OLYMPIA – Washington State’s Discover Pass Program has designated Discover Pass Free Days for 2023. On these days, visitors will not need a Discovery pass park at Washington State Parks and on recreation grounds managed by Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
The 2023 Discovery Pass free days are:
- Sunday January 1 – New Year’s and First Day Hikes
- Monday, January 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
- Thursday, March 9 – Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday
- Sunday, March 19 – Washington State Parks Anniversary
- Saturday April 22 – Earth Day
- Saturday, June 10 – National Outdoor Day
- Sunday, June 11 – Free Fishing Weekend
- Monday June 19 – June 16
- Saturday, September 23 – National Public Lands Day
- Tuesday October 10 – World Mental Health Day
- Saturday November 11 – Veterans Day
- Friday, November 24 – Autumn Day
In 2022, Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday, June 19, and World Mental Health Day replaced a Spring Day (first Saturday in April), National Trails Day (first Saturday in June) and the National Park Service’s birthday (August 25).
Billy Frank Jr. (1931-2014) was an environmental activist and former Chairman 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 expand treaty rights for Native Americans nationwide. national.
June 19 has been celebrated in black communities since June 19, 1865, when slaves in Texas learned they were free. The news reached them two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed. Last year Juneteenth became an official holiday.
world mental health day was designated as a free day to recognize the power of nature to restore sanity. Studies show that time spent in nature increases serotonin, dopamine, and vitamin D levels and lowers blood pressure and cortisol, helping our bodies fight stress.
About the discovery pass The state’s free land days align with 2011 legislation that created the Discovery pass, which costs $30 to $35 per year, or $10 to $11.50 for a day visit, depending on the outlet. The pass is required for vehicle access to state recreation grounds operated by Washington State Parks, WDFW, and DNR. Discover Pass legislation directed state parks to designate up to 12 free days during which the pass would not be required to visit state parks.
To note: 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 can be purchased online or from vendors statewide. For more information on winter recreation permit requirements, visit: parks.state.wa.us/winter.