Visitors can enter state parks for free Saturday

Staff reportJune 8, 2014 

People can enter any Washington State Park for free Saturday.

Park visitors will not required to display a Discover Pass because it is National Get Outdoors Day.

Free entrance days were part of the legislation that created the Discover Pass, a $30 annual or $10 one-day permit required on recreation lands managed by Washington State Parks, state Department of Fish and Wildlife and state Department of Natural Resources.

The legislation allows State Parks to designate up to 12 free days each year when the pass would not be required to visit state parks. A pass is still needed to access lands managed by the other two agencies on these days.

The remaining free days for this year are Aug. 25 for the anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service, Sept. 27 for National Public Lands Day and Nov. 11 for Veterans Day.

WTA PROJECTS AT RAINIER

The Washington Trails Association has a number of trail work parties scheduled this summer at Mount Rainier National Park. These projects still have openings:

Saturday-June 15: Continued work on the West Boundary Trail and Mine Trail.

June 20-22: A crew will work on sections of the Wonderland Trail near Longmire. The project includes annual maintenance such as drainage, tread repair and brushing. If/when this work is done, volunteers will move on to do maintenance on other trails in the Longmire area.

June 28-29: Continued work on the Wonderland Trail near Longmire.

July 4-6: Continued work in the Longmire area.

People taking part in these events can camp for free in the Longmire Stewardship Campground. Participants should make camping reservations at least one week in advance by contacting campground host Jim Cherry at james_cherry@partner.nps.gov.

To learn about other WTA trail projects, go to wta.org.

CASCADE RIVER ROAD CLOSURE

Hikers and climbers who plan to visit Boston Basin or the Cascade Pass this fall need to be aware of an upcoming road closure.

North Cascades National Park Service Complex officials said in a news release that the last 3 miles of Cascade River Road will be closed to vehicle and foot traffic from Sept. 8 until late October. The closure will allow crews to make extensive repairs to the road and will affect hikers approaching the area from either the east or west side.

The road closure will begin at El Dorado parking area near Milepost 20 and will be in effect 24 hours a day, seven days a week to allow heavy equipment and large dump trucks to use the road safely.

Preliminary surveys and erosion control work will begin in late August, but those activities will not significantly affect visitors. Access to the Eldorado Climbing Area will not be affected.

The repair work will include installing a 60-foot-long concrete box culvert with a debris rack to prevent culvert plugging at Boston Creek crossing where many washouts have occurred in the past. The most recent washout in October left more than 70 visitors stranded.

For alternative fall hikes, climbs or access to Stehekin via another route, contact the Wilderness Information Center at 360-854-7245, the Golden West Visitor Center at 509-699-2080, Ext. 14, or any park ranger station.

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