No Discover Pass needed on Juneteenth, state land managers say


Following passage of a bill designating Juneteenth a state holiday, recreationalists now won’t need to display a Discovery Pass for day-use parking at many Washington state public lands during the holiday. 

Juneteenth, celebrated on June 19, is a Black American holiday celebrating the final reading of the Emancipation Proclamation to enslaved Texans. The state was the last in the Union at the time to recognize Black Americans as free. 

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission made the announcement. 

On June 19, visitors will not need to display a pass to park at lands managed by Washington State Parks, recreation lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife lands, according to a department news release.

“The new designation reflects a commitment among state lands agencies to promote diversity, equity and inclusion as core values,” stated a news release from Washington State Parks. 

Typically, annual Discover Passes cost $30 and one-day permits cost $10. These passes are required for daytime vehicle access to state recreation lands including: Washington State Parks, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Natural Resources. 

The legislation that created Discover Passes also required the state to designate up to a dozen “free days” where passes wouldn’t be required for day visits to recreation lands. 

In addition to Juneteenth, there are also three other “free days” in June that recreationalists can take advantage of: 

  • Saturday, June 5: National Trails Day
  • Saturday, June 12: National Get Outdoors Day
  • Sunday, June 13: Free Fishing Weekend. 

There are four other “free days” in 2021: 

  • Wednesday, Aug. 25: National Park Service Birthday
  • Saturday, Sept. 25: National Public Lands Day
  • Thursday, Nov. 11: Veterans Day
  • Friday, Nov. 26: Autumn Day.