Washington residents will get an additional State Parks Free Day this month

Following the addition of Juneteenth to the list of state celebrated holidays, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced that the day will also now be a Discover Pass free day.

In addition to this new free day, June already had three established free days, with the past Saturday starting off the month in recognition of National Trails Day

  • Saturday, June 5, in recognition of National Trails Day
  • Saturday, June 12, in honor of National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sunday, June 13, for Free Fishing Weekend. (WDFW has designated both June 12 and 13 as Free Fishing Weekend.)

Saturday, June 19 will celebrate an important day in Black American history.

On Juneteenth, 1865, the Emancipation Proclamation was read to the enslaved people of Texas. This was the last state to have the proclamation read aloud. Though President Abraham Lincoln signed the proclamation Jan. 1, 1863, slavery continued in Texas for two and a half years. 

Two years ago, Gov. Jay Inslee recognized Juneteenth in a proclamation statewide. In April, the Washington Legislature passed a bill making Juneteenth a paid state holiday for state workers beginning in 2022.

On Saturday, June 19, visitors will not need to display a Discover Pass for day-use parking at Washington state parks and on recreation lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

The new designation reflects a commitment among state lands agencies to promote diversity, equity and inclusion as core values.

The Discover Pass costs $30 annually or $10 for a one-day permit and is required for vehicle access to state recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, WDFW and DNR. 

The legislation that created the Discover Pass also allowed State Parks to designate up to 12 free days when the pass would not be required for day visits to state recreation lands. 

The Discover Pass provides parking access to state parks and lands. Day users at state parks must display a Discover Pass in their vehicles – on the dashboard or hanging on the rearview mirror. Overnight visitors to state parks pay fees for camping and other overnight accommodations, and day access is included in the overnight fee. 

On days that are not free, visitors must have a Discover Pass to park on WDFW and DNR lands. 

The remaining 2021 Discover Pass free days are:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 25 — National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, Sept. 25 — National Public Lands Day
  • Thursday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
  • Friday, Nov. 26 – Autumn Day

For information about the Discover Pass, visit www.DiscoverPass.wa.gov