Some of us can remember the days when we took off on a whim for a weekend of camping and hiking. It was a simpler time, when food, shelter, and firewood were the top three items on the packing list. Oh the nostalgia, it feels like a recent memory. Things are different now. Today, there is a new top three list before heading out into Washington State’s wilderness and this list has nothing to do with your tent, dutch oven, or campfire.
Nature lovers wishing to escape the press of city life, now need to understand which of the big three (yes, there are more) passes they’ll need to when visiting the great outdoors in our evergreen state and across our beautiful nation. They are:
1. The Washington State Park and Recreation
Commission’s Discover Pass
2. The U.S. Forest Service’s Northwest Forest Pass
3. The National Park Service’s America the Beautiful Pass
Access to the areas covered by these passes is permitted by purchasing a day pass or an annual pass. Sometimes day passes can be purchased on-site. Remember that many on-site pay stations only accept check or cash. Another consideration is budget cuts and staff reductions. The staff may not be there to collect your fee or the pay station may be empty. To guarantee a smooth outing, it pays to have your pass in hand before leaving home.
See you out there