2 Free Parks Days Are Coming Up

Maria Shimizu Christensen

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Photo by Maria Shimizu Christensen

Several times a year various parks around the state of Washington are free to visit, with no entry or parking fees. Two free days in April will open up nearly every park in the state between them. This is a great opportunity to visit a park you haven’t been to before or haven’t visited in a while.

The first free day is Saturday, April 16th when all national parks are free to visit. That means you can explore Mount Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, or the North Cascades National Park. Considering that a 7-day entrance pass for a car is normally $30, this is a good deal.

You will want to visit the websites for the national parks to check on closures and operating hours. For example, the popular Grove of the Patriarchs at Mount Rainer is closed until further notice.

Mount Rainier National Park

Olympics National Park

North Cascades National Park

The next free park day is on Earth Day, Friday, April 22nd. The free entrance and parking covers all Washington State Parks, and all public lands managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Washington state is home to more than 140 state parks, and public lands cover millions of acres around the state. The DNR provides an interactive map that can help you find the perfect spot for whatever you want to do outdoors.

A Discover Pass costs $10 per car and is valid for one day only at state parks and public recreation lands and trailheads. A yearly pass is only $30, so if you aren’t able to make a free day, this is a good option.

The nonprofit Washington Trails Association provides comprehensive information on the different types of passes and costs, as well as offering vast amounts of trips reports and more for hikes and recreation all over the state. The association is dedicated to preserving, enhancing and expanding the environment and public recreation.

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Author of a Seattle handbook for newcomers, Maria provides news, guides, and tidbits for city dwellers, visitors, and day trippers

Seattle, WA
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