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 [...]
The summer is peak season for fun and informative events at the Washington State Parks. Below are just a few of the events in June. Check back on the state park’s calendar of events often for updated information!
State Parks Discover Pass Free Day
June 1, 2019, All Day
To celebrate National Trails Day, today is a State Parks “free day” when a Discover Pass is not required to visit a state park. Please note, free days apply only to day use (not overnight stays or rented facilities). A Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by the Washington state departments of Natural Resources and Fish & Wildlife on these days.
State Parks Discover Pass Free Day
June 8, 2019, All Day
To celebrate National Get Outdoors Day, today is a State Parks “free day” when a Discover [...]
Are you headed out to the State Parks this summer? Join youth and families all over Washington in discovering how you can play, learn, and protect our state parks through fun and exciting activities!
The opportunities are endless. Participate in fun interactive and educational programs, design nature crafts, explore park trails, complete a Washington State Parks Junior Ranger booklet, and much more.
More information can be found on the Washington State Park’s Be A Junior Ranger and Youth Programs pages. Programs are offered free of charge for visitors who have purchased a Discover Pass unless otherwise stated.
Are you a history buff? Are you looking to dig into Washington state history? Many of the state parks offer opportunities for historical exploration. Washington state parks feature a wide range of historic properties representing major themes of state history. These properties connect visitors to our heritage in a meaningful way, providing a tangible link to our past. Washington State Parks manages more than 600 identified historic properties throughout the state, one of the largest collections managed by a single agency in the state of Washington.
These historic sites include early settlement heritage sites like the Rothschild House and the John R. Jackson house. The John R. Jackson house was actually the very first state park in Washington, and where the First U.S. District Court held north of the Columbia River convened in November 1850.
Summer activities at state parks offer fun, learning and entertainment
Schools been out for a month and parents are starting to hear the dreaded words “I’m bored”. It’s time to head camping! Check out the great line up summer programs and events for kids (and adults!) happening in state parks all across Washington.
Whether you’re looking for a guided beach walk in search of low-tide critters, or want to listen to music from all over the world, you’re in luck! Become a Junior Ranger, and much, much more at our Washington State Parks summer activities! Visit the Washington State Parks calendar of events for ideas!