Celebrate National Public Lands Day on September 24 on state-managed lands

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission (Parks) invites visitors to enjoy state parks or recreational areas on Saturday, September 24 in celebration of National Public Lands Day. 

Visitors are not required to display a Discover Pass for day-use visits to a Washington state park or on lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) on this day.

National Public Lands Day was established in 1994 and is held annually on the fourth Saturday in September. It is traditionally the nation’s largest single-day volunteer effort. 

“It celebrates the connection between people and public lands – inspiring environmental stewardship and encouraging use of state land for education, recreation and health benefits. “

Following National Public Lands Day, there will be three more free days in 2022.

The remaining 2022 State Parks free days are:

  • Saturday, Sept. 24 – National Public Lands Day
  • Monday, Oct. 10 – World Mental Health Day
  • Friday, Nov. 11 – Veterans Day
  • Friday, Nov. 25 – Native American Heritage Day

The free days align with legislation that created the Discover Pass. Discover Passes cost $30 for an annual pass or $10 for a one-day permit. The pass is required for vehicle access to state recreation lands managed by State Parks, WDFW and DNR. The Discover Pass legislation indicated that Parks could designate up to 12 free days when the pass would not be required to visit state recreation lands. 

“For more than a decade, Parks has been primarily self-funded, in large part, by the Discover Pass program. Pass sales helps Parks achieve a key component of its mission: Caring for Washington’s most treasured lands, waters and historic places. This revenue helps maintain the funding needed to keep parks safe, fun, clean and operating for guests and future generations of Washingtonians. “

Discover Passes can be purchased in a variety of ways:

  • Online at www.discoverpass.wa.gov 
  • In-person from nearly 600 recreational licensed vendors
  • By phone by calling 866-320-9933
  • When you renew your vehicle license 
  • At State Parks’ headquarters and region offices
  • At a state park when staff is available
  • In-person at more than 80 retail locations

The Discover Pass provides daytime access to state parks. Overnight visitors in state parks are charged fees for camping and overnight accommodations. Day access is included in the overnight fee.