Washington State Parks (WSP) will have 12 free days in 2023 where a Discover Pass is not required to park at state parks and on recreation lands managed by the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).
The holidays that the free days commemorate include former chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday on March 9, Juneteenth on June 19 and World Mental Health Day on October 10. Many of the free days will honor marginalized peoples and their histories, such as Indigenous and Black communities.
The free days also recognize the importance of mental health and the ways nature can heal those who are suffering. Studies worldwide show time spent in nature increases serotonin and decreases cortisol levels, along with many other health benefits, according to a WSP press release.
In 2023, the upcoming Discover Pass free days are:
• Sunday, January 1 – New Year’s Day and First Day Hikes
• Monday, January 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day
• Thursday, March 9 – Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday
• Saturday, March 19 – Washington State Parks’ birthday
• Friday, April 22 – Earth Day
• Saturday, June 10 – National Get Outdoors Day
• Sunday, June 11 – Free Fishing Weekend
• Monday, June 19 – Juneteenth
• Saturday, September 23 – National Public Lands Day
• Tuesday, October 10 – World Mental Health Day
• Saturday, November 11 – Veterans Day
• Friday, November 24 – Autumn Day
Discover Passes typically cost $30 to $35 per year or about $10 for a one-day visit.