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Permits, Passes & Reservations

Permits, passes, and reservations are often required for popular activities in Washington. Many trailheads and recreation sites require some type of pass, while popular campgrounds and certain ferry routes also accept reservations.   

Common Types of Passes 

The type of land ownership, such as federal or state, the type of recreation, and the season will often determine what permit or pass is needed. Below, you’ll find some of the most common passes you might need during your trip. Please note this is not a complete list. 

A Discover Pass is used for land and water sites managed by Washington State Parks, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington State Department of Natural Resources. These cover state parks and many campgrounds, as well as natural areas, wildlife areas, and trails. They are available to purchase as a day pass or an annual pass. Additional fees may apply for activities like camping and boating.  

To access U.S. Forest Service land, multiple passes are available. Some of the most common include the annual America the Beautiful Pass, the annual Northwest Forest Pass, and the National Forest Recreation Day Pass and ePass.  

From Nov. 1 – April 30, many recreation sites on state and federal land require a daily or seasonal Sno-Park Permit from Washington State Parks. You can purchase these permits online during the season or in person at one of these vendors.  

Other Permits & Reservations

Beyond visiting public lands, there are other permits, reservations, and passes to be aware of when visiting Washington. From fishing licenses to ferry reservations, planning ahead is essential for a stress-free visit. Find helpful resources below.

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