Zmudowski Beach with photoshopped driftwood. Photo by Jim Bahn ( under Creative Commons licensing.

The walking dead: Only 5 parks now set to close July 1

Update 6/30: Only one park will be closed on July 1, a park that is already closed. Get the latest update here.

Photo credit: Zmudowski Beach with Photoshopped driftwood by Jim Bahn

While not a complete victory, the latest news about California state park closures is heartening. For the timebeing only 5 parks will be closing on July 1 thanks to a legislative reprieve that will buy some time for the state to finalize some 25 park deals still under discussion.

According to an Associated Press article, 40 parks will be kept open through deals with communities, nonprofits and others, while another 25 parks are currently under discussion for similar deals. In addition bond funds have been allocated for parks to make upgrades that should increase revenues. All in all, it’s good news.

In honor of what we are losing, here’s a summary of the five parks that remain on the walking dead list. It’s worth noting while closure means services will be stopped, it doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t still be able to walk out on, say, a beach. Just pack your trash out if you do.

Have you been to one of the state parks’ walking dead? Talk about it in the comments or post your photos on our Facebook page.

The state parks’ walking dead

Listed roughly north to south.

Benicia State Recreation Area

Benicia State Recreation Area covers marsh, grassy hillsides and rocky beaches along the narrowest portion of the Carquinez Strait.
Cyclists, runners, walkers, equestrians, and roller skaters enjoy the park’s 2 1/2 miles of road and bike paths.
[Read more from the state park site]

Gray Whale Cove State Beach

The beach (a.k.a. Devil’s Slide) features a sheltered cove surrounded by cliffs that drop abruptly into the Pacific Ocean. A steep trail leads down to the beach. There is a small picnic area on the bluff above. Gray whales can often be seen close to the shore.
[Read more from the state park site]

California Mining and Mineral Museum

‘There’s gold in the hills of California!’ These words echoed around the world in 1848 and started a mass migration to the wilderness of interior California… You are invited to discover for yourself California’s mineral wealth, colorful history and geologic diversity as you view the official mineral collection of the state of California.
[Read more from the state park site]

Zmudowski State Beach

The beach is a popular fishing area, featuring perch, kingfish, sole, flounder, halibut, bocaccio (tomcod), jacksmelt, lingcod, cabezon, salmon, steelhead and occasional rockfish. The beach features the Pajaro River estuary, where a natural preserve has been set aside.
[Read more from the state park site]

Providence Mountains State Recreation Area

Providence Mountains State Recreation Area is located on the east side of the Providence Mountain range and has dramatic views of the surrounding Mojave Desert. The lower elevations feature many varieties of cactus and yucca in a creosote scrub habitat. The bright red rhyolite in the higher elevations are home to bighorn sheep and pinyon pines.” [Read more on the state park site]

Have you been to one of the state parks’ walking dead? Talk about it in the comments or post your photos on our Facebook page.