State parks commission announces 2012 free days for visitors

January 10, 2012

By Staff

The Martin Luther King Jr. holiday three-day weekend Jan. 14-16 will be the first of 10 free days in 2012 when the Discover Pass will not be required of visitors venturing out to enjoy their state parks.

Most of the free days are in alignment with 2012 free days offered by the National Park Service, according to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

The “free days” are in keeping with legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on state-managed recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and the state Department of Natural Resources.

The Discover Pass legislation provided that Washington State Parks could designate up to 12 free days when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. The free days only apply at state parks. A Discover Pass will still be required to access Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Natural Resources lands.

The following are the 2012 State Parks free days:

  • Jan 14-16 — Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend
  • March 18-19 — In honor of Washington State Parks’ 99th birthday March 19
  • June 9 — National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sept. 29 — National Public Lands Day
  • Nov. 10-12 — Veterans Day weekend

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs statewide. Visitors can enjoy a variety of recreation opportunities on a diverse array of park landscapes, from Pacific Ocean beaches to forest and mountain trails and the sweeping river gorge vistas of Eastern Washington.

State Parks also offers historic areas and interpretive facilities. Learn more at Learn more about the Discover Pass at

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