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Fee Free Days for 2012

Posted by Susan Elderkin at Oct 26, 2011 09:14 AM |
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Fee-Free Days for 2012 have been announced for national parks, national forests, national wildlife refuges and Bureau of Land Managment areas.

Mount Rainier hiker 150
Mount Rainier National Park will have 17 fee-free days in 2012. Photo by Eli Boschetto.
The U.S. Department of Interior has recently announced its fee-free days for 2012. These are days when entry fees are waived to encourage more people to get out and enjoy our public lands.

The fee-free days apply only to federal lands. In Washington, that includes Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks (North Cascades National Park is always free), all national forest lands, national wildlife refuges and Bureau of Land Management lands. These are areas that require a Northwest Forest Pass, Interagency Pass, park-specific pass or a federal day use pass.

However, these fee free days (at least at this writing) do NOT include Washington's state lands - state parks, DNR lands or state fish and wildlife areas where we currently hang a Discover Pass. Last year's Discover Pass legislation does allow for the agencies to establish fee-free days, so we they may be forthcoming.

Fee-Free Days for 2011-2012

National Park Service:

  • November 11-12, 2011 (final fee-free days of 2011)
  • January 14-16, 2012 (Martin Luther King weekend)
  • April 21-29 (National Park Week)
  • June 9, 2012 (Get Outdoors Day - not to be confused with National Trails Day on June 2)
  • September 29 (National Public Lands Day)
  • November 10-12 (Veteran's Day weekend)


U.S. Forest Service, National Wildlife Refuge and Bureau of Land Management:

  • November 11-12, 2011 (final fee-free days of 2011)
  • January 14-16, 2012 (Martin Luther King weekend)
  • June 9, 2012 (Get Outdoors Day - not to be confused with National Trails Day on June 2)
  • September 29 (National Public Lands Day)
  • November 10-12 (Veteran's Day weekend)
  • National Wildlife Refuges will also be free on October 14 in honor of National Wildlife Refuge Week.


Unsure about who manages the land where you like to hike and what pass you usually need? WTA has the most comprehensive information in the state on wta.org. Click through to learn more.

>> Recreation Pass Info - the scoop on all of the recreation passes for Washington.
>> Which Pass Do I Need? - if you can't decide which pass to buy, find your hiker profile in our Q&A.
>> Hike-Specific Pass Info - WTA's Hiking Guide, in most cases, tells you which pass is needed at the trailhead.

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