Start the year with a First Day Hike!

Mt-Spokane-Vista-House-in-snowweb2January 1 is a free admission day at all Washington state parks! Head outside on January 1 to get a healthy & fun start to the new year at your state parks.

No Discover Pass needed and there are over 35 guided hikes around the state for you to enjoy with others. Here’s a list of hikes and start times.

King County:
Nolte State Park                    
 10:30 AM
This easy 1.25-mile stroll will take hikers on the Lake Trail Loop around Deep Lake and through the forested Green River Gorge with woodland animals likely spotted along the way. Discussion will focus on forest and lake ecology. This is an ideal outing for families with little ones. Meet at 10:30 a.m. at the main bulletin board.

Saltwater State Park                9:30 AM
Take one hike or two, starting with a short, easy 1/4-mile guided walk on the interpretive nature trail, followed by the more moderate 1.5-mile Loop Trail. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the interpretive center. The short, guided tour leaves at 10 a.m. and the longer walk follows immediately after. The Civilian Conservation Corps-built cabin will be open until noon for refreshments and viewing of displays.

Spokane County
Mount Spokane State Park      10:00 AM
First Day Hike: Mount Spokane State Park Snowshoe — Beginners: Join members of the Snowshoe Mount Spokane group for an easy 3-mile roundtrip trek, which includes a stop at the Snowshoe Warming Hut. This is an ideal activity for those new to snowshoeing. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Mount Kit Carson Loop Road.

Mount Spokane State Park      10:00 AM
Advanced, strenuous: The Snowshoe Mount Spokane group will also host a snowshoe hike for more experienced and physically fit snowshoers on 4-mile hike to Vista House at the summit of Mount Spokane. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Sno-Park parking lot, where the main road meets the Summit Road.

Riverside State Park                  1:00 PM
Take an easy, 2-mile walk on the McLellan Riparian Trailhead. Meet staff at 1:00 pm at the McLeelan Riparian Trailhead for a two mile hike on a trail that runs along the Spokane River and surrounding riparian zone. This hike is designated easy on the degree of difficulty. No motorized vehicles on the trail. Dogs are allowed on leash. Make sure to bring warm clothing, snacks, water and appropriate footwear/gear. There is a potential for snow and/or ice on the trail. Cancellation/Information 509-465-5064

Island County: Whidbey Island
Deception Pass State Park         10:00 AM
Take a moderate 2.5-mile hike along the Goose Rock Trail to the top of the peak and back. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Cornet Bay Retreat Center. Following the hike, enjoy treats, games and entertainment at the retreat center.

Fort Ebey State Park                    1:30 PM
Take a moderate 1- to 2-mile hike along several trails in the park and learn about the forest and the exciting history of Fort Ebey. Explore the gun battery maze of rooms and learn about their historical uses. Meet at 1:30 p.m. by the Battery in the Gun Battery parking area.

South Whidbey State Park         10:00 AM
This moderate hike, just under a mile long, will follow the Wilbert and Forest Discover trails. Meet at 10 a.m. in front of the ranger house.

Fort Casey State Park                  1:30 PM
Take a stroll around the grounds. This gentle hike takes you to the upper hill of the fort for commanding views of the park and a discussion on the fort’s history. Then wend your way through the picnic area and forest and up to the lighthouse for even more awesome interpretive talks on the history of Admiralty Head Lighthouse! Easy. Breezy. Sure to please-y!  Water bottle, warm clothes, walking shoes and a walking stick if needed. Be prepared for wet and/or windy weather.

Kittitas County
Gingko Petrified Forest State Park     1:00 PM
A park interpretive specialist will lead a 3-mile hike through an ancient fossil bed with nearly two dozen exposed petrified logs. Look for ice-rafted erratics carried by the Ice Age Floods thousands of years ago. Meet at 1 p.m. at the interpretive trails parking lot, which is two miles west of the interpretive center.

Olmstead Place Historical State Park  10:00 AM
Join staff at 10:00 am at the North Park Entrance for a 1 mile roundtrip hike on the Altapes Interpretive Trail. This hike is rated easy on the degree of difficulty. This flat and easy trail wanders along Altapes (or Coleman) Creek. A great way to start out the New Year. Dogs are allowed on leash. Dress for the weather ( it can be windy), wear appropriate footwear for wet grass and mud. Cancellation/Information 509-925-1943

Island County: Camano Island
Cama Beach State Park           12:00 PM
This moderate hike will venture 2.6 miles through the forest to explore flora, fauna and history on the way to Cranberry Lake, with great bird-watching and a chance to see beaver activity along the trail. The Cranberry Lake hike starts at noon, leaving from the drop-off shelter.

Camano Island State Park        12:00 PM
A nice hike of about 2.75 miles, will be at a moderate pace, focused primarily on exercise with minimal stops, and taking people along the beach and into the woods. The hike starts at noon. Leave from the kitchen shelter.

Cama Beach State Park            12:00 PM
Easy hike invites participants to step back in time and learn more about the Cama Beach Resort era history. The second hike starts at 2 p.m. and leaves from the Cama Center.

Camano Island State Park          2:00 PM
An easier hike of less than a half mile, along the Marsh Trail., which starts at 2 p.m. Hike leaves from the kitchen shelter.

Okanogan County
Alta Lake State Park                  1:00 PM
Explore the flora, fauna, and geology of Alta Lake and the Goat Mountain area with a Park Ranger. Discuss local history and the recent fire seasons, all while Leaving No Trace! Choose from a 2- or 4-mile walk. One will be moderate to strenuous; the other will be an easy walk. Consider bringing snowshoes, depending on conditions. Meet at 1 p.m. at the Day use parking lot, near the swim beach.

Pearrygin Lake State Park         10:00 AM
Pearrygin Lake State Park, Winthrop: Participants can choose to use snowshoes or fat tire bikes for a moderate 2- to 4-mile ride or walk on the Rex Derr Trail, with views overlooking the lake and a tour of the park. Following  the ride or walk, the park will offer a free barbecue-style lunch for those who want to stay and play in the snow. (Those interested in the barbecue should contact the park in advance at (509) 996-2370.)  Snowshoe hikers should meet at 10 a.m., and bike riders should meet at 10:30 a.m. at the welcome center.

Thurston County 
Tolmie State Park                           9:00 AM
Located near Olympia, this moderate 3-mile walk will take hikers around the outer edge of the park on the Four Cedar nature trail. Meet at 9 a.m. at the lower parking lot/shelter area.

Whatcom County  
Larrabee State Park                       10:00 AM
Located near Bellingham, you can take an interpretive trek along Two-Dollar Trail! Join park staff for a hearty hike through Washington’s oldest state park! The hike follows Chuckanut Bay Trail (AKA Two-Dollar Trail) out to scenic Fragrance Lake. Look for wildlife along the way as you learn about some of the tree species and rock formations. Enjoy your packed lunch with the group before heading back to the trailhead. Bring that camera— there are lovely Western Washington fern-filled forest and mini waterfall snaps to be found on this hike!

Franklin County   
Palouse Falls State Park                  12:00 PM
Meet staff at 12:00 pm at the lower parking lot at the overlook near the bathrooms and join in a 2 hour round trip excursion, out and back, to enjoy wonderful views of the official State Waterfall created by the Palouse River while learning about area flora, fauna and geology. This hike is rated moderate on the degree of difficulty. Palouse Falls is a 105 acre park featuring dramatic evidence of the Ice Age Floods. Leave No Trace principles will be taught and practiced on this excursion. Post-hike refreshments and prizes will be available. Minimum age to join this hike is 6 years old with an adult. No dogs are allowed. Dress for the weather and conditions. Bring binoculars, a camera, water and good quality hiking/walking shoes with closed toes.

Columbia Plateau Trail State Park     10:00 AM
A moderate 2-hour round-trip bicycle ride to the portion of the trail between Ice Harbor Dam Trailhead and the Snake River Junction Trailhead. Learn about the principles of Leave No Trace, while enjoying a brisk ride along this trail with scenic views of the Snake River. Meet at 10 a.m. at the Ice Harbor Dam Trailhead, east of Pasco. (Park map:

Chelan County
Lake Chelan State Park                 10:00 AM
Meet at the Lake Chelan State Park Office to join staff for a hike on the Little Bear Hiking Trail, located at Lake Chelan State Park. This 2.5 mile hike is rated at an easy degree of difficulty. Minimum age is 5 years old with an adult. Dogs are allowed on leash. Weather conditions may cause a change in plans or needed equipment. Come prepared to spend several hours outdoors in a freezing environment. Make sure to bring warm clothes and good hiking shoes. If you have snowshoes please bring them as this may turn from a hike to a snowshoe event depending on weather.  Cancellation/Information 509-687-3710

Lake Wenatchee State Park          11:00 AM
Join staff for a 1.8 mile loop snowshoe hike on the Lake Loop Snowshoe Trail beginning at 11:00 am. This hike is rated moderate on the degree of difficulty. A shortcut option is available for those wishing a shorter trip. If for some reason there is not enough snow then this will turn into a regular hike. Highlights of the trail include gorgeous scenery along the Wenatchee River, the shore of Lake Wenatchee, and forested trail. There will be light snacks and hot chocolate available following the hike in the North Reservation Booth for participants. . Wear appropriate winter clothing and dress in layers. Bring your snowshoes/hiking footwear, snacks and water. Dogs are allowed on leash. Stick around for the 2:00 pm Annual Polar Bear Dip at the South Park.

Snohomish County
Wallace Falls State Park                  9:30 AM
Did you know that Wallace Falls State Park actually comprises nine waterfalls? Kick off the new year with a 2-mile hike by way of Woody Trail to Middle Falls, by far the most impressive of the falls with a 265-foot drop. The hike to the Middle Falls will take approximately three to four hours round-trip. After this time, you are welcome to continue the hike past Middle Falls. The tour will stop at a few points along the trail for a break, and the ranger will talk about the park and answer questions. Trail is not ADA accessible, dogs are allowed on leash. Please wear winter clothing in layers, sturdy hiking boots, and bring food and water.

Skagit County
Rockport State Park                        11:00 AM
ll winter long, Rockport State Park offers the Deep Forest Experience, guided hikes through a rare, old growth forest of ancient cedar, fir, hemlock and maple on the Sauk Springs or Evergreen trail. Hikes on the easier Sauk Spring Trail start at 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. An afternoon hike on the more moderate Evergreen Trail happens at 2 p.m. Meet for either hike at the Discovery Center, near the park office.

San Juan Island
Lime Kiln Point State Park on San Juan Island           12:00 PM
Explore the natural history, recent and ancient history of Lime Kiln Point and the surrounding woods and vistas on this moderate 2-mile hike. Meet at noon at the interpretive center in the lower parking lot.

Moran State Park on Orcas Island                                 9:30 AM
Friends of Moran State volunteers will lead a guided stroll around the Cascade Lake Loop Trail, located in the heart of the park. This moderate hike is just less than 3 miles. Meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Cascade Lake picnic shelter. The hike is followed by the annual Polar Bear Plunge—an Orcas Island tradition— at 11 a.m. 

Pacific County
Cape Disappointment State Park            11:00 AM
Join the interpretive specialist for a moderate 3-mile hike along the Benson Beach Trail to explore the wild coastline overlooking the Columbia River Bar. Learn how waves, currents and tides interact with this dynamic environment. Meet at 11 a.m.  at the Benson Beach amphitheater.

Grays Harbor
Lake Sylvia State Park                               1:00 PM
Lake Sylvia State Park is a perfect place for lowland hiking anytime during the winter. You will love the idyllic lake setting and the old-growth forest trails. A park ranger will lead a 2-mile hike along the trail that loops around Lake Sylvia. A volunteer from the Friends of Schafer and Lake Sylvia (FOSLS) will lead a shorter stroll as well. Learn about the history of the Lake Sylvia area and discuss native plants and wildlife. FOSLS will provide cocoa and cookies. We will meet at the kitchen and hike the Lake Trail, 2 miles in length or the shorter option. This hike is rated Easy. All ages welcome as well as friendly dogs on a leash. Bring water and dress appropriately for the weather.

Lewis County
Lewis and Clark State Park                       10:00 AM
Follow the Trail of the Deer path on this moderate 1.5-mile hike, while exploring the beautiful old growth forest in this park. Meet at 10 a.m. at the main entrance gate.

Jefferson County
Dosewallips State Park                             12:00 PM
Enjoy an easy half-mile guided hike through forest, to the beach and uplands along Hood Canal. The program will focus on saltwater and freshwater ecosystems in the park and will include a look at some shellfish specimens. The hike will include a unique viewing platform. Snacks are provided. Meet at noon at the Meadows Trailhead (beach trail) parking lot, located on the opposite end of the highway bridge from the park entrance. Dress warm, and be prepared for blustery weather. Porta-potties available at the trailhead.  Cancellation Information (360)796-4415

Douglas County
Lincoln Rock State                                  11:00 AM
Parks staff will give a hike and bike tour of the park and a portion of the Rocky Reach Trail, while providing historical, local and geographic information about the area on this easy 2-mile route.  Meet at 11 a.m. at the day-use shelter.

Clark County
Battle Ground Lake State Park                 1:00 PM
Enjoy a walk in the woods as we circle the rim of an old volcano and the edge of Battle Ground Lake. This will be two-hikes-in-one, with some options for hikers. We will start with a fairly easy hike on the Upper Lake Trail, with a short-cut back to the shelter around the half way point (~1 mile), and for those who want more, we will proceed down to the Lower Lake Trail, and hike along the shoreline. Not much elevation gain/loss over the whole hike, but rated Easy to Moderate since the volcanic nature of the terrain makes the trails rough and rocky in places. (Upper Lake has more elevation changes, Lower Lake has rougher trail.) Come prepared for the weather and a few muddy spots on the trails. Meet at the Picnic Shelter in the Day Use Area. Open to all ages. Friendly dogs on a leash are welcome.

Asotin County
Field Springs State Park                        10:00 AM
Fields Spring State Park is a 792 acre forested park located in the Blue Mountains. Join staff for a 2 mile round trip snowshoe excursion, out and back. Optional climb for additional views will be offered. This excursion is rated moderate. Minimum age is 6 years old with an adult. No strollers please and dogs are allowed on leash. Meet at the Trailhead near Puffer Butte Lodge parking area, at the end of the road. Views on this hike may include the Wallowa Mountains, Hells Canyon, and the Grande Ronde River. Discover who Mr. Fields was and what Mr. and Mrs. Puffer did! Leave No Trace principals will be taught and practiced. Refreshments and prizes will be available after the excursion. Dress for the weather and conditions and bring along binoculars, camera, water and your snowshoes. If you do not have snowshoes, there are a limited number on site for rent. Arrive 20 minutes early if you need to rent snowshoes. If there is no snow this outing will become a hike. Cancellation/Information 509-256-3332.

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