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Northwest Traveler

Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

Topic: state parks

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August 13, 2013 at 6:00 AM

State parks campfire ban continues, despite recent rain

Campfires such as this one at this one at Kitsap Memorial State Park are still banned in all state parks because of fire danger and limited firefighting resources. (Archive photo by Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times, 2006)

Campfires such as this one (from a prior year) at Kitsap Memorial State Park are still banned in all state parks because of fire danger and limited firefighting resources. (Photo by Mark Harrison / The Seattle Times, 2006)

Yes, we’ve had some rain around the state in recent days — even damaging deluges in places such as the North Cascades — but campers should be aware: The two-week-old ban on campfires in Washington’s state parks continues.

That’s puzzled some campers in places such as the Washington coast where it hasn’t seemed very dry. Here’s an excerpt from an email that came to me Friday night from a California visitor to a coastal state park:

“Tonight I write you from Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington, where it is 57 degrees at 98 percent humidity. According to another website, the fire danger is rated as ‘very low.’ Five hours inland, large wildfires may be raging, but you wouldn’t know it here, where mist-caused water drops pellet my van’s roof. Which prompts my question: Under what authority does Washington State make the idiotic demand all campfires cease?”

The authority comes from the Washington Administrative Code, Section 352-32-125, governing fires and campfires in state parks (boldface is my addition):

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Comments | More in Northwest, Parks, state parks, wildfires | Topics: campfire ban, campfires in state parks, state parks

May 31, 2013 at 10:20 AM

See Washington’s state parks for free

Waves crash near Cape Disappointment lighhouse in Washington's Cape Disappointment State Park. (Greg Gilbert photo / Seattle Times)

Waves crash near Cape Disappointment lighthouse in Washington’s Cape Disappointment State Park. (Greg Gilbert photo / Seattle Times)

   

     This weekend – and next – are for you.  Washington State Parks will be free on June 1, June 8 and June 9.

The no-charge weekend days are part of a series of admission-free days at state parks this year. Otherwise visitors have to pay for a Discover Pass to enter state parks, either a $10 day pass or a $30 annual pass.

It doesn’t sound like much but it can add up, especially on top of other state park fees.

I’ve been at Cape Disappointment State Park recently, in the southwest tip of Washington.  It’s gorgeous, with wave-pounded beaches, walking trails among ancient spruce, two lighthouses and an excellent interpretive center. But on top of  buying a $10 one-day Discover Pass

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Comments | More in Northwest, Outdoors, Parks | Topics: free days at parks, National Trails Day, state parks

March 28, 2013 at 6:00 AM

We’re still asking for park photos (here’s a scenic sunset at Deception Pass)

Sunset at Bowman Bay, Deception Pass State Park. (photo by Sunset at Bowman Bay, Deception Pass State Park. (photo by Amy De Los Santos, Marysville)

Sunset at Bowman Bay, Deception Pass State Park. (photo by Amy De Los Santos, Marysville)

Here’s another beaut of a reader photo from a Washington state park. It was taken by Amy De Los Santos, of Marysville. See this and a bunch of other very nice contributions here.

Then go through your own web albums and add to the collection. It’s part of our 100th birthday present to the state parks system; sort of a family scrapbook thing, you might say, from a really big family (almost 7 million Washingtonians). We have scores of photos already, but I’m sure you have more in your electronic albums (and you might see your photo in this space next). Share the wealth, spread the beauty, practice random acts of kindness — here’s how:

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Comments | Topics: state park photos, state parks, Washington state parks

March 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Happy 100th, state parks: Tell us your favorite (and your not-so)

Happy birthday, Washington State Parks! Fishing in Moran State Park on Orcas Island. (photo by Ken Lambert / The Seattle Times) One hundred years ago, on March 19, 1913, Washington’s Legislature created the commission that put together our state parks system, which now includes 117 developed parks and other properties totaling more than 110,000 acres, including 7,000…

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Comments | Topics: best state park, favorite state parks, state parks