OLYMPIA – The Washington State Parks Winter Recreation Program reminds winter recreation enthusiasts that Sno-Park permits will be available for purchase beginning Nov. 1.
Sno-Park permits allow visitors to park in specially cleared, designated parking lots with access to areas around the state for cross-country skiing, skijoring, fat-tire biking, snowmobiling, snow biking, dog sledding, snowshoeing, tubing, snow play and other winter recreation activities.
Keeping it simple
Last year, the Washington State Legislature passed a bill to simplify the rules regarding Sno-Park permits. As a result, the Discover Pass is no longer required to accompany the daily Sno-Park permit in Sno-Parks on State Parks property. (These areas are Crystal Springs, Easton Reload, Fields Spring, Hyak, Lake Easton, Lake Wenatchee, Pearrygin Lake and Mount Spokane.)
Seasonal Sno-Park permit holders were already exempted from displaying the Discover Pass at Washington State Parks Sno-Parks.
Snow bikes classified as snowmobiles
In 2019, the Washington Legislature also passed a bill designating snow bikes in the same class as snowmobiles.
Snow bikes use motorcycle frames and engines, but they have a ski in place of the front wheel and continuous track (much like a snowmobile) in place of the back wheel.
Snow bikes must be registered as snowmobiles, and their operators must follow snowmobile regulations.
What type of permit is needed?
Daily Sno-Park Permit: This permit is valid at any Sno-Park for one, two or three consecutive days as indicated on the permit. Cost: $20 per day. (Note: All Sno-Parks honor the one-day permit, and individuals who purchase a one-day permit are not required to purchase a Special Groomed Sticker.)
Seasonal Non-motorized Sno-Park Permit: This permit is valid for the entire winter season at all non-motorized Sno-Parks used for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, fat-tire biking, etc. Some Sno-Parks require a Special Groomed Sticker to be paired with a seasonal non-motorized permit. Cost: $40.
Special Groomed Sticker: This sticker affixes to a seasonal Sno-Park permit and is required for use at special, higher-use Sno-Parks that require more frequent grooming. Cost: $40. This permit, in conjunction with the seasonal permit, is required at eight Sno-Parks: Cabin Creek, Chiwawa, Crystal Springs, Hyak, Lake Easton, Lake Wenatchee, Mount Spokane and Nason Ridge. Snowmobile seasonal permit holders must purchase this permit when using these Sno-Parks for non-motorized activities.
Seasonal Snowmobile and Snow Bike Sno-Park Permit: All snowmobiles and snow bikes in Washington state are required to be registered annually through the Washington State Department of Licensing or a licensing agent. The $50 registration fee includes one Sno-Park permit, which must be affixed to the towing vehicle. Out-of-state visitors with snowmobiles need to purchase a motorized Sno-Park permit. Cost: $40.
How to get a permit
Sno-Park permits are sold in person and online Nov. 1 through April 30 and must be displayed on the permit holder’s windshield during that timeframe.
Online purchasers need the following information at the time of purchase:
- Credit card
- Date of use for one-day permits
- Vehicle license plate number
- Printer (to instantly print a one-day or temporary seasonal permit)
To discourage the spread of COVID-19, Winter Recreation staff are encouraging winter recreationists to buy permits online, if possible, or to check with their preferred outdoor vendor before making a trip to the store.
Revenue from Sno-Park permit sales is entirely dedicated to the Winter Recreation Program and helps pay for trail grooming, snow removal from parking lots and roads, on-site sanitation, education and enforcement.