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Visit Washington State Parks 

Spend the summer exploring Washington State Parks Within 250 miles

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With travel restrictions slowly lifting but not completely gone, you might be left wondering, what am I going to do within a 250 mile radius?!  We're here to tell you, there is still plenty to do, see and experience, so let's begin with state parks! Washington has an abundance of state parks, restrictions in place or not, that are worth visiting. 

We begin our Washington State Park quest with one close to home. Located just 18 miles away from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM), Tolmie State Park is a hidden gem that makes the perfect day trip. This 154-acre park has 1,800 of shoreline that can be used for diving, swimming, clamming, crabbing, and fishing (license required in all state parks). A unique feature of the park is the underwater park, featuring a reef built in cooperation with scuba divers. Bring the whole family out for a day of soaking up the Puget Sound! Summer Hours, 8 a.m. to dusk, 7730 61st Ave. NE, Olympia, 360.456.6464,

Another state park close to home is Flaming Geyser State Park, located just 32 miles away from JBLM. When we say this park has it all, we truly mean it!  We're talking, horse trails, hiking trails, white-water kayaking, freshwater fishing, swimming and they even have a radio-controlled aircraft flying area. And while there no longer is an actual flaming geyser to be seen, the history is still alive with interpretive panels at the site where it once was. Summer Hours, 8 a.m. to dusk, 23700 SE, Flaming Geyser Road, Auburn, 253.735.8839,

For our next park we venture out further from home, but well worth the drive. Located 124 miles from JBLM is Deception Pass State Park. Spreading over 3,854 acres with a mix of both saltwater and freshwater shoreline, this park is lined with coves, cliffs and a high bridge connecting the two portions of the park, leaving no shortage of exploration. And if you want to channel your adventurous side, there is plenty of that available too. Adventures include, mountain biking, sailboarding and white-water kayaking. It's important to note, this is Washington state's most visited state park, so crowds can be a bit higher, especially in summer months, but well worth it! 

Summer Hours, 6:30 a.m. to dusk, 41229 State Route 20, Oak Harbor, 360.675.3767,

Don't let the name fool you, Cape Disappointment State Park is the farthest thing from a disappointment! Located 130 Miles from JBLM and just three miles away from Long Beach, WA, it's the perfect overnight trip to explore the Long Beach Peninsula. While a day trip is certainly possible, we would recommend an overnight to really allow time to enjoy the park. And with yurts, cabins and historical vacation homes available, it's easy to make the decision to stay. The Lewis and Clark interpretive center, Cape Disappointment Lighthouse and the Fort Columbia Commanding Officer's House Museum are just a few of the many places you will want to pencil into your visit. Summer Hours, 6:30 a.m.- dusk, 244 Robert Gray Drive, Illwaco, 360.642.3078.

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park - If you're chasing a state park that provides more water activities, Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is for you! Located 213 miles from JBLM and with 73,640 feet of freshwater shoreline and activities that include boating, waterskiing, fishing and swimming, this is a place the whole family can soak in the sun of Eastern Washington! Plus the fun doesn't have to be limited to a day, as it's a 3,774-acre camping park. Summer Hours, 6:30 a.m.- dusk, 34875 Park Lake Road NE, Coulee City, 509.632.5583,

Wallace Falls State Park - For our last state park, we circle back to a little closer to home. Located 83 miles away from JBLM is Wallace Falls State Park, with over 12 miles of hiking trails, biking trails and tons of bird watching and wildlife viewing this is a must visit park while living in Washington. And of course while you're visiting you can't miss the 265-foot waterfall.

Summer Hours, 8 a.m. to dusk, 14503 Wallace Lake Road, Gold Bar, 360.793.0420,

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