Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Outside Hiking by Season Spring Destinations Hike and Camp 10 Iconic State Parks in Washington

Hike and Camp 10 Iconic State Parks in Washington

Most state parks in Washington boast miles of trails, beautiful landscapes and great camping options including cabins and yurts. Reserve a Zipcar with a Discover Pass and discover one of these stunning state parks.

Washington has one of the largest state park systems in the country, so how do you pick which one to visit? You can use a lot of criteria, but with so many different landscapes in Washington, why not try to visit as many different ecosystems as you can?

Whether you want some beach time, a little forest bathing, a riverside ramble or to explore the shrub steppe — or even to hike in the shade of a volcano — you'll find one on this list to suit you.

Plus, the parks on this list have options to stay in cabins or yurts as well as the campgrounds that most state parks include. These are a terrific basecamp for exploring trails over a weekend or longer. See where you can stay overnight at parks across the state and make a reservation in advance to make your trip as smooth as possible. 


Moran State Park

Location: Puget Sound and Island — San Juan Islands
Mileage: 11.4 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2,490 feet

View from Mount Constitution. Photo by Phaunts.
View from Mount Constitution. Photo by Phaunts.

This state park has a lot to offer. Drive or hike to the top of Mount Constitution for views across Orcas Island and the open sea. A variety of trails make it possible to craft your own loop through this island park dotted with historical structures built by the CCC. If you want to sleep in style, vacation houses are available for rent in this park. For a shorter trip to the top of Mount Constitution consider this 6.7 mile route past Mountain Lake.

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Rasar State Park

Location: North Cascades — Highway 20
Mileage: 3 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 20 feet

Cabin at Rasar State Park. Photo by Loren Drummond.
Cabin at Rasar State Park. Photo by Loren Drummond.

Rasar State Park, along the Wild and Scenic Skagit River, presents a variety of trails for exploring the park’s second-growth forest, native wildlife and pioneer history. You can also catch views of nearby Sauk Mountain on clear days from the Field Trail, a mowed path which returns you to the impeccably groomed, large campground. After a full day of exploring consider staying in one of the cabins available for rent. 

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Fort Flagler

Location: Olympic Peninsula — Hood Canal
Mileage: 5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 150 feet

Fort Flager State Park stone beach. Photo by BrownsBay.
Fort Flagler State Park stone beach. Photo by BrownsBay.

This park was once a military installation. Now, that strategic position offers visitors an amazing coastal experience. Look across to Port Townsend as you walk along the beach and notice the bluffs, which you can explore later. Turn your trip into an overnight and stay in one of the vacation houses available for rent here.

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Millersylvania State Park

Location: Olympic Peninsula — Olympia
Mileage: 6 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 105 feet

Millersylvania trail sign. Photo by schmerica79.
Millersylvania trail sign. Photo by schmerica79.

Centrally located with easy access from I-5, this state park is a great place for a day hike or an overnight stay. With 8 miles of trails, visitors can explore while admiring stands of old -growth trees, wetlands and CCC-built structures. Spread your visit across a few days and stay in one of the vacation homes available for rent here.

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Brooks Memorial

Location: Columbia River Gorge — WA
Mileage: 5 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: varies

Spotted Coral Root at Brooks Memorial State Park. Photo by Bob and Barb..jpeg
Spotted Coral Root at Brooks Memorial State Park. Photo by Bob and Barb.

This quiet state park showcases the best of the Columbia River Gorge. Go from wildflower-filled meadows to views of Mount Adams, Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson. A disc-golf course offers a fun activity and a nearby museum and observatory can be great side trips on a camping weekend. For accommodations, consider renting one of the rustic shelters here.

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Potholes State Park

Location: Central Washington — Potholes Region
Mileage: 3 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: varies 

The river at Potholes State Park. Photo by Aug17.
The river at Potholes State Park. Photo by Aug17.

This park makes for a great Central Washington basecamp. Right on the edge of Potholes Reservoir, this park is popular with boaters and picnickers. Start your hiking here on the short Frenchman Hills Trail, then consider visiting nearby Steamboat Rock to continue exploring the area. Make this your basecamp by staying in one of the cabins available for rent.

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Fields Spring

Location: Eastern Washington — Palouse and Blue Mountains
Mileage: 4.4 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 500 feet

Field Springs State Park cabin. Photo by Must Hike Must Eat.
A cozy cabin at Field Springs State Park. Photo by Must Hike Must Eat. 

The gentle summit of Puffer Butte is the focal point in this state park. Enjoy a nice hike to the top, then take in the rolling Wallowa Mountains all around. In the summer, these hills will be dotted with wildflowers, adding an extra note of interest. Return in the winter to see the same vistas dusted with snow. Rent one of the cabins here to make your stay memorable.

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Cape Disappointment 

Location: Southwest Washington — Long Beach Area
Mileage: 12 miles of trails
Elevation Gain: varies 

The beach at Cape Disappointment State Park. Photo by wjl8.
The beach at Cape Disappointment State Park. Photo by wjl8.

This state park offers a stunning coastal experience. This jutting spit of land hangs out into the storied waters where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean. Visitors will revel in the natural beauty and historic significance seen everywhere throughout this park. Also check out the yurts that are available for rent.

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Kanaskat-Palmer State Park 

Location: Puget Sound and Islands — Seattle-Tacoma Area
Mileage: 3 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: minimal 

The Green River at Kanaskat-Palmer State Park. Photo by cherryscottage.
The Green River at Kanaskat-Palmer State Park. Photo by cherryscottage.

Located on the Green River, this state park is popular with kayakers and rafters. It is a great camping destination, with accommodations ranging from campgrounds to RV hookups to yurts. Enjoy the forest, the birds and a dramatic stretch of the Green River during your stay.

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Seaquest state Park 

Location: South Cascades — Mount St. Helens Area
Mileage: 3 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 100 feet

The boardwalk at Seaquest State Park. Photo by Eric & KJ.
The boardwalk at Seaquest State Park. Photo by Eric & KJ.

This state park butts up to the shores of Silver Lake, but there are a variety of hiking options here. Check out the lake, go for a forest walk or enjoy a barrier-free loop trail. A longer trail extends out around the campground where you’ll find yurts for rent. Views of Mount St. Helens are frequent and with a variety of amenities and trails this park is a great option for a family camping trip.

> Plan your trip using WTA’s Hiking Guide


Passes and conditions

Get your Discover Pass. The Discover Pass is a $30 annual vehicle pass (or $10 day pass) that provides recreational access to Washington's first-class park system and helps directly fund the state parks.

Check out what's openBookmark the winter schedule and check alerts before you go. They will tell you where you can camp and hike, and which services (like restrooms and interpretive centers) will be open.