OLYMPIA – July , 2020 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is asking the public to follow the Guidelines for Responsible Recreation when planning a trip to a state park this summer.
When parks are crowded, and parking lots are full, visitors are asked and encouraged to go somewhere else.
According to the state office, popular state parks across Washington have been experiencing high numbers of visitors this summer.
They say that large crowds are a concern because it makes social distancing difficult for park staff and visitors.
“The safety of our staff and visitors is our top priority,” said State Parks Director Don Hoch. “We need to be able to offer access to the outdoors without putting people at risk.”
State Parks is also concerned about the impact large crowds have on parks’ natural resources.
If a parking lot is full, visitors should avoid parking on local roads to access the park on foot.
In Chelan County, Lake Chelan and Lake Wenatchee state parks will close day-use areas to additional visitors when parking lots become full.
Other parks seeing high numbers of visitors include:
- Beacon Rock State Park, Skamania County
- Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, King County
- Millersylvania State Park, Thurston County
- Palouse Falls State Park, Franklin County
- Riverside State Park, Spokane County
- Twanoh State Park, Mason County
- Wallace Falls State Park, Snohomish County
Visitors should check what’s open before heading out, avoid crowds and be prepared to go somewhere else if the park is at capacity. There are 124 developed state parks across Washington the public can choose from. If one park is crowded, there is likely another not too far away.
State parks reopened day-use areas in early May after a five-week closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Camping began reopening June 1. To date, not all state parks have reopened.
Find a list of all Washington state parks and their current status here.