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MailTribune.com
  • North of the Oregon border

  • Despite well-documented budget woes in the Washington park system, Oregon's neighbor to the north still has one of the best lineups of state parks in the country.
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    • If you go
      On the net: parks.wa.gov, adventureawaits.com, parks.wa.gov/reservations.
      Discover Pass: Vehicles need a day ($10) or annual ($30) Discover Pass (vendor fees are extra); buy them where state hu...
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      If you go
      On the net: parks.wa.gov, adventureawaits.com, parks.wa.gov/reservations.

      Discover Pass: Vehicles need a day ($10) or annual ($30) Discover Pass (vendor fees are extra); buy them where state hunting and fishing licenses are sold, or online at discoverpass.wa.gov; the pass may or may not be available in individual parks.

      By phone: 866-320-9933 (Discover Pass), 360-902-8844 (info line), 888-226-7688 (camping reservations).
  • Despite well-documented budget woes in the Washington park system, Oregon's neighbor to the north still has one of the best lineups of state parks in the country.
    From Cape Disappointment at the mouth of the Columbia River to Gardner Cave near the Idaho border, Washington will celebrate the centennial of its parks this year.
    The Legislature created the system on March 19, 1913, although the first parks weren't acquired until two years later. (Oregon's system dates to a 1921 system of highway waysides.)
    Washington's parks have much in common with those in Oregon, but the states are not mirror images. Oregon has a better coastal park network than Washington, but the Evergreen State has the Peace Arch at Blaine, designated winter snow play locations along Interstate 90 east of the Cascades, and marine camping parks throughout Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands.
    While the Washington Legislature again grapples with how to pay for its parks (user fees are likely to increase), park lovers can join in the centennial celebration.
    Following is a short list of the best of Washington's 117-plus state parks (named parks have camping, except where noted):
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