Passes & Permits

Many of the trailheads and recreation sites in the Greenway require passes or permits.  Which permit or pass you need depends on where you are and who the land manager is – our list helps you figure out where you are and what you might need.

Do keep in mind the money you invest on these recreation permits or passes keeps public lands accessible and healthy. They’re important!

Discover Pass

Access to Washington State recreation lands and water-access sites managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and Washington State Department of Natural Resources require the Discover Pass.

Where Washington State-owned land
Popular Greenway Discover Pass sites include: Mt Si & Little Si, the Lt Murray Wildlife Area, Tiger Mountain, Squak Mountain, and Lake Sammamish State Parks.

When Year Round

Price $10/day; $30/annual pass

Where to Buy REI Co-op, online, staffed state parks offices, or when you renew your driver license/car tabs.  Find a vendor near you.

What does it fund? Your passes help cover the cost of keeping our incredible state parks and natural lands open as well as trails and trailheads maintained and safe.

How do you know what is a state-owned trailhead or park? There will always be a sign at the trailhead (Washington State Parks, WA Department of Natural Resources, WA Fish and Wildlife).  Check out a list of Discover Pass recreation sites. Also check your hiking map–they show land ownership, so you can tell if it is state-owned land.

How many cars? It can be used on up to two vehicles that are registered to the same household.  License plate numbers are written on the pass.

More Info

Federal Recreation Passes

Where US Forest Service (USFS) land in Washington and Oregon where a day pass is required. Popular Greenway NW Forest Pass sites include: Granite Mountain, Snow Lake, Longs Pass, and Forest Service Trailheads on the WEST & EAST sides of Snoqualmie Pass.

When Any time of the year (if it becomes a Sno-Park parking lot in the winter, you’ll need the Sno-Park Pass instead—see below)

Price $5/day; $30/annual pass

Where to Buy REI Co-op, online – annual passonline – day pass, USFS ranger stations in North Bend, Snoqualmie Pass, Cle Elum

What does it fund? Your pass helps cover the cost of keeping these trailheads clean, safe, and maintained.  They also fund the construction and maintenance of the restrooms at the trailheads.

How do you know what is a federal-owned trailhead? There will always be a sign at the trailhead for the USFS.  Also check their website for a list of their trails.  Also check your hiking map–they show land ownership, so you can tell if it is USFS land.

How many cars? It is interchangeable between cars.

More Info

Winter Sno-Park Permits

As the snow begins to pile up at the higher elevations and cross country skis, snowshoes and sleds are being pulled out of storage, it is time to think about Washington State Parks Sno-Park Permits.  Winter access areas require special attention, above and beyond summer time needs.  This includes plowing parking lots, grooming ski & snowmobile trails and clearing access roads and trails.  Permits are required at most sites and are administered by Washington State Parks.

Where Any winter Sno-Park location.  Essentially any winter recreation site where the parking lot is plowed during the winter (it doesn’t matter if it is state or federal land—it just needs to be plowed for this to apply).  Here is a full list of locations.
For example: Gold Creek Pond Sno-Park, Hyak Sno-Park (although not the ski area parking lot), Crystal Springs Sno-Park

When Nov 1 through April 30

Price $20/day; $40/annual pass (plus $40 for Special Groomed Trails Permit—see below for details)

Where to Buy REI Co-op, Snoqualmie Pass Visitors Center, or see a full list of vendors

What does it fund? Your pass helps cover the cost of keeping the parking lots plowed (so you can park your cars after a snow storm) as well as keep trails groomed (where applicable—see below). They also make sure that there are porta potties at each Sno-Park.

How do you know where the pass is required? There will always be a sign at the parking lot that indicates that a Sno-Park pass is needed in the winter.  See a full list of sites. Green Trails maps currently doesn’t show where these are needed.

What is the Special Groomed Trails Permit and where do I need that? Some Sno-Parks not only have a plowed parking lot, but they also have a groomed trail system.  Essentially it costs even more for them to groom and plow (rather than just plowing), so they have a higher cost for the pass if you park there.
If you bought a day pass – it can be used for either groomed or un-groomed locations without any extra charge
If you bought an annual pass – you will need to buy a Special Groomed Trails Permit as well if you want to park here. See a list of the places that require this extra pass if you have an annual pass.

How many cars? This pass is non-transferable and can only be used on one vehicle.  The license plate numbers is written on the pass.

More Info

Snoqualmie Forest

The Snoqualmie Forest is a privately owned timber farm located outside of North Bend, WA.  Lands in the Snoqualmie Forest are owned and managed by Campbell Global. Access to the forest for recreation, hunting, and firewood gathering is open to the public with the purchase of special permits. Please visit Campbell Global Snoqualmie Forest for more information.

For more information about how to select the right pass, check out this overview by our friends at Washington Trails Association.