Washington State Parks is celebrating the new year with its First Day Hikes program, which will make hikes across 40 of Washington's state parks free for one day.
There is no need to have previously purchased a Discover Pass but you may need a parking permit for certain areas. For those who like to collect keepsakes, the free hike will also come with a free First Day Hikes 2023 pin to commemorate the event. Washington State Parks tells us that last year almost 55,000 people participated, hiking for over 130,000 miles combined.
These hikes will be from across all regions of the state from the Cascades to the eastern half of Washington in areas like Spokane County. With all of these options, which is the best hike for you? Personally, I'd like to take Mt. St. Helens First Day Hike, which takes about one-and-a-half hours and is only a mile roundtrip. This hike is in Seaquest State Park. Washington State Parks says to dress warmly and dress for rain. The terrain is flat and if you bring your binoculars, you'll get good use of them. The hike showcases Silver Lake and Mt. St. Helens, which is a Washington landmark in its own right.
The nice thing about these hikes is that they are mostly beginner-friendly and allow pets and kids, as long as you leash the dog and watch your child. Whether you want to take a hike on the east side, northwest side, or southwest side, there's a hike for you. Washington State Parks' website outlines all the pertinent details for each hike, such as intensity level, scenery, meeting point, trail length, and much more.