Dash Point State Park. Washington State Parks photo

Dash Point State Park. Washington State Parks photo

Visitors welcome to explore Washington state parks, recreation lands for free on Juneteenth

June 19 marks the fourth Discover Pass-free day in June.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission recently announced Juneteenth will now be a Discover Pass free day.

Juneteenth — honored on June 19 — is the oldest celebration recognizing President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all enslaved individuals in the United States and signifies one of the most important days in Black American history.

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

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) Saturday, June 19.

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

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

In addition to this new free day, June also has three established free days: Saturday, June 5, in recognition of National Trails Day; Saturday, June 12, in honor of National Get Outdoors Day; and Sunday, June 13, for Free Fishing Weekend. (WDFW has designated both June 12 and 13 as Free Fishing Weekend.)

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.

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