The unprecedented move to offer complimentary passes to California state parks on Black Friday - in an effort that was first inspired by REI to get people out of the malls and into the woods - has been so popular, that 31 parks are now out of the freebies.
Save the Redwoods spokeswoman Jennifer Benito said Tuesday that guests can still show up at any one of those 31 parks, but they'll simply have to pay the entrance fees. As of Wednesday, there were still 18 state parks that had enough free passes to hand out, she said. A total of 4,900 people had downloaded the free passes so far.
"I'm pleasantly surprised," Benito said. "It's amazing, it's great to see."
The San Francisco nonprofit decided last week to offer the free passes at 49 of the state's redwood parks this year after being inspired by REI's bold move in October. The outdoor gear company decided to pay its employees to take the day off and go outdoors, instead of working, on the day after Thanksgiving - a traditional shopping day in the United States. The Save the Redwoods League had long wanted to offer such a deal, Benito said, but was able to do so this year because of an anonymous $50,000 donation, which covers a large part of the cost.
Since REI's announcement affecting more than 140 stores across the country, Minnesota, Missouri and the East Bay Regional Park District also have offered free Black Friday entrances, urging people to #OptOutside.
Visitors can download the remaining free passes to the California state parks here.
These parks have reached their free pass limit:
Annadel State Park
Andrew Molera State Park
Armstrong Redwoods State Park
Austin Creek State Recreation Area
Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Butano State Park
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Castle Rock State Park
Forest of Nisene Marks State Park
Fort Ross State Historic Park
Garrapata State Park
Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park
Hendy Woods State Park
Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park
Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Jack London State Historical Park
Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park
Limekiln State Park (not participating in this event because the park’s trails are undergoing improvements)
Mendocino Headlands State Park
Mount Tamalpais State Park
Patrick’s Point State Park
Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Portola Redwoods State Park
Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park
Russian Gulch State Park
Salt Point State Park
Samuel P. Taylor State Park
Sonoma Coast State Park
Wilder Ranch State Park
To check out the full list of state parks, click the map below. To download a free pass, click here.