With well over 100 state parks in Washington, there’s always something to explore without traveling too far from home. The state’s many parks are located on the coast, in the mountains, on islands, and far out east. Many of the parks offer a range of activities from camping to hiking to exploring old bunkers when the park was once a fort. We’ve put together a list of our six favorite parks to visit.
Located on the southwest tip of the state, Cape Disappointment State Park was once an old military fort. It still contains cold and dark tunnels of the old batteries that were installed to protect the country from a coastal attack. The park provides a good number of campsites, RV sites, and yurts. It’s a good idea to stay at least one night as this is a large park with many things to see and do. There are two lighthouses within the park, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, multiple beaches, spectacular viewpoints overlooking bluffs and cliffs, and a number of hiking trails. The park also has an onsite store and pizza place!
More Info: Exploring Cape Disappointment State Park
A popular Instagram photo many have seen, is that of Deception Pass Bridge, which runs through Deception Pass State Park along Route 20. The bridge opened in 1935 and is one of those iconic PNW structures which everyone loves to explore. Besides the bridge, Deception Pass State Park also offers many hiking trails, marine activities, camping, wildlife and much more.
One of three strategically placed forts to protect the Puget Sound from coastal attack, Fort Worden was located at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula. The fort never saw battle and later became a state park. Among the many things to see and explore here are the forts historic lodging opportunities, artillery hill with its many batteries to walk through, wonderful views stretching from Mt. Baker down to Mt. Rainier, the Point Wilson Lighthouse, hiking and camping opportunities, and even a castle! Yes, the historic Alexander’s Castle is available for overnight accommodations.
More Info: Fort Worden Historical State Park
Known as being one of the world’s best whale watching sites from land, Lime Kiln State Park is located on the west side of San Juan Island. It was originally the spot of lime quarries and operations in 1860. It still houses a renovated lime kiln which is open to the public to explore. Besides the old lime kiln, there is also an interpretive center with orca statues, fin replica, and more education information. The lighthouse is used for whale research and it’s also open for tours.
More Info: Visiting San Juan Island
If you’re looking for a change of scenery, and a place to really get away from the city, head on out to Bridgeport State Park. Located in eastern Washington, about a four hour drive from Seattle, the park is nestled up along the Columbia River Gorge and provides great views of the river and cliffs across the way. For being in such a dry area, the park certainly knows how to keep its lawn green. There are plenty of trees for shade and the camping sites are well spaced. Staying at least one night here is a must, staying two nights would be recommended. Features of the park include hiking trails, water activities, a golf course, perfect stargazing opportunities, and more.
More Info: Camping at Bridgeport State Park
Another park out east, Potholes State Park, is bordered with the western side of Potholes Reservoir. Although the tent sites are pretty dry here, the rest of the park is lush and green. This park is popular with water activities and provides 6,000’ of freshwater shoreline. As a bonus, nearby is Columbia National Wildlife Refuge.
More Info: Potholes State Park
This is just a small sampling of the many state parks Washington provides. We hope you find one that interests you and we’d love to hear about your experience after your visit. To get an idea of where each park is located within the state, have a look at this map we put together. We wish you happy trails!
Wander More, Worry Less!
Looking for a place to camp while you explore Washington? Find the perfect campsite with RoverPass' list of parks in Washington.
Snowshoeing is an activity that can open your eyes to breathtaking new dimensions and faces of nature. Not only is it a fun and achievable goal to help you get outside during the winter, but it is an experience unlike any other that is sure to make an impression.
Though it can be overwhelming to think about planning a beginner trip in the winter weather, anyone can take a snowshoeing trip with the right preparation and mindset. For me, a cold-natured summer hiker, snowshoeing offers confidence in my own abilities and an outlet to enjoy the winter that I have grown to anticipate and love.
My favorite family Christmas tradition has always been driving up into the mountains and cutting our own Christmas tree. We grew to perfect the process, carefully judging potential trees for our own living room and for the growing number of family members who began to ask for real trees, too. Grandma likes her tree not too full, but Nana likes it when the branches droop, like trees on vintage postcards. Each year, we would cut a little bit off of the trunk and add it to our quirky collection.
Though you probably do not know her name, Whitney Thomas is a true outdoorswoman.
When I set out to interview her about women in the outdoors, I had no idea how strikingly real and powerful her insights would be. Instead of lingering on the lack of quality, technical women’s gear (and how so much of it is pink) or on the gender gap in guiding, Whitney took time to talk over why she loves the outdoors, and what all it has offered her.
|Small||4 - 6.5||2 - 4.5||35 - 37||20.5 - 23|
7 - 9.5
|5 - 7.5||38 - 40||23.5 - 25.5|
|8 - 10.5||41 - 45||26 - 28.5|
13.5 - 15
|11 - 13.5||46 - 49||29 - 31|
|Small||N/A||N/A||N/A||20.5 - 23|
6 - 8.5
|5.5 - 8||39 - 41||23.5 - 25.5|
|8.5 - 11||42 - 44||26 - 28.5|
12 - 14.5
|11.5 - 14||45 - 47||29 - 31|
|WOMEN'S||FITS SIZES||US Sizes (Inches)|
|Small||2 - 4||Length: 26"||Width: 15 ¾"|
|Medium||6 - 8||Length: 26 ½"||Width: 16 ½"|
|Large||8 - 10||Length: 27 ⅛ "||Width: 17 ½"|
|X-Large||10 - 14||Length: 27 ¾"||Width: 18 ½"|
|2X-Large||14 - 18||Length: 28 ⅜"||Width: 19 ½|
|MEN'S / UNISEX||CHEST TO FIT||US Sizes (Inches)|
|Small||34 - 37||Length: 28"||Width: 18"|
38 - 41
|Length: 29"||Width: 20"|
42 - 45
|Length: 30"||Width: 22"|
46 - 49
|Length: 31"||Width: 24"|
|2X-Large||50 - 53||Length: 32"||Width: 26"|