Choosing the Right Pass
determine which recreation passes to purchase and which one you will need at the trailhead with Washington Trails Association's Recreation Pass Info page, What Pass Do I Need F.A.Q. and Discover Pass F.A.Q.
If last week's passage of a new user fee for Washington state recreation lands has you scrambling to figure out which passes you'll need this summer, you're not alone.
Most hikers don't consider which agency manages the place where they are planning to go for a weekend day hike. Federal land or state land? National forest or national park? National wildlife refuge or state wildlife area? Most people don't know all of the land jurisdictions, and many don't care.
Well, plan for a tutorial as you determine which recreation passes to purchase and which one you will need at the trailhead. Here at Washington Trails Association, we are trying to get you the most accurate information about all of the recreation passes. Check out our Recreation Pass Info page to find out the difference between an America the Beautiful Interagency Pass, a Northwest Forest Pass, the new Discover Pass and more. We have what they cover and what they cost.
The Recreation Pass Info page has the facts. Now what if you have questions? What if you can't decide which passes you'll need and want some help? Then you'll want to peruse our What Pass Do I Need Q & A. Can you find your question among those that we answered here? We hope so. If not, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll do my best to answer it (and add it to our list).
Finally, how about that Discover Pass? It's good news that state parks and recreation areas in Washington will remain open this year (without the Discover Pass many were likely to be shuttered). But it's another pass to have to figure out, and it will be required starting July 1. We've attempted to demystify some of your questions in our Discover Pass F.A.Q. We don't have all of the answers yet (like where to buy the passes), but as soon as the agency lets us know, we'll be adding them to this page.
It is never fun to drive to a trailhead only to find out you don't have the correct pass and there is nowhere close to buy one. If you do a little planning this spring, your hikes this summer will be all that much more enjoyable - even if you have to fork over another $30 to hike at Mount Si or your favorite state park.