California Slowly Reopening Parking Lots at State Parks and Beaches

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Kings Beach State Recreation Area, California, Tahoe, Truckee
Kings Beach State Recreation Area.

California is slowly beginning to reopen parking lots at a number of state parks. Over the weekend, lots quietly reopened at 27 state parks and beaches in a number of areas across the state.

Lots were partially reopened, offering no more than 50% capacity, at parks and beaches in Santa Cruz, San Benito, Sonoma, Riverside, and Orange counties, as well as in the Lake Tahoe Area, and other rural areas of the state.

As of yesterday, 36 of California’s 280 state parks remained closed. Parking lots had been closed as a way to reduce crowds at the parks and encourage local visitors only. California Governor Gavin Newsom ordered all state parks and beaches closed on May 1st to combat overcrowding and help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The state reopened lots after consultation with local and state health officials and still advises visitors not to travel across county lines, and to go only to their local parks, to reduce overcrowding until conditions continue to improve and more rules can be relaxed.

“We are still telling people to stay close to home. It’s important for everybody to do their part to help mitigate the spread of the virus.”

– Gloria Sandoval, deputy director of California’s state parks department

Anyone planning to visit a state park should first check online to see the latest rules and opening times. Beaches, for example, are only open between specific mid-week times with violators subject to $1,000 fines.

Guided tours, campgrounds, museums, and visitor centers remain closed at all state parks, although trails are open at many.

The state parks where parking lots have partially reopened, by county, are (thanks to Mercury News for the list):

Butte County

  • Lake Oroville State Recreation Area

El Dorado County

  • Ed Z’berg Sugar Pine Point State Park
  • Emerald Bay State Park
  • Folsom Lake State Recreation Area (also in Sacramento and Placer counties)
  • Lake Valley State Recreation Area
  • Washoe Meadows State Park

Kern County

  • Onyx Ranch State Vehicular Recreation Area

Nevada County

  • Donner Memorial State Park

Orange County

  • Bolsa Chica State Beach
  • Doheny State Beach
  • Huntington State Beach
  • San Clemente State Beach
  • Crystal Cove State Beach

Placer County

  • Auburn State Recreation Area
  • Kings Beach State Recreation Area

Riverside County

  • Lake Perris State Recreation Area

San Benito County

  • Hollister Hills State Vehicular Recreation Area

Santa Cruz County

  • Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
  • The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
  • Wilder Ranch State Park

Shasta County

  • McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park

Sonoma County

  • Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve
  • Austin Creek State Recreation Area
  • Jack London State Historic Park
  • Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
  • Trione-Annadel State Park

Tuolumne County

  • Columbia State Historic Park

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