State Parks Free Days start Jan. 1

First two State Parks free days of 2018 coming up in January

Residents can visit state parks for free twice in January.

According to a release from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, they are offering two free days in January, when visitors will not need a Discover Pass to visit parks.

The first free day is Monday, Jan. 1, which coincides with First Day Hikes. This is a nationwide initiative to get people outdoors on New Year’s Day.

More than three dozen Washington state parks are hosting First Day Hikes events.

Lake Sylvia State ParkTake a ranger-led hike through the old growth forest around this lowland lake. Volunteers will lead a shorter stroll as well. Learn about the history of the area and discuss native plants and wildlife. Meet at 1 p.m. at the park’s kitchen shelter day use area. (Park map:

Westport Light State ParkJoin a park ranger for a hike by the ocean. Take in sweeping views of Twin Harbors Beach and the Pacific Ocean. Meet at 10 a.m. at the park. (Park directions:

The second free day is Monday, Jan. 15, in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

To visit state parks and lands operation by the departments of Natural Resources and Fish & Wildlife any other days of January, visitors will need a Discover Pass, available for $30 annually or $10 for a one-day permit.

As part of Discover Pass legislation, it provided up to 12 free days each year when the pass would not be required to visit these lands.

The Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by WDFW and DNR on these days.

Washington State Parks will offer 10 more free days in 2018:

  • Monday, March 19 — State Parks’ 105th Birthday
  • Saturday, April 14 — Springtime free day
  • Sunday, April 22 — Earth Day
  • Saturday, June 2 — National Trails Day
  • Saturday, June 9 — National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sunday, June 10 — Free Fishing Day
  • Saturday, Aug. 25 — National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, Sept. 29 — National Public Lands Day
  • Sunday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
  • Friday, Nov. 23 — Autumn free day

Note: The free days do not apply to Sno-Parks. During the winter season, December through March, visitors to Sno-Parks will need Sno-Park permits, which are available for purchase online or from vendors throughout the state. For more information about winter recreation permit requirements, visit:

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