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 [...]
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. [...]
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. [...]
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 [...]
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.
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 [...]
Many of us are currently staring at a calendar of cancelled plans thanks to the COVID-19 outbreak. Perhaps you were heading to the beach or Disney World for Spring Break and are now faced with endless days at home. We know many of these cancellations are heartbreaking – especially for the kids! However, we want to encourage you to make the most of this time.
This season of social distancing can be a great time to reconnect with your family. We happen to believe one of the best places to do that is in the great outdoors. There are many nearby destinations that allow you to keep your distance from others, while enjoying the natural beauty around you. In fact, many campgrounds remain open at [...]
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 [...]
Washington State Parks have announced the 2019-2020 winter schedule, with more than 100 parks remaining open for camping or day-use activities. The winter schedule is now available online. More than 100 parks will remain open during the winter, while about 19 parks are closed until dates in March, April or May, due to weather and other circumstances.
Each year, Washington State Parks identifies which parks will remain open and which will offer limited or partial services, such as fewer camping sites and restrooms. Specific areas within a park may be closed, and some parks are open only on weekends and holidays. Campers should be aware that some state parks may shut off water systems, even if the park is open. Some boat launches are closed, and some docks are removed for the winter. State [...]