How to Get a Free Discover Pass

Many of Washington’s greatest parks and recreation areas feature signs declaring the need for a  Discover Pass. Although they are priced affordably at just $30-$35 per year, some Washington residents can skip the purchase altogether!

WA WA State Discover Pass Sign

Disabled Washington State residents do not need a Discover Pass to access state parks.

You do NOT need a Discover Pass for day use access at state parks if you have a disability placard/license plate OR a free state-issued Disability Pass. This program also offers free watercraft launching, trailer dumping and a 50% discount on camping and moorage.

If you have a disability placard or license plate, you are automatically entitled to these benefits (to see the requirements for a disability plate/placard, click here). However, if you do not have one of those, you can apply for a Disability Pass.

The Disability Pass is valid year round and is issued in annual or five-year periods. Qualified applicants must be legally blind, profoundly deaf, developmentally disabled or meet disability definitions used by the Social Security Administration.

These benefits are only offered at state parks. You will still need a Discover Pass to access WDFW or DNR lands. 

Disabled Veterans can receive free camping, moorage and more.

Washington State residents with a documented service-connected disability of at least 30% are eligible for free camping, moorage, reservations, watercraft launching, trailer dumping and day use entry to State Parks. This free lifetime pass is valid year-round.

Download or print the application by clicking here.

Seniors are eligible for discounts on camping and moorage.

All senior Washington State residents (age 62+) can purchase an off-season senior citizen pass. For $75, this pass offers free nightly camping or moorage between October 1 and March 31 (and Sunday through Thursday in April). Utilities cost $10 per night. 

Seniors (age 62+) with an annual household income of $35,000 or less can receive a free Senior Citizen Limited Income Pass that grants the user a 50% discount on camping and moorage fees year-round. This pass also allows the user to launch watercraft and dump trailers for free. Day use is also included.



If you own property, you must also meet the requirements for a Property Tax Exemption (RCW 84.36.381) to qualify for the Limited Income Pass.  

Hunters and fishers do not need a Discover Pass to access WDFW land.

You do NOT need a Discover Pass to access land managed by WDFW if you have a vehicle access pass. These passes are issued with hunting or fishing licenses. However, you will still need a Discover Pass to access state parks or DNR land.

Foster families do not need a Discover Pass to access state parks or campsites.

You do NOT need a Discover pass to access state parks or campsites if you are a foster family. Registered foster parents and relative foster caregivers who visit the park with the children they are caring for are eligible for free day use and free camping. A reservation fee is required to hold the reservation in the system.

Just call 1-888-226-7688 to reserve a camping site. You will need to tell the operator that you are a foster care provider. You will also need to show your Washington State Driver’s License and Foster Care ID Card upon arrival.

For more information, including the limitations of some of these programs, click here.

Chelan PUD customers can get a free day-use pass through the Chelan PUD Public Power Benefit Day Use Parking Pass.

Chelan PUD customers can get free day use access to Wenatchee Confluence, Lincoln Rock and Daroga State Parks with a Chelan PUD Public Power Benefit Day Use Parking Pass.

This pilot program is accepting applications until September 30, 2016 and the passes are eligible until December 31, 2016.

To apply, visit a Chelan PUD office or www.cehlanpud.org. Each customer account or household is eligible for one pass, which can be shared among four vehicles. The PUD must verify your address and current customer status. You must also indicate your willingness to participate in a study at the conclusion of the program.

For more information about this program, click here.

Volunteers who work 24 hours or more on a project can receive a free Discover Pass.

Volunteers don’t need a Discover Pass while volunteering – and after 24 hours of volunteering, they can earn a free Discover Pass! Learn more about this program by clicking here.

Visit on a FREE Day and avoid the Discover Pass altogether.

Washington State Parks have free days each year. You can see the calendar here.

For this year (2016), the free dates are:

  • January 1
  • January 17-18
  • March 19
  • March 26
  • April 22
  • May 8
  • June 4
  • June 11
  • August 25
  • September 24
  • November 11

 

 

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