Nicknamed the Evergreen State, Washington State is brimming with breathtaking natural scenery. Their state park system includes 124 state parks that jointly receive around 40 million visitors annually. Washington’s state parks include historical sites, lakes, waterfalls, and many incredible vistas. So, next time you are heading out west, be sure to check out some of these Washington state parks.
- Washington State Parks
- 20 State Parks In Washington
- 1- Columbia Hills State Historical Park
- 2- Leadbetter Point State Park
- 3- Fort Worden Historical State Park
- 4- Millersylvania State Park
- 5- Sucia Island Marine State Park
- 6- Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail
- 7- Fort Columbia Historical State Park
- 8- Deception Pass State Park
- 9- Lake Wenatchee State Park
- 10- Tolmie State Park
- 11- Hyak Sno-Park
- 12- Twanoh State Park
- 13- Peshastin Pinnacles State Park
- 14- Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
- 15- Crawford State Park Site
- 16- Curlew Lake State Park
- 17- Palouse Falls State Park
- 18- Saltwater State Park
- 19- Westhaven Light State Park
- 20- Larrabee State Park
- 20 State Parks In Washington
Washington State Parks
20 State Parks In Washington
1- Columbia Hills State Historical Park
Columbia Hills Historical State Park is along the Washington-Oregon border on the banks of the Columbia River in southern Washington.
This 3,637-acre park allows you to explore the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.
This park features several different sites, including Horsethief Lake, which is a beautiful place to go camping and for water lovers to spend time kayaking and paddleboarding.
As well as the lake in this part of the park, there are some Native American pictographs and petroglyphs.
You can take the Temmani Pesh-wa trailhead for self-guided viewing of the petroglyphs.
For the adventurous among you, head to Horsethief Butte, which is a popular climbing spot.
This part of the park also offers a short hike that provides visitors with expansive views of the Columbia River and Mount Hood.
For hiking, you will want to head along the Crawford Oaks Trailhead, which includes miles of biking, horseriding and hiking trails.
From this trailhead, you can enjoy views of Mount Adams, Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.
Columbia Hills State Historical Park is at 85 WA-14, Lyle, WA 98635.
2- Leadbetter Point State Park
Leadbetter Point State Park is one of Washington’s coastal state parks, and it’s located on the Ocean Park sandbar.
This small day-use park is adjacent to the Willapa National Wildlife Refuge.
The park includes the Pacific Ocean and Willapa Bay beach fronts.
You can take dogs in the park’s southern trails, but they must be on a leash.
Leadbetter Point State Park is a bird lover’s paradise.
Be sure to bring your binoculars and bird books with you to identify some of the many species.
You can expect to see eagles, peregrine falcons, brown pelicans, terns and ducks.
One of the best things about Leadbetter Point State Park is that it’s not so well known, so if you arrive early or on a colder day, chances are you will bump into very few people.
Leadbetter Point State Park 31205 J Pl, Ocean Park, WA 98640.
3- Fort Worden Historical State Park
Fort Worden Historical State Park is on the northeastern tip of the Olympic peninsula.
Fort Worden dates back to the 19th century when it joined with Fort Flagler and Fort Casey to defend the Puget Sound.
Today visitors can visit the old fort while learning about the area’s history.
This park is great for exploring as there are 11.2 miles of hiking and 8.3 miles of biking trails.
As the fort is by the water, you can try saltwater fishing and crabbing as well as water skiing, diving, swimming and boating.
Fort Worden Historical State Park is at 200 Battery Way E, Port Townsend, WA 98368.
4- Millersylvania State Park
Millersylvania State Park is close to Fort Worden Historical State Park between Olympia and Centralia..
This park is a delightful place to be and is suitable for people of all ages.
This park is a natural playground for outdoor lovers, and the mixture of forest and water is stunning.
The park is home to two swimming beaches which can become very popular in the warm summer months.
As well as the beach, there are 8.1 miles of hiking trails and 7.6 miles of biking trails.
On the water, you can enjoy the 100-foot dock, boating, freshwater fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming, and you can even rent out pedal boats.
For those who prefer to keep themselves on land, there are horseshoe pits and plenty of wildlife and bird viewing opportunities.
There is also a concession stand if you don’t fancy bringing your own food.
Millersylvania State Park 12245 Tilley Rd SW, Olympia, WA 98512.
5- Sucia Island Marine State Park
The 814-acre Sucia Island Marine State Park is well worth a visit and a great place to escape to nature.
As the park is on an island, it can only be reached by boat from Fossil Bay dock but it should be noted there is no ferry; you have to either take your own boat or get a water taxi.
The island has no amenities, so it’s good to come fully prepared for the day.
The park has 25 picnic spots, so pack a picnic and don’t forget your water.
The island has 10 miles of trails that take you through various beautiful Washington landscapes.
Other popular water activities include boating around the island, fishing and diving.
It is also possible to camp on the island, but it’s on a first-come, first-serve basis.
There are 60 standard campsites.
Sucia Island Marine State Park is at Eastsound, WA 98245.
6- Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail
The Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail gives visitors a good idea of what Washington is all about.
The trail runs from West Bend to the Columbia River near Vantage.
After Vantage, it continues to the town of Lind towards the Idaho border.
The trail is 250 miles long, and many people like to hike or bike sections of the trail as well as attempting through hikes.
Parts of the trail can also be used for cross-country skiing, dog sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing in winter.
If you plan a thorough hike, plan the hike accordingly and check the weather conditions before heading out.
7- Fort Columbia Historical State Park
Fort Columbia Historical State Park is south of Washington state, close to the Astoria-Megler Bridge, which passes from Washington to Oregon.
For maritime history, you must check out this Washington state park.
The fort was constructed between 1896 and 1903 and renovated during WW2.
However, the fort was later decommissioned in 1947.
This fort is pretty small, which helps visitors understand what it would have been like in its days of activity.
You can visit former officers’ homes and the artillery batteries and see WWII-era guns.
There is also an interpretive centre at the park where you can view different artifacts, photographs and read stories about explorations in the area.
Fort Columbia Historical State Park is at US-101, Chinook, WA 98614.
8- Deception Pass State Park
The park is on Puget Sound, close to Oak Harbor.
Upon visiting the park, it is easy to see why this is Washington’s most popular state park.
The park has various landscapes, including coves and cliffs and the incredibly tall and beautiful Deception Pass Bridge.
This two-lane bridge is 180 feet above the water and is 453 metres long.
The park is 3,854 acres and includes a saltwater shoreline and a freshwater shoreline on three lakes.
The park is located on two islands, Fidalgo and Whidbey.
You could spend a few days at this state park and still not want to return home.
People enjoy fishing, crabbing, diving, swimming, white-water kayaking and boating. Check out this kayaking tour.
There’s also the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Interpretive Center at Bownman Bay, which showcases the work of the CCC in Washington during the Great Depression.
Whether you are visiting for a day or camping, this is a must-visit Washington state park.
Deception Pass State Park is at 41020 State Rte 20, Oak Harbor, WA 98277.
9- Lake Wenatchee State Park
Lake Wenatchee State Park is a stunning park to visit, which reminds people just how incredible the state of Washington is.
Lake Wenatchee State Park is around 20 miles north of Leavenworth.
This is one of those parks that is lovely to visit, no matter the season.
The park is covered in powdery snow in winter, making for a wonderful cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding adventure.
The park also has heated restrooms and showers, perfect for winter.
Lake Wenatchee is glacier fed and the mountain views make for a picturesque place to explore.
You can rent boats or set out on the 9-mile hiking trail up Dirtyface Peak.
You can also camp year-round, so why not plan your trip to this Washington state park?
Lake Wenatchee State Park 21588 SR 207, Leavenworth, WA 98826.
10- Tolmie State Park
Tolmie State Park is on the Nisqually Reach in western Washington, around 20 minutes drive outside Olympia.
The park is on a spit where many environments come together to form the park.
The park is backed by forest, but the main feature is the beach.
Calm waters mean it’s a great place for families to visit.
It’s a popular spot at the weekend but less busy during the week.
There are also three miles of hiking trails and sitting on the beach and playing by the water.
Have you ever been clamming? You will need a permit to do this extremely popular activity.
Tolmie State Park is at 7730 61st Ave NE, Olympia, WA 98506.
11- Hyak Sno-Park
Hyak Sno-Park is at the Snoqualmie Pass on the northern shores of Keechelus Lake, under an hour’s drive southeast of Seattle.
There are several sno-parks in Washington.
They are designated areas for tubing and snow-related activities.
Hyak sno-park has a groomed sledding hill, marked snowshoe routes, and ski trails.
This place is the perfect place to explore in winter and somewhere the whole family can enjoy.
The park is usually open between 8 am and dusk, so there’s plenty of time for adventure.
Hyak Sno-Park is at Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068.
12- Twanoh State Park
Twanoh is a small state park located around 8 miles northeast of Union.
This state park is best known for its warm saltwater swimming.
The park evokes that old-school camping vibe and it’s no surprise it’s been a Washington getaway spot since 1923.
Out on the water, it’s possible to see seals from your kayaks and paddleboards.
Crabbing and fishing are also popular activities in the park.
You will need to buy a shellfish licence to join people who, at low tide, begin oyster shucking.
Set out on the park’s southern hiking trails if you want to step away from the water.
These trails lead through the forest and along a creek home to Chum salmon during autumn.
Twanoh State Park is at 12190 WA-106, Union, WA 98592.
13- Peshastin Pinnacles State Park
Peshastin Pinnacles State Park in central Washington is three miles outside Cashmere.
This state park is characterised by its jaggedy shark tooth-like pinnacles among orchards and rolling hills.
As you approach the Peshastin Pinnacles, keep your eyes peeled for brightly coloured dots climbing up the rock face.
This is a popular rock-climbing spot in Washington.
Though high-adrenaline climbs are top of many visitors’ to-do lists, it’s not necessary and you can still enjoy the park at a more leisurely pace.
The park is an excellent spot for bird watching and wildlife viewing, and it’s a great place for a picnic.
Peshastin Pinnacles State Park is at 7201 N Dryden Rd, Cashmere, WA 98815.
14- Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
The quirky landscape of Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park makes for an interesting visit.
The park is located close to Banks Lake in central Washington.
The park feels otherworldly, and it’s down to the area’s unique geology.
The area was carved by Ice Age floods around 13,000 years ago.
What was once a waterfall four times the size of Niagara Falls today, the 400-foot cliffs have a lake at the bottom but no cascading water.
Despite the lack of a waterfall, the place is still vastly impressive, with over 3.5 miles of cliff.
Check out the visitor centre, which offers several interpretive displays and tells you the story of the Ice Age floods.
You can launch boats on Park Lake, paddleboarding, and kayaking on Deep Lake.
There are also 15 miles of hiking trails that wind throughout the park.
Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is at 34875 Park Lake Rd NE, Coulee City, WA 99115.
15- Crawford State Park Site
Crawford State Park Site is practically in Canada, as it’s so close to the British Columbia border.
This state park is known for its caves! Gardner Cave is the main attraction.
What may look like a mundane park on the surface is hiding a geological gem underground.
Gardner Cave is more than 500 million years old and is approximately 2072 feet in length and 295 feet in depth.
Stalactites and stalagmites line the ceilings and walls and rimstone pools.
Electric lights illuminate the beautiful features of this park.
Tours are run in the caves between Thursday and Monday and commence at 10 am, 2 pm and 3 pm.
Crawford State Park Site is at 10381 Boundary Rd, Metaline Falls, WA 99152.
16- Curlew Lake State Park
Curlew Lake State Park might be small, but it’s a lovely outdoor place 25 miles from the U.S. – Canada border.
The park’s 5.5-mile-long Curlew Lake is the main attraction.
Fishermen love heading to the water to catch trout, yellow perch, bass, and tiger muskie.
Because of the attraction of fish, you will also be in for the chance of spotting bald eagles, ospreys and herons.
The lake is a water enthusiasts’ playground in summer, and come winter, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are popular.
Curlew Lake State Park is at 62 State Park Rd, Republic, WA 99166.
17- Palouse Falls State Park
Palouse Falls is close to the Palouse River, 41 miles outside of LaCrosse in southeastern Washington.
This is another of Washington’s state parks that look out of this world.
The Palouse River flows through a crack in the rock and drops in the form of a waterfall for 200 feet before collecting in a churning pool of water.
The columnar basalt that forms the park is mighty impressive and formed during the Ice Age floods.
The waterfall was carved more than 13,000 years ago.
The best viewpoint in the park is Fryxell Overlook.
This overlook offers breathtaking views of the falls and Palouse River Canyon.
You should be warned that there is no phone service in the park which many might not like but others will appreciate as a great place to disconnect from the world.
Palouse Falls State Park is at Palouse Falls Rd, LaCrosse, WA 99143.
18- Saltwater State Park
Saltwater State Park is on the shores of Puget Sound just outside of Des Moines (Des Moines, Washington, not the more famous Des Moines, Iowa!).
If you are searching for state parks close to Seattle, you can be at Saltwater State Park in just 30 minutes.
This is a great park for picnicking, diving, fishing, sailboarding and exploring the beach.
There are also land activities to enjoy, including volleyball and horseshoe pits.
The park is also home to an underwater artificial reef which is super popular among scuba divers.
The park’s concession stand is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day and serves up food and beverages and is also the location of kayak rentals.
Saltwater State Park is at 25205 8th Pl S, Des Moines, WA 98198.
19- Westhaven Light State Park
Westhaven Light State Park is on the Pacific Ocean and is a day-use-only park.
One of the first things you’ve got to do while visiting the park is walk the 1.3-mile path to Westhaven Jetty.
This jetty separates Half Moon Bay from the Pacific Ocean.
You can go fishing, surfing, crabbing and clamming, which are popular local activities.
You can also visit Westport Lighthouse.
If you want to try surfing, you can check out Bigfoot Surf School.
This park’s long stretch of beach is ideal for lapping up the summer sun and walking in winter.
Westhaven Light State Park is at 2700 Jetty Haul Rd.
Westport, WA 98595.
20- Larrabee State Park
Larrabee State Park is located on the right side of Samish Bay near Bellingham in northwestern Washington.
The views at Larrabee State Park are like something from a postcard.
This state park was also the first one in the Washington system.
You can go camping at Chuckanut Drive, which has boating, fishing, shellfish harvesting and diving facilities.
A series of journeys lead around the park, including 1.5 miles of biking-only trails, 2.7 miles of hiking trails and 13.8 multi-use trails.
Larrabee State Park is at 245 Chuckanut Dr, Bellingham, WA 98229.
For more amazing US state parks to visit, read:
- 13 North Dakota State Parks
- 7 South Dakota State Parks
- 20 Illinois State Parks
- 20 Texas State Parks
- 20 Colorado State Parks
- 20 Florida State Parks
- 20 Florida Keys State Parks
- 20 Arizona State Parks
- 20 Indiana State Parks
- 20 Minnesota State Parks
- 20 Connecticut State Parks
- 20 Washington State Parks
- 20 West Virginia State Parks
- 20 Michigan State Parks
- 20 Ohio State Parks
- 20 Oregon State Parks
- 20 New Mexico State Parks
- 20 Kentucky State Parks
- 17 Nebraska State Parks
- 20 Montana State Parks
- 20 Mississippi State Parks
- 21 Massachusetts State Parks
- 20 New Hampshire State Parks
- 20 New Jersey State Parks
- 20 Iowa State Parks
- 20 NC State Parks
- 20 Maryland State Parks
- 20 Nevada State Parks
- 20 Kansas State Parks
- 20 Arkansas State Parks
- 20 Wisconsin State Parks
- 20 South Carolina State Parks
- 20 Tennessee State Parks
- 20 Georgia State Parks
- 20 Hawaii State Parks
- 20 Virginia State Parks
- 20 Missouri State Parks
- 20 Oklahoma State Parks
- 20 Utah State Parks
- 20 Idaho State Parks
- 20 Louisiana State Parks
- 20 Vermont State Parks
- 20 Wyoming State Parks