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Can’t decide between the beach and the mountains? Head to Washington State Parks

Can’t decide between the beach and the mountains? Head to Washington State Parks

by Mikayla Merchant | July 06, 2020

The desire to get outside is higher than ever, and visiting state parks is a great way to safely experience the great outdoors with the whole family. Here at Arrive Outdoors, we aim to give you all the tools you’ll need to plan your summer travel. While this year’s camping season may look very different due to the impacts of Covid-19, we are here to help you navigate this time so you are able to get outside in the safest way possible. You can even check out our Park Status Tracker to see all the up to date information on park openings. 

Washington State Parks are just one of the many amazing outdoor destinations available for you to visit this summer. With Washington offering forests, beaches, sand dunes, and freshwater lakes to explore, there truly is something for everyone here. Getting outdoors safely is the priority this season and we have all the information on how to do so when visiting Washington State Parks this summer.

We chatted with Washington State Parks officials to get the inside scoop on specific destinations within Washington and what to expect when you get there, so you can easily plan your travels. Here's what they have to say:

What should travelers expect when traveling to Washington State Parks this summer? 


Due to COVID 19, the status of Washington State Parks’ openings and closures is ever-evolving. The good news is many parks are open for camping and recreation statewide! 

Get the latest on the status of Washington State Parks here.   Find up-to-date information on which parks are open for camping reservations or just to go spend the day. You’ll find plenty of park information and best practices for safe, responsible recreation. Make sure to check this site often for new information.

Want even more ideas on great ways to enjoy parks? Visit, Washington State Parks’ official blog!

What are 3 lower traffic parks that would be a good option for visitors to explore this summer and avoid crowds? For each of these state parks, can you name one trail or site that is a must-see? 


Three lesser-known Washington State Park gems are Scenic Beach State Park, Rainbow Falls State Park, and Fields Spring State Park.

Scenic Beach State Park 

 Where the shore meets the forest! Enjoy the best of the Hood Canal’s beauty at this lush camping park dubbed a “romantic hot spot” by locals. 

Wander through the tall cedars in the day-use area and snap a selfie at the parks’ gazebo. Take a panoramic picture of the canal and the Olympic Mountains from the 1912 Emel House, built by the family who donated the park property. 

Take an easy stroll through wood bridges and fern-lined paths down to the stony shore. Then break out your gear and marshmallows! The Scenic Beach campsites have fire rings and thick forest understory surrounding them, giving them a cozy, private feel.

Rainbow Falls State Park

 Located on the Willapa River in Lewis County, Rainbow Falls is a great getaway and an easy drive from urban western Washington. Bring a picnic or play a game of frisbee or ball on the wide, grassy lawns. Pack your hiking shoes or load up your bike! This park meets up with the Willapa Hills State Park Trail, which follows an old railroad route – including repurposed trestles -- over the river and through farm country.

Take a day trip to nearby Jackson House State Park Heritage Site where you can explore Washington’s pioneer history hands on. Then, head back to Rainbow Falls, set up camp, and let the song of the river lull you to sleep!

Fields Spring State Park

 If you are looking for a camping park off the beaten path (but not too far from supplies) set your sights on Fields Spring. Located a scenic 40-minute drive from Clarkston, Fields Spring offers the perfect base for recreating in and around the gorgeous Blue Mountains. 

You’ll find swim spots along the neighboring Grand Ronde River and spectacular views when you take the not-to-miss hike to the top of Puffer Butte. Bring your wheels and roll out on the park’s 7 miles of biking trails. 

What you need to know before you go.


If you plan to drive to a Washington state park for just the day, you will need a Discover Pass. Parking is included in camping fees. Ready to make a reservation? Gather your gear and reserve online on our reservations page or call (888-CAMPOUT) or (888-226-7688).

For more information about Washington State Parks we recommend visiting their website directly. 

What gear is best?

If you are planning a trip outdoors, and either don’t have all of the necessary gear you need, or you are unsure about what to pack, contact our Arrive Outdoors team and we are more than happy to help! 

We've partnered with Washington State Parks to make it easier than ever for everyone to access the state parks with the gear they need! 




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