Here’s how some of Washington’s parks will observe the National Park Service’s Aug. 25 centennial.

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Washington’s national parks are marking the National Park Service’s Aug. 25 anniversary by offering free entry to all national parks Aug. 25-28. Other plans include:


Mount Rainier National Park

Saturday, Aug. 20, 8:30 p.m. Take a lantern tour at Longmire and meet re-enactors dressed up as people who explored, settled, climbed and protected Mount Rainier more than 100 years ago. The free 75-90 minute Shadows of the Past tour starts outside the National Park Inn, departing every 20 minutes beginning at 8:30 pm, with the last tour beginning at 9:30 p.m. Park entry fee of $25 per car applies.

Aug. 25, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Join park employees and volunteers throughout the park for special activities, demonstrations and volunteer service projects on the National Park Service’s 100th birthday.

The focus at Longmire will be on the park’s heritage; at Ohanapecosh on Junior Rangers; at Paradise on the work done by park employees and partners, and at Sunrise on park science.

The public is invited to volunteer at Longmire and Paradise. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Longmire Museum, for a campground maintenance project, or at Paradise, outside the Jackson Visitor Center near the Muir staircase, for trail upkeep. Equipment will be provided; bring work gloves.

Aug. 25-28. For free-entry days, park officials caution that the park is experiencing extremely high visitation and long wait times at the Nisqually and White River entrances, with congested roads and crowded parking lots in the park. To avoid the worst congestion, visit on weekdays and arrive in early morning or late afternoon.

Aug. 27, 8:45 p.m., Centennial star party, Paradise. Program begins in the Paradise Inn lobby followed by stargazing outside Jackson Visitor Center, 9:30-11:30 p.m.

More information: 360-569-2211 or


Olympic National Park

Through Aug. 28, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Send a birthday card to the National Park Service. Cards and a special ranger-cabin mailbox for posting wishes at Kalaloch Ranger Station.

Aug. 23, Paint the Peninsula artists at work; locations throughout the park.

Aug. 24, Paint the Peninsula artist demonstrations. Watch and talk with plein-air artists: Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center Terrace, 9 and 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.; Storm King Ranger Station and Lake Crescent Lodge, 3 p.m.

Aug. 25:

• Paint the Peninsula artist demonstrations, Storm King Ranger Station and Lake Crescent Lodge.

• Drop-in birthday party and activities at Storm King Ranger Station, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., with live singer/guitarist in the afternoon.

More on National Parks

Sitka valerian blooms in heather meadows along the trail to Cascade Pass in North Cascades National Park. (Erika Schultz/The Seattle Times)

• Professional storytellers at NatureBridge Campus on Lake Crescent, 7 p.m. Free. Stories of parks and people; also share your own story. Birthday cake and refreshments.

• Centennial program, Kalaloch Campground Amphitheater, 8-9 p.m. History of the park and the park service. Birthday cake.

Aug.27, Centennial Olympics, 1-4 p.m. Games and activities at Kalaloch Ranger Station.

More information: 360-565-3130 or


North Cascades National Park

Aug. 21, Sept. 5: Join photographer Andy Porter, who lives in the North Cascades, on a photo tour to discover some of the more remote (and not so remote) corners of North Cascades National Park.

More information: 360-854-7200 or


San Juan Island National Historical Park

Aug. 25, 2 p.m.: The Lummi and Saanich Nations will dedicate a Reef Net Captain totem pole and two salmon story boards to the park to mark the National Park Service’s centennial. A public ceremony will be at 2 p.m. at English Camp, the spiritual site of the tribes’ ancestors’ village at Pe’pi’ow’elh. Vendors will be on-site until 6 p.m. with local food, artwork, and information about the San Juan Islands. Free.

More information: 360-378-2240 or