Rules & regulations

Please observe state park rules so that all park visitors may enjoy their visit. Please note that the following general park rules are not customized for each individual park, so not all rules will apply to all parks (for example, "campsites cannot be held for someone who might arrive later" only applies to parks with campgrounds).

For more information, please view the complete park rules chapter of the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) website..

Please report disturbances to park rangers; they are trained to help you resolve issues and concerns.

Things to remember

  • Discover Pass: Visitors to state parks must display the Discover Pass on their vehicles when visiting state recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The fine for not displaying the pass is $99. For information and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass website.
  • Park hours vary depending on weather and season. However, all day-use areas close at dusk. Campers may enter parks until 10 p.m.
  • Campground check-in begins at 2:30 p.m. Check-out is at 1 p.m.
  • Campsites cannot be held for someone who might arrive later.
  • Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m., unless otherwise noted at the park. Engine-driven electric generators may be operated only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • From April 1 through Sept. 30, the maximum length of stay for the entire camping party in any one park is 10 days. From Oct. 1 through March 31, the maximum stay for the entire camping party is 20 days.
  • One camping party is allowed per site, with a maximum of eight people per site.
  • Please use the trash cans and dumpsters to help keep parks clean. Recycling is encouraged in all Washington state parks. In parks with a pack-it-in/pack-it-out program, visitors must carry out everything they have brought in.
  • Please do not harm wild plants or animals. Feeding of wildlife is strictly prohibited.
  • Wildlife, plants and all park buildings, signs and tables and other structures are protected; removal or damage of any kind is prohibited.
  • Horses are allowed only in designated parks.
  • Pets are allowed in most state parks, but must be under physical control at all times on a leash no more than eight feet long. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets. Pets are not permitted on designated swimming beaches.
  • Pets are not allowed inside vacation houses, but are permitted in designated yurts/cabins.
  • Smoking is not allowed inside vacation houses, yurts, cabins or other rustic structures.
  • Glass bottles or metal cans are not allowed on swimming beaches.
  • Alcoholic beverages are permitted only in designated campground and picnic areas.
  • Fireworks are prohibited on all state public lands, including state parks and beaches that front state park lands.
  • All Washington state laws are enforced in Washington state parks.

People walking in parkCommission Rule-Making

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission current proposed rule changes are identified in the semi-annual rule-making agenda (PDF).

For detailed information on state parks-related Revised Codes of Washington (RCW 79A.05) or Washington Administrative Codes (WAC 352), visit the Washington State Legislature’s website.

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission preproposals and proposals are available on the Code Reviser’s website.

Following are the agency’s annual permanent rule adoptions:

  • WSR 21-10-020 Permanent WAC 352-37-340 Small-scale beach prospecting and placer mining
  • WSR 21-15-016 Permanent rule - WAC 352-66 United States Aids to Navigation System
  • WSR 21-15-016 Permanent rule - WAC 352-60-030 Personal Flotation Devices Required
  • WSR 21-15-016 Permanent rule - WAC 352-60-080 Fire Extinguishers
  • WSR 21-19-096 Permanent rule – 352-28 Protection and Conservation of State Park Natural Resources
  •  WSR 23-16-009 Expedited Rule Making - Public Disclosure WAC 352-40- 030 and WAC 352-40- 060

Following are preproposal and proposal rules.

  • WSR 23-02-015 Preproposal WAC 352-12-030 Annual Moorage Permits
  • WSR 23-02-015 Preproposal WAC 352-32-030 Camping 
  • WSR 23-03-002 Preproposal WAC 352-60 Recreational Vessel Equipment & Operation
  • WSR 23-03-056 Preproposal WAC 352-78-090 Boater education program requirements affect rental operators & Liveries?
  • WSR 23-08-073 Preproposal WAC 352-32-253 Foster Parent Program
  • WSR 23-12-040 Proposed WAC 352-32-253 Foster Family Pogram

Petition for adoption, amendment, or repeal of a state administrative rule

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission may have administrative rules that an individual or group wishes to petition the agency to adopt, amend, or repeal. The agency will give consideration to all petitions and respond in 60 days. Please complete the Petition Administrative Rule Form (PDF) and submit it via email to the parks office or mail it to:
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
1111 Israel Road SW
Olympia, WA 98504