Share story

To celebrate spring and Earth Day, Washington State Parks and Recreation will allow park visitors free admission to state parks on two Saturdays this month, while national parks mark National Park Week with free entry this weekend and next.

The first free day for state parks is this Saturday (April 15) to honor springtime, and the next one is April 22 in honor of Earth Day. On free days, visitors don’t need a Discover Pass for day-use visits by vehicle.

National parks that charge admission fees, including Mount Rainier and Olympic parks, will waive the usual $25-per-vehicle fee on April 15-16 and 22-23.

The special days in Washington’s state parks are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass. Each yearly pass costs $30 or a one-day permit is $10, allowing daytime access to parks. They are required for vehicle access to state recreation lands managed by State Parks, state Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

For the state agencies, these free days only apply at state parks; the Discover Pass is still required on state Fish and Wildlife and DNR lands.

Other State Parks free days are: June 3 for National Trails Day; June 10 for National Get Outdoors Day; Aug. 25 for National Park Service 101st Birthday; Sept. 30 for National Public Lands Day; Nov. 11 for Veterans Day; and Nov. 24 for autumn free day.

Overnight visitors in state parks are charged separate fees for camping and other overnight accommodations; and day access is included in the overnight fee.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. Details: www.DiscoverPass.wa.gov.