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Washington State Parks tests live camera to check parking conditions

A camera installed at the Wallace Falls State Park parking lot takes a live photo every minute and automatically uploads it to the park's website.

GOLD BAR, Wash. — Do you ever have trouble finding a parking spot at the trailhead? Well, Washington State Parks is testing out an idea that would make it easier for visitors to know the parking conditions before they leave the house. 

A camera has been installed at the Wallace Falls State Park parking lot near Gold Bar as part of a pilot project, according to the State Parks department. 

The camera takes a live photo every minute, which automatically uploads to the park's web page. It allows visitors to access the page and check the conditions at any time, anywhere. 

Wallace Falls is a popular park in Snohomish County and it has a high volume of traffic at certain times of the year, often exceeding the capacity of the current parking lot, according to State Parks officials. 

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“Frequent visitors to Wallace Falls State Park know parking can be a real challenge,” said Shawn Tobin, State Parks Northwest Region manager. “We’re hoping people will check the website to see how crowded the parking lot is before they consider visiting the park.”

Credit: WA State Parks
A camera installed at Wallace Falls State Park takes a live photo every minute, allowing visitors to check parking conditions before they go.

If the parking lot is full, drivers often try to park on the narrow county road leading to the park's entrance, which creates trouble for neighbors and private landowners getting in and out of their driveways. Plus, it can cause safety issues for drivers and pedestrians, State Parks officials said. 

This live camera is the first to be installed at a Washington state park. Depending on the success of the pilot project, the State Parks department may consider placing cameras in other state parks as well. 

To see a live view of Wallace Falls State Park now, just click here.

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