OLYMPIA – May 27, 2020 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to enjoy three free days at state parks in June. On free days, visitors don’t need a Discover Pass for day-use visits by vehicle.
The first free day is Saturday, June 6, in recognition of National Trails Day. The next free day is Sunday, June 7, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Free Fishing Weekend. A Discover Pass will not be required on WDFW or Washington State Park lands throughout the Free Fishing Weekend but will be required both days on lands managed by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The third free day, Saturday, June 13, celebrates National Get Outdoors Day.
Though most Washington state parks have reopened for day use, the agency encourages visitors to minimize the spread of COVID-19 by recreating responsibly:
- Stay close to home.
- Know what’s open before heading out.
- Have a Plan B if a certain park is too crowded.
- Keep a social distance of at least 6 feet between households at viewpoints, picnic shelters and restrooms.
- Bring personal supplies such as soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper and face coverings.
- Pack out what is packed in.
The free days are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass. The pass costs $30 annually or $10 for a one-day permit and is required for vehicle access to state recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, WDFW and DNR. The Discover Pass legislation provided that State Parks could designate up to 12 free days when the pass would not be required for day-use visits to state parks. The free days apply only at state parks; the Discover Pass is still required on WDFW and DNR lands.
The remaining 2020 State Parks free days are as follows:
- Tuesday, Aug. 25 — National Park Service Birthday
- Saturday, Sept. 26 — National Public Lands Day
- Wednesday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
- Friday, Nov. 27 – Autumn Day
In addition, State Parks plans to reschedule the two free days in April lost to COVID-19 related closures.
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.
News media contact:
Toni Droscher, Communications Office, (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: 20-027