Ready to get outside this winter season? The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission will offer two free days in January when visitors to state parks will not need a Discover Pass for day-use visits.

If you've been thinking about heading outside and don't have a Discover Pass, this is how you can enjoy our Washington State Parks for a day for free.

The first free day is Friday, Jan. 1, which gives visitors the opportunity to take part in a First Day Hike, a nationwide initiative that aims to get people outdoors on New Year’s Day.

To discourage the spread of COVID-19, rangers will not guide First Day Hikes this New Year’s Day.

The second free day is Monday, Jan. 18, in honor of the holiday celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.

In addition to Jan. 1 and 18, Washington State Parks will offer 10 more free days in 2021:

  • Friday, March 19 — State Parks’ 107th Birthday
  • Saturday, April 3 — Springtime free day
  • Thursday, April 22 — Earth Day
  • Saturday, June 5 — National Trails Day
  • Saturday, June 12 – National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sunday, June 13 — Free Fishing Day
  • Wednesday, Aug. 25 — National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, Sept. 25 — National Public Lands Day
  • Thursday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
  • Friday, Nov. 26 — Autumn free day

The free days do not apply to Sno-Parks. During the winter season, December through March, visitors to Sno-Parks will need Sno-Park permits, which are available for purchase online or from vendors throughout the state.

For more information about winter recreation permit requirements, visit

I'm one of those people who loves the smell of winter but I also need to be bundled up to the max while outside. Take advantage of these free days for 2021 and enjoy those free days thanks to Washington State Parks.

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