New legislation eliminates daily Sno-Park/Discover Pass combination requirement, adds snow bike designation
OLYMPIA – Oct. 08, 2019 – The Washington State Parks Winter Recreation Program reminds winter recreation enthusiasts that Sno-Park permits will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 1. The program simultaneously announces new regulations regarding permit purchases and display requirements.
Sno-Park permits allow visitors to park in specially cleared, designated parking lots with access to areas around the state for cross-country skiing, skijoring, fat-tire biking, snowmobiling, snow biking, dog sledding, snowshoeing, tubing and other winter sports and snow play.
Keeping it simple
Starting this year, the Discover Pass will no longer be required along with the daily Sno-Park permit in Sno-Parks that are on State Park property. (Crystal Springs, Easton Reload, Fields Spring, Hyak, Lake Easton, Lake Wenatchee, Pearrygin Lake and Mount Spokane.)
“The Winter Recreation Program often heard from permit holders about how cumbersome the old requirements were,” said Winter Recreation Program Manager Pamela McConkey. “This change in permit and pass requirements means less confusion for winter recreation enthusiasts.”
Last spring, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill eliminating the need for the Discover Pass to accompany the daily Sno-Park permits at Sno-Parks in Washington state parks. This legislation, sponsored by Rep. Chris Corry (Yakima), was signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee on April 29.
Seasonal Sno-Park permit holders had already been exempted from displaying the Discover Pass at Washington State Parks Sno-Parks.
Snow bikes now classified as snowmobiles
In 2019, the Washington Legislature also passed a bill, with advocacy and support from snowmobilers and the Washington State Snowmobile Association, designating snow bikes in the same class as snowmobiles.
Snow bikes use motorcycle frames and engines, but they have a ski in place of the front tire and continuous track (much like a snowmobile) in place of the back tire.
As of this year, snow bikes must be registered as snowmobiles and must follow snowmobile regulations.
What type of permit is needed?
- Daily Sno-Park Permit
This permit is valid at any Sno-Park for one, two or three consecutive days as indicated on the permit. Cost: $20 per day. (Note: All Sno-Parks honor the one-day permit, and individuals who purchase a one-day permit are not required to purchase a Special Groomed Sticker.)
- Seasonal Non-motorized Sno-Park Permit
This permit is valid for the entire winter season at all non-motorized Sno-Parks used for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, fat-tire biking, etc. Some Sno-Parks require a Special Groomed Sticker to be paired with a seasonal non-motorized permit. Cost: $40.
- Special Groomed Sticker
This sticker affixes to a seasonal Sno-Park permit and is required for use at special, higher-use Sno-Parks that require more frequent grooming. Cost: $40. This permit, in conjunction with the seasonal permit, is required at eight Sno-Parks: Cabin Creek, Chiwawa, Crystal Springs, Hyak, Lake Easton, Lake Wenatchee, Mount Spokane and Nason Ridge. Snowmobile seasonal permit holders must purchase this permit when using these Sno-Parks for non-motorized activities.
- Seasonal Snowmobile and Snow Bike Sno-Park Permit
All snowmobiles and snow bikes in Washington state are required to be registered annually through the Washington State Department of Licensing or a licensing agent. The $50 registration fee includes one Sno-Park permit, which must be affixed to the towing vehicle. Out-of-state visitors with snowmobiles need to purchase a motorized Sno-Park permit. Cost: $40.
How to get a permit:
Sno-Park permits are sold in person and online Nov. 1 through April 30 and must be displayed on the permit holder’s windshield during that timeframe.
To purchase a Sno-Park permit online, visit: parks.state.wa.us/winter. For a list of vendors and their locations, visit: parks.state.wa.us/147/Sno-Park-Permit-vendors.
Online purchasers need the following information at the time of purchase:
- Credit card
- Date of use for one-day permits
- Vehicle license plate number
- Printer (to instantly print a one-day or temporary seasonal permit)
Revenue from Sno-Park permit sales is entirely dedicated to the Winter Recreation Program and helps pay for trail grooming, snow removal from parking lots and roads, on-site sanitation, education and enforcement.
About the State Parks Winter Recreation Program
The Winter Recreation Program manages more than 3,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails, 811 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails and more than 120 Sno-Parks (plowed parking areas near snowmobile and cross-country ski trails) on public and private lands in Washington. The Winter Recreation Program is supported entirely by user fees, snowmobile registrations and a percentage of the state fuel tax. Follow the Winter Recreation Program on Twitter at @WaStatePks_WNTR and at parks.state.wa.us/winter.
Jason Goldstein, Winter Recreation Program, (360) 902-8662
Meryl Lassen, Communications Office, (360) 902-8557
About Washington State Parks
The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 100 state parks and properties totaling approximately 120,000 acres. The Commission provides a variety of recreation opportunities for citizens and provides stewardship protection for a diverse array of natural, cultural and historic resources. State Parks’ statewide programs include long-distance trails, boating safety and winter recreation.
News release number: 19-081