Agency sets 12 free day-use visits next year
OLYMPIA – Oct. 17, 2018 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will again offer 12 free days next year, in which day-use visitors won’t need a Discover Pass to visit state parks by vehicle. The first free day of 2019 is New Year’s Day, Jan. 1.
State Parks free days are in keeping with 2011 legislation that created the Discover Pass, which costs $30 annually or $10 for a one-day visit. The pass is required for vehicle access to state recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Discover Pass legislation directed State Parks to designate up to 12 free days when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The free days apply only at state parks; the Discover Pass is still required on WDFW and DNR lands.
“We think the State Parks free days are a great way for people to try a new park or visit an old favorite,” said State Parks Director Don Hoch.
State Parks, in coordination with WDFW, will once again offer a free day on Sunday, June 9, as part of WDFW’s Free Fishing Weekend. This day, combined with the June 8 free day for National Get Outdoors Day, will give visitors an entire weekend to explore state parks for free.
The 2019 State Parks free days are:
- Tuesday, Jan. 1 — First Day Hikes; New Year’s Day
- Monday, Jan. 21 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- Tuesday, March 19 — State Parks’ 106th Birthday
- Saturday, April 20 — Springtime free day
- Monday, April 22 — Earth Day
- Saturday, June 1 — National Trails Day
- Saturday, June 8 — National Get Outdoors Day
- Sunday, June 9 — Free Fishing Day
- Sunday, Aug. 25 — National Park Service Birthday
- Saturday, Sept. 28 — National Public Lands Day
- Monday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
- Friday, Nov. 29 — Autumn free day
For more information about the Discover Pass, visit: www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
Find a park here: http://parks.state.wa.us/281/Find-a-park
Winter recreation permit requirements
The free days do not apply to Sno-Parks. During the winter season, visitors to Sno-Parks will need Sno-Park permits, which are available for purchase online or from vendors throughout the state. For more information about winter recreation permit requirements, visit: parks.state.wa.us/winter.
News media contacts:
Virginia Painter, (360) 902-8562
Toni Droscher, (360) 902-8604
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
News release number: 18-064