Category: Parks

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Lake Wenatchee Winter Offerings Get out, Stay close

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.

In the winter, [...]

Choose a first day adventure - get outside January 1st No formal first day hikes

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 [...]

Sno-Park Permits

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 [...]

RV Camping finds a Pandemic Surge 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.

“With state parks, [...]

Free June Park Days

Excited to get out and enjoy State Parks again? In June you have three opportunities to do so for free! The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission invites the public to enjoy three free days at state parks in June. On free days, visitors don’t need a Discover Pass for day-use visits by vehicle.

The first free day is Saturday, June 6, in recognition of National Trails Day. The next free day is Sunday, June 7, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s (WDFW) Free Fishing Weekend. A Discover Pass will not be required on WDFW or Washington State Park lands throughout the Free Fishing Weekend but will be required both days on lands managed by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The third free day, Saturday, June 13, celebrates National Get Outdoors Day.
Though most Washington [...]

#RecreateResponsible

If we’ve learned anything the past few months it’s how vital the outdoors is to our physical, emotional and mental health. Fortunately, trails and parks have begun to open up again. We want to see them remain open, which means it’s important to #recreateresponsibly as we head back to the great outdoors.

The newly formed Washington Recreate Responsibly Coalition has put together six simple tips to follow as we enjoy our natural surroundings in the time of coronavirus. Following these tips will help prevent the spread of the virus.

Tip #1: Know before you go

Before you head out for your adventure, check to make sure your destination is open. If it is closed, simply don’t go. If you arrive and it’s very crowded, opt for a plan B. This means you should have a plan B [...]

Virtually Visit National Parks from the comfort and safety at home Visit parks without leaving home

Due to the rapid spread of Covid-19 throughout the nation, many of us our currently under stay at home orders. Travel has temporarily been put on hold, and for the sake of our own and our fellow citizens’ health we’re trying to stay within the walls of our own homes. However, Google Earth has put together virtual tours of many National Parks to help those of us with wanderlust. Now is the perfect time to take a virtual tour of National Parks – and make a plan for the ones you want to visit in person in the future.

As you take your virtual tours of National Parks, make sure to make a list of the breath-taking vistas that you determine you [...]

Summer Camping Reservations

Think it’s too early to start thinking about that summer camping itinerary? Think again! Many of the most popular state park camping locations can be reserved now – and will fill up quick.

Beacon Rock State Park

Beacon Rock State Park is one park that just recently opened its campsites for reservations. Formerly only a first come first serve park, Beacon Rock State park is a popular destination located in the heart of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Beacon Rock itself is the core of an ancient volcano. The park includes 9,500 feet of freshwater shoreline on the Columbia River and more than 26 miles of roads and trails open to hiking, mountain biking and equestrian use.

Reservations at Beacon Rock

If you’re counting on nabbing a first come, first serve spot at [...]

Be a Seasonal State Park Aide this Summer State Parks now hiring seasonal aides

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is now recruiting hundreds of seasonal park aides for summer 2020.

Each summer, State Parks employs 400 park aides and 45 senior park aides to work the busy season, which runs from April through September. People of all ages from diverse backgrounds work as park aides. They work in parks all over the state and in varying types of terrain and climate, depending on location. Park aides register campers, maintain trails, clean campgrounds and comfort stations and perform a variety of custodial maintenance chores. They also may staff park offices, interact with visitors and help with interpretive and educational programs.

“Seasonal park aide positions are perfect for high school or college students who need a good [...]

Winter Storm Watching at State Parks State Parks – the perfect place to storm watch

The steady sound of surf crashing on a rocky shore. Icy white waves thundering and curling into dramatic arcs against high black cliffs. Steely skies and curtains of rain sweeping across choppy waters.The drama and power of Washington’s waters in winter are nothing short of awe inspiring.

Storm watching is a popular pastime here when winter weather hits our coastal and Puget Sound waters from October to April. And state parks are home to ideal — and safe —  vantage points for witnessing the raw drama, power and beauty the of Pacific Northwest storm season. Here’s the scoop on some dynamic destinations

Bay View State Park

Watch the rains wash over the San Juan Archipelago from this tiny gem of a park. Small [...]

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