State parks adds two free days


The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has moved two free days that were lost in April due to Covid-19 related closures to later in the year. On Sunday, September 13 and Saturday, October 10, visitors will not need a Discover Pass for day use visits to state parks by vehicle, according to a press release by Washington State Parks. 

Parking at state parks for day use typically costs $10 for a one-day permit or $30 for a Discover Pass, which provides daytime access for a year. Overnight visitors in state parks are charged fees for camping and other overnight accommodations, and day access is included in the overnight fee. 

The added free days replace the spring free day, April 11, and Earth Day, April 22. The first make up free day, September 13, will celebrate a national movement to get every girl scout into a state park – Girl Scouts Love State Parks Weekend. The second, October 10, recognizes World Mental Health Day, which supports the participation of state parks in the nationwide ParkRx movement to help people access nature’s health benefits. 

The remaining 2020 state parks free days are:

• Tuesday, August 25 (National Park Service Birthday)

• Sunday, September 13 (Girls Scouts Love State Parks Day)

• Saturday, September 26 (National Public Lands Day) 

• Wednesday, November 11 (Veterans Day)

• Friday, November 27 (Autumn Day)

The free days apply only at state parks; a Discover Pass is still required on the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Natural Resources lands. 

The parks commission encourages visitors to engage in responsible recreation on free days and every other day to minimize the spread of Covid-19. 

Responsible recreation includes staying close to home, knowing what’s open before heading out, having a backup plan if a certain park is too crowded, following social distancing guidelines, packing out trash and bringing face coverings, hand sanitizer and other personal supplies.


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