Washington State Parks
The state of Washington offers an extremely diverse landscape. From the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula and the moderate Pacific coast in the west to the high peaks of the Cascade Range and the dry deserts of the west, it is no wonder the beauty of Washington state parks attracts visitors from all around.
There are 120 Washington state parks and recreation areas with a wide variety of amenities, attractions, and activities. Windsurfing, rock climbing, skiing, and snowmobiling, Washington state parks offer plenty of activities to suit every outdoor lover. There are also plenty of historical sites, cultural exhibits, and interpretive centers for educational opportunities.
More than 30 of the state parks in Washington are on lakes or rivers, with over 70 public boat launches, so boating and water sports at the parks are quite abundant. One of the best Washington state parks for water recreation is Deception Pass. Here, visitors can enjoy their favorite saltwater and freshwater activities on more than 4100 beautiful acres along the quiet Puget Sound.
Enjoy fishing, boating, and swimming on one of the three Deception Pass lakes or try crabbing, clamming, mooring, or diving in the saltwater of the sound. This Washington state coastal park also offers boat rentals so everyone can enjoy the fun of being on the water. Deception Pass is also a great location for whitewater kayaking and sailboarding. Don’t forget your Coleman inflatable boat when you visit this park.
In the winter months Washington is a haven for snow lovers, especially in the central mountainous regions. One of the best Washington state parks for winter recreation is Lake Easton state park in the Cascade Mountain foothills. The 45 RV site and 95 tent site campground is open year round so guests can enjoy a weekend of cold weather camping, dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and family snow activities including tubing and sledding.
Washington state parks access almost 700 miles of scenic hiking trails, ranging from easy strolls through natural exhibits to strenuous treks through mountain passes. There are also three long distance backpacking trails that can be reached from various parks. Mountain biking trails are quite abundant as well. Beacon Rock is one of the best Washington state parks for mountain biking, with 20 miles of designated trails.
There are two water trails in Washington that are designated for canoeing and kayaking. These trails wind through miles of scenic waterways and pass by several state parks that offer primitive camping and pullouts. Washington state parks are also popular destinations for horseback riding. There are 10 parks with equestrian trails, some offering horse campsites as well, and horses are allowed on most beaches. Just outside of Seattle, Bridle Trails is one of the best Washington state parks for horseback riding with 28 miles of riding trails. Lake Wenatchee state park offers horse rentals for day trips, as well as overnight excursions.
Whether you’re interested in rock climbing at Columbia Hills state park, paragliding at Lincoln Rock, or just enjoying a weekend of Washington state park camping, there is plenty to do and lots to see across the state of Washington.