One of the positives to come out of the pandemic is an increased interest in the great outdoors. Outdoor gear and RV sales are booming, and many people are flocking to the state parks to camp for the first time. If you’re new to state park camping, read on for some helpful tips.
Reservations & Check-in
Reservations are an absolute must – hopefully you already got those secured! For popular destinations, you will want to make reservations as soon as they open. Check in procedures will vary by campground, but typically campsite check-in opens at 2:30pm and check-out is at 1pm. Early arrival is generally not encouraged. Staff and volunteers need time to clean and prepare your campsite. If you’re early, a discover pass will allow you to park in the [...]
Visit National Parks with your four-legged friends
Many of us love to bring our dogs along for our outdoor adventures. Many of the national parks allow your four-legged friends to travel with you. Not only that, but they encourage your dog to become a BARK ranger. BARK rangers are the best kind of visitors to national parks.
Becoming a BARK ranger
Becoming a BARK ranger is all about knowing how to behave in national parks. When bringing your dog along, always remember to BARK.
Bag your pets waste. Nobody following behind you wants to hike through your pets waste. Forget your bag? Most National Parks have them available to make sure they stay clean.
Always leash your pet. It doesn’t matter how well behaved your dog is, we all have our moments. For [...]
This summer you can add a little adventure to your State Park visit with a simple app. Adventure Lab is a free location-based digital treasure hunt for all ages. The app is designed similar to existing geocaching activities, and will guide you throughout 10 Washington state parks in Island county as you solve questions using physical features within the landscape. With this new kind of interactive experience, you can safely discover the world around you while touching only your mobile phone.
How do I participate?
All you need to do to participate is download the app onto your phone! Once in the app, you simply need to scroll down the lists of parks to find the one you’re visiting. Signing up is simple. [...]
Are you someone who can’t spend enough time in the many beautiful State Parks in Washington? Consider being paid to help take care of your favorite places this summer! The state parks are now in the process of hiring park aides and senior park aides for summer 2021.
The many benefits of being a park aide
Each summer, State Parks employs 400 park aides and 45 senior park aides to work the busy season, which runs from April through September. Park aides register campers, maintain trails, clean campgrounds and comfort stations and perform a variety of custodial maintenance chores. They also may work in park offices, interact with visitors and help with interpretive and educational programs.
There is nothing worse than planning for an adventure at a state park, only to arrive and discover that conditions are not what you were hoping for. Fortunately, many state parks have now installed live webcams. You can hop onto the park’s website to see exactly what things look like at the park right now. Wondering if there’s still a lot of snow at Lake Wenatchee? Simply visit the website and check out the camera.
Parks with Webcams
Cama Beach Historical State Park
Moran State Park
Wallace Falls State Park
In addition, you can find webcams for many other popular Washington destinations on Northwest Webcams.
Other useful tools on the State Park website
The State Park website also has many other tools to help you plan your next adventure. [...]
Is winter dragging by for you? Are you looking for a fun activity for the family, or a date with that special someone? A guided snow shoe tour at Lake Easton can provide fun, exercise, and beautiful scenery all wrapped up into one.
Lake Easton is located off I-90 between North Bend and Ellensburg, and is just an hour and a half drive from Wenatchee. The park boasts basic snowshoeing terrain, enthusiastic park guides and beautiful views.
Guided Snowshoe Tours
There are several opportunities in February to take a guided snowshoe tour at Lake Easton. Snowshoe hikes start promptly at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on the following Saturdays and Sundays: Feb. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28. That’s right [...]
Are you looking to get out safely, and yet stay relatively close to home? Lake Wenatchee offers the perfect solution for winter recreation. It’s just a short drive away, and yet it offers everything from cross country skiing to snowshoeing to sledding to winter camping (with hot showers!). It’s the perfect winter playground for those of us in Central Washington.
Two parts, one park
The scenic, gentle-flowing Wenatchee River cuts the park into two sections, aptly named North Park and South Park. The northern half of the park is more RV-friendly, particularly to those traveling in big rigs, and offers partial hookups. The southern half is ideal for primitive tent camping, and while it lacks full hookup options, it does offer some unique amenities for avid adventurers.
Traditionally, State Parks have offered First Day Hikes for people to gather and recreate together on the first of the year. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, this year there are no formal State Park First Day hikes. However, this doesn’t mean you’re stuck indoors! We challenge you to choose your own First Day outdoor adventure.
Free Park Day
January 1st is the first State Parks free day of 2021. That means you won’t need a Discover Pass to park when you, your family and /or household visit a park for the day. It’s a great day to visit one of the many State Parks for a hike, paddle, cycle, skiing excursion, snowshoe trek or horseback ride. Just stay with your household [...]
The Washington State Parks Winter Recreation Program reminds winter recreation enthusiasts that Sno-Park permits will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 1.
Sno-Park permits allow visitors to park in specially cleared, designated parking lots with access to areas around the state for cross-country skiing, skijoring, fat-tire biking, snowmobiling, snow biking, dog sledding, snowshoeing, tubing, snow play and other winter recreation activities.
Keeping it simple
Last year, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill to simplify the rules regarding Sno-Park permits. As a result, the Discover Pass is no longer required to accompany the daily Sno-Park permit in Sno-Parks on State Parks property. (These areas are Crystal Springs, Easton Reload, Fields Spring, Hyak, Lake Easton, Lake Wenatchee, Pearrygin Lake and Mount Spokane.)
Seasonal Sno-Park permit holders were already exempted from displaying the Discover Pass at Washington State [...]
Living the RV life in Washington State Parks: Travelers find a pandemic-era bubble in nature
As 2020 unrolled with all its restrictions, many travelers scrapped traditional vacation plans. Many people looked to nature and camping for the first time. Most sought to salvage their summer while staying safe from COVID-19.
Enter the recreational vehicle.
In 2020 RV sales increased by 7.1% over 2019 – even with COVID-related factory closures – with more than 80% being first-time buyers. Rentals also skyrocketed – 650% over 2019! Due to this surge, RV sites at many Washington state parks stayed full all summer.
State Park RV Camping Tips from a Veteran
Dave Helgeson belongs to a five-generation RV family. He reminds RVers to book state parks in advance, as utility sites fill fast.