Washington state parks offer a wide variety of interpretive opportunities. Connect with Washington's rich heritage - People watching a man lighting a fire.attend an interpretive program, take a nature hike or visit a heritage site, and let the unknown become known.

Discover Washington's heritage

Washington is rich in natural and human history. A few examples include its vast Native American heritage, the journey of the Lewis and Clark Expedition down the Snake and Columbia rivers in 1805, Northwest Coastal Defense history from the Civil War era through World War II, evidence of huge Ice Age floods and many more geological wonders. Learn more about Washington's heritage through virtual tours. As more virtual tours are developed, they will be included here.

Lewis & Clark's journey through Washington

Captain Meriwether Lewis and his co-commander, William Clark, were appointed by President Thomas Jefferson to explore the unknown Northwest Territory and find a navigable passage to the Pacific Ocean. The Expedition left its 1803-1804 winter camp near St. Louis on May 14, 1804. They completed their journey to the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805. Learn more about their trip and park sites they passed through.

Ice Age floods in Washington

Ice Age Floods

Washington's Channeled Scabland is like no other place in the world. See for yourself how the largest floods known to the planet shaped this extraordinary landscape and reshaped the Columbia River Gorge and beyond. By car, bike, horse or foot, there are several Washington state parks that offer unique opportunities to explore the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail in Washington.

Places to go - interpretive centers

Several Washington state parks feature interpretive and visitor centers, museums and many heritage sites that illustrate significant chapters of Washington's heritage. Learn more about planning a trip to a Washington state park interpretive center or heritage site.

Things to do - interpretive programs & activities

Planning trip to a Washington state park? Many parks offer interpretive programs and activities to be enjoyed by children and adults. Please see individual park pages for details, driving directions and other information.

Collections management

Washington State Parks is responsible for the management of thousands of historic objects and photographs that represent tangible links to Washington's diverse heritage. The management of collections requires thoughtful decision making that ensures appropriate public access while protecting and preserving them for future generations. Washington State Parks collections are maintained for use in interpretive displays, research and publications. For more information regarding Washington State Parks collections, please email Cultural Resources.

Contact information

For more information about the Interpretation Program, email our interpretation staff or call (360) 902-8650.