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Posted on: July 24, 2020

State Parks asks visitors to avoid crowded parks this summer

Visitors should be prepared to go somewhere else if park is full

Updated Aug. 7, 2020 to add Potlatch State Park to list of crowded parks.

OLYMPIA – July , 2020 – The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is asking the public to follow the Guidelines for Responsible Recreation when planning a trip to a state park this summer. When parks are crowded, and parking lots are full, visitors should go somewhere else.

Popular state parks across Washington have been experiencing high numbers of visitors this summer. Large crowds are a concern because it makes social distancing difficult for park staff and visitors.

“The safety of our staff and visitors is our top priority,” said State Parks Director Don Hoch. “We need to be able to offer access to the outdoors without putting people at risk.”

State Parks is also concerned about the impact large crowds have on parks’ natural resources.

If a parking lot is full, visitors should avoid parking on local roads to access the park on foot.

In Chelan County, Lake Chelan and Lake Wenatchee state parks will close day-use areas to additional visitors when parking lots become full.

Other parks seeing high numbers of visitors include:

Visitors should check what’s open before heading out, avoid crowds and be prepared to go somewhere else if the park is at capacity. There are 124 developed state parks across Washington the public can choose from. If one park is crowded, there is likely another not too far away.

State parks reopened day-use areas in early May after a five-week closure due to the coronavirus pandemic. Camping began reopening June 1. To date, not all state parks have reopened.

Find a list of all Washington state parks here.

News media contacts: 

Anna Gill, Communications Director (360) 902-8562.


About Washington State Parks

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission manages more than 120 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: 20-038

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