Veteran's Day Fee-Free Weekend Adventures
Hike through military history on Veteran's Day fee-free weekend. The Admirality Lighthouse on Fort Casey. Photo by Bob and Barb.
This weekend, federal and state public lands agencies are honoring veterans and service members for Veteran's Day by waiving all fees from Nov. 9-11. So, when you head to the hills or the coast this weekend, you can park at trailheads or recreation facilities without hanging a Northwest Forest Pass or Discover Pass or paying an entrance fee.
It's the perfect excuse to extend your hiking season and get outside. Below are a few great ways to celebrate veterans and get outside.
Visit a State Park
It's a fee-free day in State Parks, so you won't need a pass to visit any number of great parks near you.
Hike through military history. What better way to honor veterans than on a stroll at Fort Casey State Park or Fort Flagler State Park. Fort Ebey or Fort Worden State Park also have their fair share of history and hiking to enjoy.
Wildlife watching. Bring you binoculars and a camera and go in search of elk, owls, eagles or mountain goats in any number of state parks around the state. Where wildlife are likely to be.
Weather-proof camping in a cabin. Many of the State Parks have cabins, yurts or platform tents to help extend your camping season.
- Combine wildlife watching and camping in a cabin at Dosewallips State Park, Copalis River Spit in Griffiths-Priday State Park and Potholes Wildlife Area.
Visit a National Park
Pack an extra fleece, grab your camera and a thermos of hot chocolate or spiced cider, and explore one of the three National Parks here in Washington.
Facilities open within Mount Rainier National Park during this holiday include the National Park Inn at Longmire (lodging and meals) and the Longmire General Store (gifts and food items). Visitor information is available at the Longmire Information Center. The Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise will be open on Saturday and Sunday only.
This time of year, there are some road closures and chain restrictions on some roads, so check their website and road conditions before you head out for a Rainier adventure.
If you want to combine a little camping with your hiking, Olympic National Park has some campgrounds open year-round. You can put the money you save on entrance fee toward your campsite fee and hike for two or three days in a row.
There's never an entrance fee to North Cascades National Park, but a three day weekend is still a great chance to get a glimpse of these dramatic peaks covered in snow. Most of the trails in North Cascades National Park have some snow on them, but Thunder Creek is a beautiful, low-elevation trail that is often snow free late in the season. And you don't mind braving some cold, you get a night away by car camping in one or two campgrounds in North Cascades, too.
Hike on National Forest Lands
From the snow-covered trails in the Colville National Forest to river hikes Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, there are no shortage of trails to explore, fee-free, this weekend.
Wherever your outdoor adventures take you, go prepared, stay safe and have a great time hiking!