Even during the most stressful times, nature is there to provide us with tranquility and comfort that can’t be gained by simply looking at a computer screen. For residents of Washington, an abundance of beautiful state parks adorn every corner of the state, providing ample opportunities to get outdoors and explore the majestic landscapes that surround them. To help plan your next natural excursion, we’ve selected some WA state parks currently open for day use and camping that are bound to refresh the mind and senses.
Get Outside: Visit WA State Parks!
Jarrell Cove State Park
Nestled away on Harstine Island in northeastern Washington, Jarrell Cove State Park stands out as a hidden gem in its region of the state. Jarrell Cove has served as a forested getaway for the residents of Washington since the early 1950s, though the park has experienced expansion over the course of decades.
While it’s possible to drive to Jarrell Cove State Park using a bridge that connects the island with the mainland, many visitors choose to boat to their camping destination. Regardless of how you arrive, the wide variety of activities and verdant setting will instantly impress and invigorate.
Cape Disappointment State Park
Cape Disappointment didn’t get its name from letting down eager outdoor enthusiasts with a mediocre WA state park experience. In fact, the name of this park is steeped in the rich history of Washington state, referring instead to one of the first failed explorations of the area surrounding the Columbia River.
Far from what its name suggests, Cape Disappointment actually contains a bounty of gorgeous natural biomes for visitors to traverse. Between freshwater lakes, ancient forests, and the glorious Pacific Ocean, Cape Disappointment truly offers it all for those who take the time to become acquainted with its unique landscape.
Steamboat Rock State Park
As an eastern WA state park, Steamboat Rock carries with it a decidedly different character that is somewhat more reminiscent of Montana than the rainforest of the Puget Sound region. For those who make the journey to this underappreciated hiking and camping destination, however, the park offers signature views that display the beauty of the land that surrounds.
The centerpiece of the park is a massive rock plateau that stands out among the adjacent flatlands and peaceful blue lake water. This plateau is actually even more impressive than it first appears, as it measures at approximately 600 acres.
Larrabee State Park
Located near the border with Canada, Larrabee State Park is actually the first state park ever christened in Washington. While the park has seen tough times throughout its century-old existence, today it stands as one of the go-to options for northern WA residents in search of a solid outdoor offering.
Larrabee offers hiking trails that wind around the park’s renowned lakes, and a large number of activities for visitors to enjoy, including fishing, kayaking, and camping. The park is not far from the I-5 Highway, making access to the park exceedingly simple.