These two days in January are the best days to visit WA State Parks

Dec 18 2020, 10:13 am

Throughout the year, Washington State Parks hosts free days when the Discover Pass is not required to visit a state park.

The first free day of 2021 is taking place on January 1 in honor of the First Day Hike when Washingtonians are urged to enjoy the first day of the year in nature. Followed by January 18, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

The free passes apply only to day use, not overnight stays or rented facilities. A Discover Pass will still be required to access lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The Discover Pass is only necessary for motor vehicles and isn’t needed if you want to access the parks by boat or non-motorized means.

The pass was created in 2011 to offset steep reductions in general tax support for parks and other recreation lands and facilities. When you buy the pass, you’re helping to keep the state’s outdoor recreation sites open and accessible to the public.

There are two pass options: a $30 annual pass, good for one year from the date of purchase, or a $10 day pass.

The 2021 State Parks free days are as follows:

  • Friday, January 1 — First Day Hikes; New Year’s Day
  • Monday, January 18 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  • Friday, March 19 — State Parks’ 108th Birthday
  • Saturday, April 3 — Springtime free day
  • Thursday, April 22 — Earth Day
  • Saturday, June 5 — National Trails Day
  • Saturday, June 12 — National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sunday, June 13 — Free Fishing Day
  • Wednesday, August 25 — National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, September 25 — National Public Lands Day
  • Thursday, November 11 — Veterans Day
  • Friday, November 26 — Autumn free day
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