State Land Agencies Announce Discover Pass Free Days for Next Year


The Washington State Discover Pass Program announced its free days for 2023 on Wednesday.

On free days, visitors will not need a Discover Pass to park at Washington state parks or on land managed by the Department of Natural Resources or the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.

The dates of the 2023 free days include:

• Sunday, Jan. 1 — New Year’s Day and First Day Hikes

• Monday, Jan. 16 — Martin Luther King Jr. Day

• Thursday, March 9 — Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday

• Sunday, March 19 — Washington State Parks’ birthday

• Saturday, April 22 — Earth Day

• Saturday, June 10 — National Get Outdoors Day

• Sunday, June 11 — Free Fishing Weekend

• Monday, June 19 — Juneteenth

• Saturday, Sept. 23 — National Public Lands Day

• Tuesday, Oct. 10 — World Mental Health Day

• Saturday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day

• Friday, Nov. 24 — Autumn Day

In 2022, Billy Frank Jr.’s birthday, Juneteenth and World Mental Health Day replaced a springtime day in April, National Trails Day in June and the National Park Service’s birthday in August as free days, stated a news release from Washington State Parks.

Billy Frank Jr. was an environmental activist and chair of the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission. He had a lifelong dedication to protecting endangered salmon and restoring justice for the Nisqually Indian Tribe.

Juneteenth celebrates the anniversary of enslaved people in Texas who learned they were free on June 19, 1865.

World Mental Health Day was designated a free day to acknowledge the power of nature to restore mental health. According to the announcement from the Washington State Parks, research shows time spent in nature boosts serotonin, dopamine and vitamin D levels and lowers blood pressure and cortisol, which reduces stress.

A Discover Pass costs $30 to $35 annually or $10 to $11.50 for a one-day pass, depending on the location of purchase. The pass is required for vehicles to access state lands managed by Washington State Parks, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

Free days do not apply to Sno-Parks. From November through April, visitors to Sno-Parks will need Sno-Park permits, which can be purchased online or from vendors throughout the state. For more information on winter recreation permit requirements, visit