Parking fees take effect at Washington state parks beginning July 1; yearly 'Discover Pass' available online
June 23, 2011 · Updated 9:57 AM
Washington state's new "Discover Pass" for vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands is available for sale at recreational license dealers and online.
The Discover Pass — providing access to 7 million acres of state park and recreation lands — is intended to help generate sufficient funding to keep those lands open following steep state budget cuts.
“We are optimistic that people will support state parks and recreation lands and buy the Discover Pass,” Don Hoch, state Parks director said in a prepared statement. “Without the pass to support state Parks, we would have been closing park gates all over the state.”
Beginning July 1, the pass is required to park in recreation lands and water-access sites managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). State recreation lands include state parks, boat launches, heritage sites, wildlife and natural areas, campgrounds, trails and trailheads.
“The Discover Pass will help ensure that the beautiful recreation lands of Washington State remain open for all to enjoy,” state Public Land Commissioner Peter Goldmark said. “For less than the cost to take the family out to the movies, we can keep popular places such as Mount Si, Capitol State Forest and Ahtanum State Forest open.” (The new parking fees apply to state Parks and recreation lands in the San Juans as well).
There are several ways to purchase the Discover Pass:
— Online at www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
— At nearly 600 sporting goods and other retail stores that sell recreational fishing and hunting licenses. A vendor list is available at http://wdfw.wa.gov/licensing/vendors/ or via a link from the Discover Pass website.
— By telephone, toll-free at 1 (866) 320-9933.
— At state parks, where staff is available.
— From state Department of Licensing vehicle license agents, beginning this fall.
The annual Discover Pass fee is $30, and a one-day pass is $10.
A Discover Pass purchased from a recreational license dealer, by phone or online will cost a total of $35, which includes the $30 pass fee, a 10 percent transaction fee and $2 dealer fee. A one-day Discover Pass costs a total of $11.50, which include the $10 base price, the 10 percent transaction fee, 50-cent dealer fee.
The Discover Pass must be visible in the front windshield of street-legal motor vehicles on state recreation lands.
Holders of certain types of fishing and hunting licenses, registered campers in state parks and certain others are not required to buy or display a Discover Pass. For details on these and other exemptions, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.
There is a $99 penalty for failing to display the pass as required.
For questions or more information on Discover Pass sales call 1 (866) 320-9933.