SACRAMENTO, Calif. November 20, 2017 – California State Parks is encouraging you to head outdoors and visit one of our many beautiful state parks this Thanksgiving holiday period. Our 280 park units which includes beaches, lakes, forests, deserts, off-highway vehicle recreation areas and historic preservation sites are open for Thanksgiving.

When you do head outdoors to our state parks, be sure to share your story by participating in this year’s #InventYourAdventure contest called “Every Adventure has a Story.” Just visit your favorite state park between November 24 to 26, 2017, and post a photo or video on Instagram, telling us why that park is special to you. Valid submissions are eligible to win one of six travel backpacks ($200) provided directly from Eagle Creek. Full details, including contest rules and regulations, can be found online at

Also, for the third consecutive year, California State Parks and the Save the Redwoods League teamed up to offer free day-use admission passes at more than 40 redwoods state parks for use on #RedwoodsFriday – Friday, November 24 (Black Friday). Passes are going fast so grab yours by visiting

If you are visiting our parks for the first time, be sure to plan ahead and take some extra precautions.

Outdoor Plan

Leave an itinerary of your trip with a family member or friend with information such as:

·         Name and age of hikers/campers.

·         Level of outdoors experience.

·         Trailhead or campsite name and location.

·         Time of departure and expected return.

·         Information about your gear such as tent color, outerwear color and vehicle make, model, color and license plate.

·         If heading to the snow, take tire chains.

Hiking Safety

·         Use the buddy system – hike with a friend or family member.

·         Drink and carry plenty of food and water (minimum of 1 quart every 2 hours).

·         Check the weather. Weather can change instantly.

·         Bring sunscreen and use it.

·         Dress appropriately. Bring layers of clothing. Wear appropriate shoes such as hiking boots and close-toed shoes.

·         Beware of wildlife. Never feed or touch wildlife.

California State Parks encourages carpooling with family and friends as some parks have limited parking spaces. For more safety tips, please visit the department’s website at