Washington State Parks Rules
Things to remember
Please observe State Park rules so that all park visitors may enjoy their visit. Please note that the following general park rules are not customized for each individual park, so not all rules will apply to all parks (for example, "campsites cannot be held for someone who might arrive later" only applies to parks with campgrounds).
Please report disturbances to park rangers; they are trained to help you resolve issues and concerns.
- Discover Pass: Beginning July 1, 2011, visitors to state parks will need to display the Discover Pass on their vehicles when visiting state recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The fine for not displaying the pass is $99. For information and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass website.
- Park hours vary depending on weather and season. However, all day-use areas close at dusk. Campers may enter parks until 10:00 p.m.
- Campground check-in begins at 2:30 p.m. Check-out is at 1 p.m.
- Campsites cannot be held for someone who might arrive later.
- Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., unless otherwise noted at the park. Engine-driven electric generators may be operated only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
- From April 1 through Sept. 30, the maximum length of stay in any one park is 10 days. From Oct. 1 through March 31, the maximum stay is 20 days.
- One camping party is allowed per site, with a maximum of eight people per site.
- Please use the trash cans and dumpsters to help keep parks clean. Recycling is encouraged in all Washington state Parks. In parks with a pack-it-in/pack-it-out program, visitors must carry out everything they have brought in.
- Please do not harm wild plants or animals. Feeding of wildlife is strictly prohibited.
- Wildlife, plants and all park buildings, signs and tables and other structures are protected; removal or damage of any kind is prohibited.
- Horses are allowed only in designated parks.
- Pets are allowed in most state parks, but must be under physical control at all times on a leash no more than eight feet long. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Pets are not permitted on designated swimming beaches.
- Pets are not allowed inside vacation houses, but are permitted in designated yurts/cabins.
- Smoking is not allowed inside vacation houses, yurts, cabins or other rustic structures.
- Glass bottles or metal cans are not allowed on swimming beaches.
- Alcoholic beverages are permitted only in designated campground and picnic areas.
- Fireworks are prohibited on all state public lands, including state parks and beaches that front state park lands.
- All Washington state laws are enforced in Washington state parks.
Commission rule making
Governor's Executive Order delays "non-critical" rulemaking
On Nov. 17, 2010, Gov. Chris Gregoire issued Executive Order 10-06 directing state agencies that report to her to suspend non-critical rule-making activities through the end of 2011. The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will participate by using the implementation criteria for Executive Order 10-06.
The files below include the Executive order issued by the Governor, implementation guidelines and a list of State Parks rules that have been suspended until December 2011.
|Executive Order 10-06.pdf||12/28/2010||91 kb|
|Implementation guidelines.pdf||07/21/2011||77 kb|
|List of State Parks suspended rules.pdf||11/28/2012||85 kb|
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission currently does not have any proposed rule changes under review.
Following are the proposed rules, emergency rules and permanent rules proposed or adopted since July 2008:
- Permanent rules affecting boating accident reporting
- Permanent rules affecting public records
- Permanent rules affecting moorage and use of marine and inland water facilities; background checks for job applicants, volunteers and independent contractors; public use of state park areas; and filming within state parks.
- Permanent rules affecting concessions and leases.
- Permanent rule change affecting restriction to resident requirement
- Permanent rule change affecting small scale mineral prospecting. For more information, review the Small Scale Prospecting Pilot Project report
- Permanent rule change affecting camping, peace and quiet, and fires and campfires.
Petition for adoption, amendment or repeal of a state administrative rule
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission may have administrative rules an individual or group wishes to petition the agency to adopt, amend or repeal. The agency will give consideration to all petitions and respond in 60 days. Please complete the Petition Administrative Rule form below, and e-mail it to Petition.Administrative.Rules@parks.wa.gov or
mail it to:
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road S.W.
Attn: Administrative Rules
Olympia, WA 98504
Petition Administrative Rule (PDF) 3/29/11