OLYMPIA - All state parks in Okanogan and Ferry counties are open for day use, but the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission is keeping some parks elsewhere in the state closed.
Ocean beach and Columbia River parks are among those on the still-closed list because of coronavirus concerns.
Washington State Parks is working with local communities, natural resource agencies and Oregon counterparts to determine the appropriate timing for reopening the parks. No specific timeline has been set.
Parks still closed are Anderson Lake, Beacon Rock, Big Eddy Scenic River Access, Bogachiel, Bottle Beach, Cape Disappointment, Camp Wooten, Cedar Falls Trailhead (on Palouse to Cascades Trail), Columbia Hills (fishing access available at Horsethief Lake, no river access), Crawford State Park and Gardner Caves, Damon Point (Department of Natural Resources property), Daroga, Doug’s Beach, Fisk, Fort Columbia, Fort Simcoe, Goldendale Observatory, Grayland Beach, Griffiths-Priday, Klickitat Trail, Kukutali Preserve, Leadbetter Point, Loomis Lake, Ocean City, Pacific Beach, Pacific Pines, Peshastin Pinnacles, Pleasant Harbor, Maryhill (watercraft launch is open), Spring Creek Hatchery, Twin Harbors, Westport Light and Wallace Falls.
Parks officials also took steps to reduce parking capacity at some urban locations such as Lake Sammamish, Saint Edward and Dash Point by limiting parking. Reducing the number of parking stalls available will help decrease the number of people who can access the parks at one time, minimizing crowds.
Visitors are asked to respect closures and visit only parks that are open for day use.
“Parks staff look forward to welcoming visitors into our parks,” said officials. “Please consider their safety by following the guidelines posted on the agency’s COVID-19 response page and the (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s) recommendations for visiting parks and recreational facilities.”
Some parks may have limited restroom facilities.
Beaches and camping have been identified in Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan. Parks officials will coordinate with the governor’s office.
Visitors are advised to check in advance to see if an area is open, opt for day trips close to home since overnight stays are not permitted, stay with immediate household members, stay home if sick, and be prepared with soap, water, hand sanitizer, toilet paper masks.
Once at a park, people are asked to practice social distancing, leave space between vehicles and boats, launch one boat at a time, wash hands often, pack out what’s packed in, and “be kind and respectful to our rangers, park aides and other field staff.”