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national parks in Washington

Explore Washington’s 3 amazing national parks

Mount Rainier, Olympic, North Cascades are pretty easy to reach from Seattle.

There are three national parks in Washington, plus a number of national historic sites and other federally managed areas.

Washington’s most iconic park, Mount Rainier, is family-friendly and easily accessible from Seattle. You’ll find plenty of options for day hikes and comfortable visitors’ centers — basically your no-hassle wilderness experience. (Related: Tips for a COVID-era family day trip to Mount Rainier.)

Olympic National Park is more remote; it’s known for its old-growth rainforest and miles of rocky beaches.

North Cascades National Park is best suited for visitors up for challenging hikes. But what a payoff: sweeping vistas of the Cascade Mountains, Washington’s natural beauty at its best.

During National Park Week, a project of the National Park Foundation (April 17-25, 2021), parks across the country will host a variety of special programs, events and digital experiences. There are also special theme days during the week to highlight the different ways everyone can enjoy national parks.

Originally published March 31, 2019

More on national parks in Washington:

Olympic National Park: Guide to a family getaway

All fourth-graders (and their families) are eligible to get a free national park pass, and it’s ridiculously easy to get.

Also a national park: What to do at Seattle’s Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park.