Washington State Parks names free days

Washington State Parks has designated the free days in 2022 when visitors will not need a Discover Pass to park at state parks and on recreation lands managed by Washington Department of Natural Resources and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

In 2022, the Discover Pass free days are:

  • Saturday, Jan. 1 — New Year’s Day
  • Monday, Jan. 17 — Martin Luther King Day
  • Wednesday, March 9 — Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday 
  • Saturday, March 19 — Washington State Parks’ birthday
  • Friday, April 22 — Earth Day
  • Saturday, June 11 — National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sunday, June 12 — Free Fishing Weekend
  • Sunday, June 19 — Juneteenth
  • Saturday, Sept. 24 — National Public Lands Day
  • Monday, Oct. 10 — World Mental Health Day
  • Friday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
  • Friday, Nov. 25 — Native American Heritage Day

Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday, Juneteenth and World Mental Health Day will replace the previously recognized springtime day (first Saturday in April), National Trails Day (first Saturday in June) and National Park Service birthday (Aug. 25). In addition, Friday, Nov. 25 will be formally recognized as Native American Heritage Day. 

Billy Frank Jr. (1931-2014) was an environmental activist and former chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. His lifelong dedication to protecting endangered salmon and restoring justice for the Nisqually Tribe helped shape Washington’s environmental laws and expanded treaty rights for Native Americans nationwide. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

Juneteenth has been celebrated in Black communities since June 19, 1865, when enslaved people in Texas learned they were free. The news reached them two and a half years after the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. This year, Gov. Jay Inslee proclaimed Juneteenth a state holiday beginning in 2022. Last June state lands made it a free day for the first time.

World Mental Health Day was designated a free day to acknowledge the power of nature to restore mental health. Studies worldwide show time spent in nature increases serotonin and decreases cortisol levels, along with many other health benefits. Washington is a leader in the national ParkRx movement.

Note: The free days do not apply to Sno-Parks. During the winter season, November through April, 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: parks.state.wa.us/winter.



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