Each summer travelers and natives alike flock to Washington State Parks. The Pacific Northwest offers some of the world’s finest, and most accessible scenery. Washington State Parks are the perfect choice for a day trip from Seattle, or an easy overnight camping trip for families. For peaceful solitude, however, visit Washington State Parks mid-week when the weather is slightly drizzly. Sometimes you won’t see another person all day, and the weather just makes the landscape more photogenic. If you get a little wet you can tell your friends and family you visited a Washington State Park in true native fashion, and have some moss behind your ears to prove it (pictures help too).
Wallace Falls State Park
This park is jammed with tourists in the summer, but generally vacant in the off season. Incredible waterfall views, mountain lakes, woodland trails, streams and rivers, and views across the Skykomish river valley make this a great way to get a taste of Washington State back-country without having to…well…venture into the back-country. If you have a day to kill, hike to Wallace Lake first, then loop back to the top of the falls and descend to the parking area. If you leave early, keep your eyes open for deer and black bears when in season.
Deception Pass State Park
That old clichÃ?Â© “breath-taking views” is a common description of Washington State Parks, and Deception Pass is the perfect example. Views of the San Juan islands across Rosario Strait, and Vancouver Island on the horizon, beach access, freshwater fishing, and sharp cliffs churning the water under the Deception Pass bridge…breath-taking. For the best sunset money can’t buy, take an evening hike up the goose rock trail (trailhead located under the bridge). From the top of Goose Rock, views are had in all directions.
Cape Disappointment State Park
27 miles of Pacific Ocean view beaches and two lighthouses at the mouth of the Columbia river make this one of the finest Washington State Parks. This area is rich in history, and the price is right. Visitors can support local history preservation efforts (and learn something too) by visiting the Lewis and Clark interpretive center and the North Head lighthouse for less than five dollars. Combine this visit with a winter weekend of storm watching on the long-beach peninsula and you’ll never want to go home.
Check with the parks department for driving directions, up to date fees, and operating hours of Washington State parks.