Visit Washington national and state parks for free on Saturday

On Saturday, Sept. 23, both Washington State Parks and National Parks will be free to enter.

These parks will waive their entry fees for National Public Lands Day.

National Public Lands Day is held on the fourth Saturday in September and is traditionally the nation's largest single-day volunteer effort, according to the National Parks Service. Public Lands Day was established in 1994 and is held annually. 

There are over 140 state parks in Washington, including 11 historical parks. Washington has three National Parks. 

The National Parks/Historic Sites that will be free on Saturday are: 

  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Olympic National Park

It should be noted that the North Cascades National Park never requires a fee. 

Typically, the two national parks that charge an entrance fee are around $30 per vehicle. You can sign up for an America The Beautiful pass, which is $80 for an annual pass that gives you unlimited free access to any national park with its purchase. 

Washington State Parks require either a $30 annual Discover Pass for entrance, or you can pay $10 for a one-day pass. Over 60 parks have automated pay stations.

Make sure you check each park for closures before heading out, as wildfires could have shut down trails or visitor centers.

There is only one more free parks day for the year for National Parks, which is Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day. For state parks, there are three more free days left for the year: Oct. 10 for World Mental Health Day, Veterans Day and Nov. 25 for Autumn Day.