What's your idea of fun? Whether it's birdwatching, boating or basketball, mushing
sled dogs or digging for clams, you'll find a place to pursue your passion in Washington's
many state parks.
Fees, regulations, safety tips and other useful information for boaters in Washington
Information on Sno-Parks and permits for snowmobilers, snowshoers, dog sledders and
cross-country skiers. Includes information on trail signs and winter wildlife, too.
Fishing, beachcombing, sailboarding, kayaking, scuba diving and more.
We've got trails for hikers, horses and mountain bikers, too. We've even got water
trails for folks who paddle their own canoes.
Follow the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, marvel at lands shaped by Ice Age floods or
discover a primordial marsh in modern suburbia. From self-guided nature trails to full-scale
interpretive centers, your exploration of our state's human and natural history starts here.
Field and Team Sports
Bring mom and dad for a game of golf, or bring the whole volleyball team. We've got ball
diamonds, tennis and badminton courts, soccer fields, horseshoes and hoops.
And Just About Everything Else
Here are just a few of the many other activities that you can enjoy in Washington state parks.
Bird and Wildlife Watching
From starfish and limpets in tidepools to coyotes, weasels and elk, watchable wildlife is
everywhere in Washington state parks. Watch for seals and migrating gray whales from the beach
at Westport Light, or head to Rasar in the off-season to see the bald eagles that winter along the
Skagit River. Palouse Falls, a grassy oasis for wildlife in the southeastern Washington desert,
has yellow-bellied marmots, cottontail rabbits, prairie falcons and swans. Check individual park
listings for details on "featured creatures" found in each state park.
Challenging rock-climbing areas are found inside or close to nearly a dozen state parks. Popular
climbing locations include the 200-foot sandstone spires of Peshastin Pinnacles – with sweeping
views of the Cascade Range and Wenatchee River Valley below – and historic Beacon Rock above
the lower Columbia River.
Paragliding is permitted at Fort Ebey State Park. All paragliders must register with Washington
State Parks and comply with posted regulations.
All-Terrain Vehicle Riding
Riverside State Park near Spokane offers a 600-acre area for dirt bikes and off-road vehicles.
Amenities include restroom, picnic shelter, parking and public phone.
Metal detecting is permitted at more than 60 state parks throughout Washington. Users of metal
detectors must register first with Washington State Parks and comply with posted regulations. The
registration form, rules and a list of parks that allow detecting may be found in the brochure
"Metal Detecting in Washington state parks,"
available from park rangers or by calling (360) 902-8500; Washington Telecommunications Relay
Service (800) 833-6388.
Metal detecting areas vary in each park. Some parks allow detecting in developed public-use areas
and unoccupied campsites, other parks allow detecting in specific areas only. To view or print maps
showing areas open to metal detecting, visit the park map page.
Geocaching, also known as GPS Stash Hunt or GeoStash, involves "hiding" items, usually containers
holding various "treasures" and then providing specific Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) coordinates
for each "cache" on a website. The following directive includes instructions for applying for a
permit, what materials may be "hidden" and areas geocaching is allowed.
Directive 06-01: Geocaching, letterboxing and related activities
(76kb MS Word file)