From the snow-capped peaks of the Cascade Mountains to the island of Puget Sound, Washington State is known for its natural beauty and historic past. Over 8.3 million visitors explore the 15 national parks and one national trail every year. Washington state claims 1,557 places on the National Register of Historic Places, along with 24 National Historic Landmarks and 18 National Natural Landmarks. There are over 160 state parks in Washington state. This comprehensive map highlights the myriad list of parks in Washington.
Nine national forests blanket the state, from Olympic National Forest to Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. With over 3,000 miles of shoreline, the state parks take advantage of Washington’s proximity to the Pacific Ocean. Receiving 12 to 14 inches of rain per year, the Hoh Rainforest is a great place to go camping and hiking. After exploring the rainforest and coastal beaches, drive east to find desert landscapes and the Hanford Reach National Monument.
Find a Park Near You
National Parks & Historic Sites
Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
Ebey’s Landing Rd, Washington 98239
This stunning landscape at the gateway to Puget Sound, with its rich farmland and promising seaport, lured the earliest American pioneers north of the Columbia River to Ebey’s Landing. Today Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve preserves the historical, agricultural and cultural traditions of both native and Euro-American – while offering spectacular opportunities for recreation.
Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
612 E Reserve St, Vancouver, WA 98661
Located on the north bank of the Columbia River, in sight of snowy mountain peaks and a vibrant urban landscape, this park has a rich cultural past. From a frontier fur trading post, to a powerful military legacy, the magic of flight, and the origin of the American Pacific Northwest, history is shared at four unique sites. Discover stories of transition, settlement, conflict, and community.
Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
WA, OR, ID, MT; one place is Beacon Rock State Park, 34841 WA-14, Stevenson, WA 98648
“At the end of the last Ice Age, some 12,000 to 17,000 years ago, a series of cataclysmic floods occurred in what is now the northwest region of the United States, leaving a lasting mark of dramatic and distinguishing features on the landscape of parts of the States of Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.” Public Law 111-11, March 30, 2009
Klondike Gold Rush – Seattle Unit National Historical Park
319 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104
After surviving a devastating fire and an economic depression, Seattle flourished with the Klondike Gold Rush. As a key port city, merchants supplied would-be Klondike Kings and Queens on their way to Alaska. This cemented Seattle as an anchor of the Pacific Northwest. Today the park is your gateway to learn about the gold rush, explore Seattle area parks, and be involved with the local community.
Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Hunters, WA 99137; the Canadian border going to Coulee Dam along the Columbia River, WA
In 1941 the Grand Coulee Dam was built on the Columbia River as part of the Columbia River Basin project, creating a 130-mile long lake. Named for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area provides opportunities for boating, fishing, swimming, camping, canoeing, hunting and visiting historic Fort Spokane and St. Paul’s Mission.
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
Eleven States: ID, IL, IA, KS, MO, MT, NE, ND, OR, SD, WA
Between May 1804 and September 1806, 31 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery. In their search for a water route to the Pacific Ocean, they opened a window into the west for the young United States. Read the Lewis and Clark Pups blog, the Newfie News!
Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
Long Beach to Cannon Beach, OR, WA; 92343 Fort Clatsop Rd, Astoria, OR 97103
Explore the timeless rainforests and majestic coastal vistas. Discover the rich heritage of the native people. Unfold the dramatic stories of America’s most famous explorers. The park encompasses sites along the Columbia River and the Pacific Coast. Follow in the footsteps of the explorers and have an adventure in history.
Manhattan Project National Historical Park
2000 Logston Blvd, Richland, WA 99354; Manhattan Project National Historical Park, NM, WA, TN
This site tells the story about the people, events, science, and engineering that led to the creation of the atomic bomb, which helped end World War II.
Minidoka National Historic Site
Minidoka National Historic Site, Jerome, ID 83338
The Pearl Harbor attack intensified existing hostility towards Japanese Americans. As wartime hysteria mounted, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 forcing over 120,000 West Coast persons of Japanese ancestry (Nikkei) to leave their homes, jobs, and lives behind and move to one of ten prison camps spread across the nation all because of their ethnicity. This is Minidoka’s story.
Mount Rainier National Park
Sunrise Park Rd, Ashford, WA 98304; Ashford, Enumclaw, Packwood, Wilkeson, WA
Ascending to 14,410 feet above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. An active volcano, Mount Rainier is the most glaciated peak in the contiguous U.S.A., spawning five major rivers. Subalpine wildflower meadows ring the icy volcano while ancient forest cloaks Mount Rainier’s lower slopes. Wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystems. A lifetime of discovery awaits.
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
3029 Spirit Lake Hwy, Castle Rock, WA 98611
The massive landslide and blast of the 1980 eruption traveled north and west from the mountain. Visitor centers and trails let visitors explore the rebirth.
Nez Perce National Historical Park
four states ID, MT, OR, WA; 39063 US-95, Lapwai, ID 83540
For thousands of years the valleys, prairies, mountains, and plateaus of the inland northwest have been home to the nimí·pu· (Nez Perce) people. Extremely resilient, they have adapted and survived the settling of the United States. Explore these places. Learn their stories.
North Cascades National Park
7280 Ranger Station Rd, Marblemount, WA 98267
Less than three hours from Seattle, an alpine landscape beckons. Discover communities of life adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fire in the east. Explore jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers. Listen to cascading waters in forested valleys. Witness a landscape sensitive to the Earth’s changing climate. Help steward the ecological heart of the Cascades.
Olympic National Park
3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362
With its incredible range of precipitation and elevation, diversity is the hallmark of Olympic National Park. Encompassing nearly a million acres, the park protects a vast wilderness, thousands of years of human history, and several distinctly different ecosystems, including glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests, and over 70 miles of wild coastline. Come explore!
Oregon National Historic Trail
Various States ID, KS, MO, NE, OR, WA, WY
Imagine yourself an emigrant headed for Oregon: would promises of lush farmlands and a new beginning lure you to leave home and walk for weeks? More than 2,000 miles of trail ruts and traces can still be seen along the Oregon National Historic Trail in six states and serve as reminders of the sacrifices, struggles, and triumphs of early American settlers.
San Juan Island National Historical Park
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
San Juan Island is well known for splendid vistas, saltwater shore, quiet woodlands, orca whales and one of the last remaining native prairies in the Puget Sound/Northern Straits region. But it was also here in 1859 that the United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over possession of the island, the crisis ignited by the death of a pig.
Whitman Mission National Historic Site
328 Whitman Mission Rd, Walla Walla, WA 99362
The 1847 attack on the Whitmans horrified Americans and impacted the lives of the peoples of the Columbia Plateau for decades afterwards. Was killing the Whitmans justified legal retribution, an act of revenge, or some combination of both? The circumstances that surround this tragic event resonate with modern issues of cultural interaction and differing perspectives.
Wing Luke Museum
719 S King St, Seattle, WA 98104
More than a museum, the Wing is an experience. A chance to truly understand what it was – and is – to be Asian American in the Pacific Northwest. Take a guided tour of a historic hotel and learn the inside story about what makes the local Chinatown-International District unique. Visitors explore thought-provoking exhibitions of real stories, including actor and martial arts master Bruce Lee.
For more attractions, visit Experience Washington.
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