national parks that usually charge entrance fees*. Mark your calendar for fee-free days this year:
  • Mark your calendar for these fee-free days in 2014  
      America's Best Idea - the national parks - is even better when it's free!
    • January 20
      Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
    • April 19-20
      five days during National Park Week
    • August 25
      National Park Service Birthday
    • September 27
      National Public Lands Day
    • November 11
      Veterans Day weekend

      And to make the fun even more affordable, many national park concessioners are joining the National Park Service in welcoming visitors on this summer’s fee free weekends with the their own special offers. Here’s a tip – many of your 392 national parks NEVER charge an entrance fee. So start  Planning Your Visit!

      *Fee waiver includes: entrance fees, commercial tour fees, and transportation entrance fees. Other fees such as reservation, camping, tours, concession and fees collected by third parties are not included unless stated otherwise.

      Our National Parks normally charges an entrance fee.
      Please before you make the trip verify information, call (559) 565-3730 for Kings Canyon & Sequoia National Park or (209) 372-0200 (press 3, then press 5) for Yosemite National Park

      Historic Sites Visitor Information Guide California’s Historic Sites
      Come visit California’s historic sites and learn about our State’s rich cultural history! From mansions, missions, and museums to parks, pioneers, and plazas; California has it all!
      Find Outdoor Recreation and Open Spaces Search Find Outdoor Recreation and Open Spaces Search
      It is important to enjoy the outdoors, regardless of where you go.   With our searchable map not only can you look for a State Park, but easily search for other park and open-space recreation opportunities.
      Day Hiker's Guide Trail Search Day Hiker's Guide Trail Search
      Come and explore popular day hikes in more than 150 state parks that are featured in the “Day Hiker’s Guide to California State Parks”.   (Published by The Trailmaster, Inc. © 2007)
      Camping Camping
      Enjoy a camp fire in the wilderness, get cozy in a Yurt on a mountain peak, sleep under the stars in the desert, or enjoy picturesque coastal views from a cottage on the beach.
      State Parks State Parks
      Experience the excitement of a class 3 rapid, soar over beautiful coastlands, reel in a record winning catch, or just enjoy a picnic with the family.
      State Beaches State Beaches
      Soak up the sun on the sand watch the waves, ride the infamous California surf, or satisfy your curiosity by finding the many tidepools.
      Historic Parks Historic Parks
      Witness legislation in action, learn about the fasicnating history and culture of California, or see the largest collection of antiques.
      State Reserves State Natural Reserves
      Watch the awe inspiring battles of male elephant seals, photograph animals in unparalled beauty, or give the next generation an appreciation for nature.
      State Vehicular Recreation State Vehicular Recreation
      Cruise the beach in your 4x4, kick up sand or take flight off some the best maintained jumps in the state.
      California Redwood Parks California Coastal Redwood Parks
      Travel through the northern California coast and experience the wonder of the ancient redwood forests.


      Most people know that the National Park Service cares for national parks, a network of nearly 400 natural, cultural and recreational sites across the nation.  The treasures in this system - the first of its kind in the world - have been set aside by the American people to preserve, protect, and share, the legacies of this land.

      People from all around the world visit national parks to experience America's story, marvel at the natural wonders, and have fun.  Places like the Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty, and Gettysburg are popular destinations, but so too are the hundreds of lesser know yet equally meaningful gems like Rosie the Riveter in California, Boston Harbor Islands in Massachusetts, and Russell Cave in Alabama.

      The American system of national parks was the first of its kind in the world, and provides a living model for other nations wishing to establish and manage their own protected areas.  The park service actively consults with these Nations, sharing what we've learned, and gaining knowledge from the experience of others.

      Beyond national parks, the National Park Service helps communities across America preserve and enhance important local heritage and close-to-home recreational opportunities.  Grants and assistance are offered to register, record and save historic places; create community parks and local recreation facilities; conserve rivers and streams and develop trails and greenways.

      In nearly 400 national parks and every hometown. It covers everything from the remnants of ancient civilizations to the boyhood homes of U.S. Presidents to the stirring sagas of hard-fought wars to the reverberations of one woman refusing to give up her seat on a bus. History is a part of who we were, who we are, and who we will be.

      Some historic places are easy to find because they have national park signs out front or brass plaques on the wall. Others take a little digging – sometimes quite literally (like archeological sites). These authentic places of history offer opportunities to experience where real history really happened. To trace the steps of a Civil War soldier on the battlefield at Gettysburg. To climb a 32-foot ladder to Balcony House and watch the morning light glide across this prehistoric cliff dwelling. To glimpse the desolation faced by more than 10,000 Japanese Americans confined at Manzanar during World War II.

      Set aside as national or state parks, designated as National Historic Landmarks, listed in the National Register of Historic Places or state registers, or recorded in measured drawings, large-format photography, and written histories by HABS/HAER/HALS, this nation recognizes historic places of triumph and tragedy…and 75-foot long wooden elephants.

      Copyright 2004 1000 Friends of Fresno