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Explore Washington state parks for free on Juneteenth

Washington residents can now visit state parks without a Discover Pass on June 19, also known as Juneteenth.

SEATTLE — Hikers now have another day to explore Washington’s state parks for free.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced Monday that June 19, also known as Juneteenth, is now a Discover Pass free day.

Visitors won’t need to display a Discover Pass for day-use parking on Juneteenth at Washington state parks or on recreation lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Normally, a Discover Pass costs $10 for a day-long visit or $30 for an annual pass and is required for any vehicles accessing Washington state parks or lands managed by the DNR or WDFW. 

Juneteenth honors a milestone in Black history in the United States. On June 19, 1865, enslaved people in Galveston, Texas learned they had been freed by the Emancipation Proclamation more than two years earlier. The reaction to the news was jubilation and celebrations – coined Juneteenth – which continued in the U.S. for decades.

Gov. Jay Inslee recognized Juneteenth in a statewide proclamation two years ago. In April, the Washington state Legislature passed a measure making Juneteenth a paid holiday for state workers starting in 2022.

In addition to the new free day, there are three other state park free days in June:

  • Saturday, June 5 — National Trails Day
  • Saturday, June 12 — National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sunday, June 13 — Free Fishing Weekend

The other remaining 2021 Discover Pass free days are below:

  • Wednesday, Aug. 25 — National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, Sept. 25 — National Public Lands Day
  • Thursday, Nov. 11 — Veterans Day
  • Friday, Nov. 26 – Autumn Day

Click here for more information about the Discover Pass.