OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission announced its 2012/2013 winter schedule, with more than 60 parks remaining open seven days a week.
Each year, the Commission publishes a winter schedule that establishes which parks will remain open, which will close and which will offer limited services, such as a reduced number of camping sites and restrooms. The schedule published by the Commission maintains services within the current operating budget and provides a geographic balance of visitor services during the winter months.
The winter schedule is attached to this release and also is available online at www.parks.wa.gov/parkschedule/. It indicates that this season, more than 60 parks are remaining open seven days a week, 22 parks are closed until dates in March through May, 23 parks have partial openings and four parks are remaining open during the winter on weekends and holidays only. Tolmie State Park is open Wednesdays through Sundays through April 15, and Goldendale Observatory is open 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. Fridays through Sundays and by appointment Wednesday through Thursdays through March 31.
Winter is a great time to camp in Washington state parks. With smaller crowds, campers will feel like they have their own personal park. Campers may park their RVs or pitch their tents on a first-come, first-served basis at most state parks open during the quiet season. Try something new this year: spend the night in a cozy and comfortable cabin at Camano Island, Cama Beach, Ike Kinswa, Kitsap Memorial or Rasar state parks, a yurt at Battle Ground Lake, Pacific Beach or Seaquest, or a vacation house at Millersylvania, Dosewallips, Riverside or Moran. These facilities are reservable year round.
State parks that accept year-round camping reservations are Cape Disappointment, Deception Pass, Dosewallips, Grayland Beach, Ike Kinswa, Kitsap Memorial, Ocean City and Pacific Beach. For a list of parks with extended reservation dates, visit www.parks.wa.gov, and select reservations.
Reservations may be made online at www.parks.wa.gov or by calling (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688. Reservations for Fort Worden and Fort Townsend state parks may be made by calling (360) 344-4400; Telephone Device for the Deaf at (360) 379-9385. General State Parks information is available at www.parks.wa.gov or by calling (360) 902-8844 or the Washington Telecommunications Relay Service at (800) 833-6388.
Stay connected to your state parks by following Washington State Parks at www.facebook.com/WashingtonStateParks, www.twitter.com/WaStatePks_NEWS and www.youtube.com/WashingtonStateParks. Share your favorite state park adventure on the new State Parks’ blog site at www.AdventureAwaits.com.
The Commission manages a diverse system of more than 100 state parks and recreation programs, including long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation. The 99-year-old park system will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.
Support state parks by purchasing your annual Discover Pass today, and enjoy a whole year of outdoor fun on Washington’s beautiful state-managed recreation lands. For more information, visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov.