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Veteran's Day Fee-Free Weekend Adventures

Posted by Loren D at Nov 08, 2013 05:25 PM |

State and national parks are waiving entrance fees and pass requirements all weekend for Veteran's Day. From hikes through military history to camping in cabin ideas, here are some ideas for your outdoor adventures.

This weekend, federal and state public lands agencies are honoring veterans and service members for Veteran's Day by waiving all fees from Nov. 9-11. So, when you head to the hills or the coast this weekend, you can park at trailheads or recreation facilities without hanging a Northwest Forest Pass or Discover Pass or paying an entrance fee.

It's the perfect excuse to extend your hiking season and get outside. Below are a few great ways to celebrate veterans and get outside.

Visit a State Park

It's a fee-free day in State Parks, so you won't need a pass to visit any number of great parks near you.

Hike through military history. What better way to honor veterans than on a stroll at Fort Casey State Park or Fort Flagler State Park. Fort Ebey or Fort Worden State Park also have their fair share of history and hiking to enjoy.

Wildlife watching. Bring you binoculars and a camera and go in search of elk, owls, eagles or mountain goats in any number of state parks around the state. Where wildlife are likely to be.

Weather-proof camping in a cabin. Many of the State Parks have cabins, yurts or platform tents to help extend your camping season.

Visit a National Park

Pack an extra fleece, grab your camera and a thermos of hot chocolate or spiced cider, and explore one of the three National Parks here in Washington.

Mount Rainier National Park

Facilities open within Mount Rainier National Park during this holiday include the National Park Inn at Longmire (lodging and meals) and the Longmire General Store (gifts and food items). Visitor information is available at the Longmire Information Center. The Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center at Paradise will be open on Saturday and Sunday only.

This time of year, there are some road closures and chain restrictions on some roads, so check their website and road conditions before you head out for a Rainier adventure.

Olympic National Park

If you want to combine a little camping with your hiking, Olympic National Park has some campgrounds open year-round. You can put the money you save on entrance fee toward your campsite fee and hike for two or three days in a row.

North Cascades National Park

There's never an entrance fee to North Cascades National Park, but a three day weekend is still a great chance to get a glimpse of these dramatic peaks covered in snow. Most of the trails in North Cascades National Park have some snow on them, but Thunder Creek is a beautiful, low-elevation trail that is often snow free late in the season. And you don't mind braving some cold, you get a night away by car camping in one or two campgrounds in North Cascades, too.

Hike on National Forest Lands

From the snow-covered trails in the Colville National Forest to river hikes Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, there are no shortage of trails to explore, fee-free, this weekend.

>> Check out our seasonal suggestions (in yellow) on the hike finder map.

>> Follow in the footsteps of other hikers using trip reports.

Wherever your outdoor adventures take you, go prepared, stay safe and have a great time hiking!