Special day celebrates the National Park System’s 103rd birthday
NOTE: This news release was updated since it was originally posted. We needed to include the final free day of 2019, which is Friday, Nov. 29.
OLYMPIA – Aug. 5, 2019 – In recognition of the National Park System’s 103rd birthday, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is offering free entrance to state parks on Sunday, Aug. 25. Day-use visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit state parks by vehicle.
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.
While Washington State Parks and the National Park Service are different entities, the two agencies share a rich tradition of stewarding the lands they manage. Many state parks are located within an hour’s drive of Washington’s national parks, monuments and historical reserves and sites:
- Battle Ground Lake State Park, near Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
35 minutes by car
- Fort Townsend Historical State Park, near Olympic National Park
One hour by car
- Bogachiel State Park, near Olympic National Park
43 minutes by car
- Lime Kiln Point State Park, near San Juan Island National Historical Park
16 minutes by car
- Rockport and Rasar state parks, near North Cascades National Park
32 and 40 minutes by car
- Fort Ebey State Park and Fort Casey Historical State Park, near Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
10 minutes by car
- Federation Forest, Nisqually and Nolte state parks, near Mount Rainier National Park
40 minutes, 36 minutes and one hour by car
In addition, many Washington state parks are within the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail:
- Beacon Rock State Park
- Columbia Hills State Park
- Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park
- Lyons Ferry State Park
- Palouse Falls State Park
- Steamboat Rock State Park
- Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
- Yakima Sportsman State Park
For more information on special birthday events the National Park Service is planning, visit: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/npscelebrates/nps-birthday.htm
The remaining 2019 State Parks free days are:
- Saturday, Sept. 28 — National Public Lands Day
- Monday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
- Friday, Nov. 29 — Autumn free day
The Discover Pass provides daytime access to parks. Overnight visitors in state parks are charged fees for camping and other overnight accommodations, and day access is included in the overnight fee. For information about Discover Pass, visit www.DiscoverPass.wa.gov.
To find a Washington state park, visit: http://parks.state.wa.us/281/Parks
News media contacts:
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: 19-060