Skip to Content

7 Ways to Get a Free Washington State Discover Pass

7 Ways to Get a Free Washington State 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 $35 per year, some Washington residents can skip the purchase altogether!


Discover Pass

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, as well as free watercraft launching, dump trailers, and day use fees!

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.  

Foster families do not need a Discover Pass!

If you are a foster family, you do NOT need a Discover Pass to visit state parks or campsites! Both registered foster parents and relative foster caregivers are eligible for free day use and free camping when they visit with the children they are caring for. A reservation fee is required.

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.

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. Your hunting or fishing license includes this pass. However, you will still need a Discover Pass to access state parks or DNR land.

Chelan PUD customers can get a free day-use 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.

To apply, visit a Chelan PUD office or There is a limit of one pass per customer account. The PUD must verify your address and current customer status.

For more information about this program, click here.

Volunteers 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! Married spouses can even combine their volunteer hours to add up to 24 hours.


Learn more about this AWESOME 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.

Save more money in Washington! Click here!


Nicole leads the Low Income Relief team with over 20 years of professional research and writing experience. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, eHow, Livestrong, Legal Beagle, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more.

TJ Fackler

Tuesday 29th of June 2021

I am a 100% service connected veteran with disabled veteran plates issued from Arkansas. I'd like to enjoy some of the state parks when I visit my son who lives in Washington, do I qualify for the Discover Pass exemption?

Hannah Benge

Thursday 1st of July 2021

Yes you should! You just have to do the application on the list. -Hannah

Mark Maye

Monday 24th of August 2020

I paid taxes my entire life and still do and I am asking why seniors over 62 years old are not offered a reduced fee on a discovery pass. I currently walk into the parks which is a 7 mile round trip for me on foot every time I do it. You had no right to even charge a fee and those who set up the park system, had the land set apart for the citizens to enjoy on their free time after working and paying taxes. It was meant for retired people and families. The wealthy do not go to state parks, they travel to more exotic places. The parks were established for the people. You have made it equal to a attraction that charges fees to enter. DISGUSTING.

Hannah Benge

Wednesday 26th of August 2020

I understand your frustration. Its laws like this that we are trying to help people out because of. We hope you were able to find some good info here - Bengie

Robin Smith

Saturday 10th of November 2018

Nicole Thelin, keep up your good work!

Riley Thomson

Saturday 10th of November 2018

Robin, I will pass this on to Nicole. Thanks! -Riley