Discover Pass

Discover Pass Q&A For Veterans

What is the Discover Pass?
         The Discover Pass was created to generate money to keep our state’s recreational lands open.  Budget cuts have significantly reduced or eliminated state funding which keep these areas open to the public.  The Discover Pass legislation may replace much of the lost General Fund, but not all, and the agency will still need to make serious service level reductions.  A Discover Pass will be good for one year and cost $30.  For persons not wanting to purchase an annual pass there is a $10/day option.

Do veterans holding a Disabled Veteran Lifetime Pass have to purchase a Discover Pass to use State Parks?
            No.  Veterans may continue to use Washington State Parks free of charge if they hold a Disabled Veteran Lifetime Pass.  The Commission is honored to provide admission to the state parks at no cost to qualified Disabled Veterans. This is allowed under RCW 79A.05.065, which provides camping, boat launching, moorage, trailer dump use, park access, and use of the reservation system.  The Commission adopted rules to guide the program in WAC 352.32.251

Those with a Disabled Veteran Lifetime Pass do not need to purchase the Discovery pass, it was advised by WA State Parks the best thing to do is to photocopy the Veteran’s disabled parks pass and put the photocopy on the dashboard of the vehicle when they visit a state park

Do veterans holding a Disabled Veteran Lifetime Pass have to purchase a Discover Pass to use other state recreational lands?
            Yes.  If Veterans want to use lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources or Department of Fish and Wildlife, they must purchase a Discover Pass.

What can the Veterans Community do to help?
The Parks Commission hopes the Veterans Community will support Disabled Veterans who qualify for the free passes and help maintain state parks and other recreational lands by:

  1. Purchasing a Discover Pass.  There are wonderful opportunities to recreate in the outdoors on lands managed by the departments of Natural Resources and Fish and Wildlife.   
  2. Donating to State Parks when you register a vehicle.  The donation program will be crucially important during the next several years.
  3. If you are a Disabled Veteran pass-holder, you can help State Parks reduce the cost of this important program.  If you make a reservation, be sure to use it!  Or cancel with plenty of notice.  Of the more than 700 reservations cancelled by Disabled Veterans in 2010, almost a third were cancelled on the scheduled day of arrival.  In another 200 cases, Disabled Veteran pass-holders did not show or call to cancel their reservation. Not only does that mean that another family was unable to use the site, it also means that no fees were collected and potential revenue was lost. 

How can I find out more?
For information about the pass programs, please visit Washington State Parks online at http://parks.state.wa.us/205/Passes or call (360) 902-8844.  If you want to learn more about the Discover Pass, please visit http://parks.state.wa.us/167/Discover-Pass-Fees