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Outdoors | May 13, 2023

Outdoor Adventures: Camping Permits and Passes in Oregon and Washington

The great outdoors is there for everyone to enjoy. However, because it takes money to maintain our forests and campgrounds, both Oregon and Washington sell special permits and passes for many popular outdoor areas.  Here’s a quick look at those permits and passes, and where you can get yours.

Camping and Hiking in Your State

There are hundreds of campgrounds in Oregon and Washington for individuals and families. In addition to those spots, there are also thousands of miles of trails winding their way through the forested areas of both states.

Groups like the Washington Trails Association and Trailkeepers of Oregon help maintain a lot of those trails. But they cannot do it all. It’s up to all of us to pack out whatever we bring into the forests. If you’re hiking and camping with pets, be sure to check out our article Campsite Pet Etiquette.

Finding Campsites and Trails

Both Oregon and Washington have extensive websites packed with information about campsites and trails, along with ways to reserve some tent and RV locations.

Washington State Parks

Oregon State Parks

Permits and Passes

Once you know where you’re going, how you’ll get there, and where you’ll park, it’s essential that you get the proper permits and passes for each state and/or campground. Essentially it breaks down by state, with Washington requiring a special Discovery Pass for every adventure into the woods, and Oregon selling parking passes that must be purchased and/or displayed when parking at a trailhead.

Washington Discover Pass can be purchased by the day or for the full year. The pass gives you access to all of Washington state parks and recreation lands that are managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. That pretty much includes the entire state. Like free things? You can skip the Discover Pass during one of the State Parks Free Days. Click here for a current list.

Oregon Parking Permits can be purchased to cover one or two years of adventures. Daily parking permits are also available for $5 per day, per vehicle and can usually be purchased at a park that charges the day-use fee. Good news! If you’re camping, you can simply display your current state park camping receipt on the dashboard of your vehicle to skip the parking pass.

Get Your Hiking and Camping Gear at Coastal

Stop by your nearby Coastal where you’ll find hiking boots, shorts, shirts, socks, and hats, as well as all the gear you’ll need for an amazing adventure.

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