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Last chance for a free day this summer at state and national parks

Biking Westside Road in Mount Rainier National Park

There are many ways to experience Mount Rainier National Park. Most visitors explore the park in vehicles or on foot, but why not by bike? Most of Westside Road is closed to vehicles, but is open to bicycling and hiking.
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There are many ways to experience Mount Rainier National Park. Most visitors explore the park in vehicles or on foot, but why not by bike? Most of Westside Road is closed to vehicles, but is open to bicycling and hiking.

A free day is set for Washington state and National Park Service parks just in time for one last day of exploring the outdoors before kids head back to class.

The National Park Service celebrates its 103rd birthday on Aug. 25.

On that Sunday the 400 national parks that usually charge admission, including Mount Rainier National Park, will charge no fee. It is one of just five free days a year for most national parks.

State parks in Washington state also will not require a Discover Pass for day use parking on Aug. 25 to celebrate the birthday of the National Park Service.

Options among the state’s 125 parks range from swimming in the Columbia River at Sacajawea Historical State Park at Pasco to seeing the lighthouses at Cape Disappointment State Park where the the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean.

The Discover Pass is still required at state Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Natural Resources land that day.

The Discover Pass costs $30 annually or $10 for a one-day pass. Passes may be purchased online, for an additional handling fee, or at most state parks.

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Cape Disappointment State Park on the Pacific Coast in Washington state. Courtesy Washington State Parks

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