Enjoy Washington’s best nature trails during free days at Washington parks. In 2021, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is offering outdoor enthusiasts 12 free days to get out and see the wild side of the Evergreen State.
Access to Washington State Parks typically requires a yearly Discover Pass, or a day use fee of $10. On select days in 2021, entrance fees will be waived at Washington State Parks that usually charge a day-use fee. Sno-Park permits are still required on free days at designated Sno-Parks during the winter season.
Though most Washington state parks have reopened for day use, the parks department encourages visitors to maintain social distancing with these tips in mind:
- Stay close to home.
- Know what’s open before heading out.
- Have a backup plan 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.
2021 free days at Washington State Parks
- Jan. 1 — First Day Hikes; New Year’s Day
- Jan. 18 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- March 19 — State Parks’ 108th Birthday
- April 3 — Springtime free day
- April 22 — Earth Day
- June 5 — National Trails Day
- June 12 — National Get Outdoors Day
- June 13 — Free Fishing Day
- Aug. 25 — National Park Service Birthday
- Sept. 25 — National Public Lands Day
- Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
- Nov. 26 — Autumn free day
Washington State Parks near Portland
Located east of Vancouver, the park is part of the Columbia River Water Trail and features an active heron colony on the southwest side of the island. Stop by for a picnic and bird watching on the waterfront.
When you drive through the Gorge, you can’t miss Beacon Rock. The rock is actually the core of an ancient volcano. Best of all, you can hike to the top of it. Beacon Rock State Park includes several trails for hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use.
With two miles of trails, a long sandy beach and a disc golf course, Paradise Point is a great place to visit year round. On misty mornings, the park takes on a wetland scene and makes for a picturesque stroll.
Who doesn’t want to spend a day at the lake? The 280-acre park offers hiking, biking and horse trails as well as an incredible spring-fed lake for swimmers and paddlers.
Located along the Columbia River Gorge, this park is one of the premiere windsurfing sites. It is a great spot to watch these incredible athletes ride the waterway, sink your toes in the sand and take in a wonderful view of the Gorge.
This 3,637-acre park has features four sites with a range of outdoor experiences. Come for the rock climbing, swimming, hiking and sight-seeing at Horsethief Lake, Horsethief Butte, Crawford Oaks Trailhead and Dalles Mountain Ranch.
For more information about free days at Washington State Parks, visit their website.
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