When are Washington State Parks Free?
Are you wondering when you can go to Washington State Parks or our area national parks for free? You need a one day or annual pass called a Discover WA Pass to use Washington State Parks, except for on these special free days when no pass is required! We have the list of all of this year’s free park dates so you can mark them on your calendar. We also have the free dates for national parks below, too!
Discover Pass Free Days
Washington State Parks offers several “free days” when a Discover Pass is not required to visit a state park. Following are the 2019 State Parks free days:
2019 State Parks Free Days
- Jan. 1 — First Day Hikes; New Year’s Day
- Jan. 21— Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- March 19 — State Park’s 105th birthday
- April 20— Spring day
- April 22 — Earth Day
- June 1 — National Trails Day
- June 8 — National Get Outdoors Day (State Parks and Fish & Wildlife free day)
- June 9 — Fishing Day (State Parks and Fish & Wildlife free day)
- Aug. 25 — National Park Service 102nd Birthday
- Sept. 28— National Public Lands Day
- Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
- Nov. 29— Autumn day
Please note, free days apply only to day use (not overnight stays or rented facilities). A Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by the Washington State Departments of Natural Resources and Fish & Wildlife on these days. Sno-Park permits are still required on free days at designated Sno-Parks during the winter season.
If you decide you want to purchase a Discover Pass, you can buy them online, from over 600 licensed vendors, from the Department of Licensing when you renew your license, at state parks where representatives are present, and at over 80 retail locations.
Two of our favorite South Sound Washington State Parks are Saltwater State Park in Des Moines and Dash Point State Park in Federal Way. Tolmie near Olympia and Kopachuck near Gig Harbor are also great. We’d love to hear about your favorites, too. Leave a comment and spill!
There are also some days when you can get free entry to national parks! Note that as of this writing, many national parks, including Mt. Rainier, are closed due to the partial government shutdown, so don’t go now, but do mark your calendar.
When Are The Fee Free Days at National Parks?
2019 Free Days at National Parks
- January 21st Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. bday
- April 20th First day of National Park Week
- August 25th National Park Service Birthday
- September 28th National Public Lands Day
- November 11th Veterans Day
More Great Ways To Enjoy The Outdoors For Free
4th Graders FREE to National Parks
In case you haven’t heard, the Every Kid in a Park Initiative is an amazing effort that allows all 2018-2019 4th graders and their families free access to national parks every day. You can use your free pass for everyone in the car, and it’s good all the way through August! An amazing deal! You can get more information and your pass, right here.
5th Grade Ski Passport
If you’ve got a 5th grader and are planning to travel to Eastern Washington or Northern Idaho, your child can get a FREE ski passport to ride or ski at participating slopes. Get all the info at the 5th Grade Ski Passport site.
What are some of your favorite state or national parks to enjoy with your kiddos?