The State of Washington is blessed to have a large amount of great natural areas. There are sagebrush covered canyons in the east, thick forests in the Cascade Mountains, and wonderful places along the coast in the western part of the state. Throughout the state there are also some very nice areas around the state’s many rivers and lakes. Washington residents place a big priority on protecting the natural look of their state. There are plenty of national parks, national forests, and state recreation areas available there. Washington is also home to some fun, interesting, and scenic state parks too. If you want to get out and about in Washington’s outdoors, here are five great state parks you can visit.
Steamboat Rock State Park
You can reach Steamboat Rock State Park off of Highway 155 in North Central Washington. It sits right on Banks Lake and includes a large rock formation that visually reminds you of a steamboat on the water. Steamboat Rock State Park is just a short drive from Grand Coulee Dam which makes visiting there a breeze. It has a great swim area, beach, and playground. You shouldn’t be surprised to see deer come walking through the campground either. This is a favorite of campers who like to get out on the water.
Fort Worden State Park
The United States Government built Fort Worden along Admiralty Inlet near Port Townsend as a way of protecting Puget Sound. It was an active base beginning in 1902 and lasting all the way to 1953. In 1973 it became Fort Worden State Park. Today it is home to sandy beaches, campsites, and wide open areas. The vast majority of the old fort is still there, sometimes just the foundations and sometimes the entire building. Exploring the abandoned bunkers is fascinating and if you are a history buff you should check out the Coast Artillery Museum and the Point Wilson Lighthouse. This is easily one of the coolest state parks in all of Washington.
Lake Wenatchee State Park
Lake Wenatchee State Park is located, fittingly, at Lake Wenatchee on both sides of the Wenatchee River where it leaves the lake. This campground is extremely popular and there is a lot of chance for outdoor recreation with all of the hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities. The beach is very popular, especially on those sunny days. The scenery is astounding and worthy of picture taking. There is also a lot to do in the area around the park including exploring the White River and Little Wenatchee River area to the west, going fishing at Fish Lake nearby, and venturing into the small communities of Plain, Coles Corner, or Leavenworth. It’s hard to go to Lake Wenatchee State Park and not have a great time.
Deception Pass State Park
Deception Pass State Park is one of the most popular state parks in the state of Washington. The main reason for this is it is absolutely gorgeous. It literally attracts millions of visitors each and every year. There are three different campgrounds at the park and each of them offers something unique. Walking on the beach at Deception Pass State Park is addicting. The Pacific Northwest Trail runs through part of the park and hiking it can be a lot of fun. You can also access the water easily whether you’re there to go boating, fishing, or kayaking. When you go there though, make sure you get up on nearby Deception Pass Bridge at least once so you can watch the boats passing through the narrow waterway below.
Beacon Rock State Park
Beacon Rock State Park is located east of the city of Vancouver, Washington. Beacon Rock is a nearly 850 foot tall monolith right on the Columbia River. Lewis and Clark actually stopped right at Beacon Rock on their way to the Pacific Ocean. The hiking trail in the park is very popular and there is a series of switchbacks, stairways, and railings that can help you get all the way to the top of the rock. There are other trails that stretch through the park too and that fact is another reason that it is a popular destination for hiking enthusiasts. At one time, the rock was scheduled for destruction, but thankfully it was preserved and converted to state park land so everyone could enjoy.