Play in 100+ State Parks This Winter
Washington State Parks just released their winter schedule, and more than 60 state parks will be open daily. More than 100 will be partially open during the winter. Get your Discover Pass, download the schedule and visit one of 9 lesser known state parks this winter.
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission just released their winter schedule, and more than 60 state parks will be open daily. More than 100 will be at least partially open during the winter. Even many campgrounds will stay open if you need a night out under the stars.
For hikers, trail-runners and outdoor enthusiasts, that's great news. Washington's state park system (one of the largest in the country) is a treasure trove of diverse landscapes, hiking trails and wildlife.
Three steps to enjoying state parks this winter
Step 1. Get your Discover Pass
If you don't have one already, get your Discover Pass. The Discover Pass is a $30 annual vehicle pass (or $10 day pass) that provides recreational access to Washington's first-class park system and helps directly fund the state parks (which have had their general fund budget cut drastically in recent years—from 98 million dollars in 2007 to 17 million dollars in 2011).
>> Learn more about recreation passes.
Step 2. Check out what's open
Bookmark or download the winter schedule [PDF] and keep it in your car or on your fridge. It will tell you where you can camp, hike, and which services (like restrooms and interpretive centers) will be open.
Step 3. Nine new hikes to try
With more than 100 choices, it's hard to know where to start. Well, we've compiled a few suggestions to save in your My Backpack on wta.org.
>> Visit nine lesser known state parks or tackle these 10 more popular ones.
Share your state park experiences
If you hike in a state park, file a Trip Report after you get back. Let other hikers know how the trails were, what the weather was like, what wildlife to look out for, and any other details you like to have before you hike.
Have a favorite state park hike? Share it right now in the comments section below.