The Top 10 Biggest State Parks in Washington

Written by Em Thomas
Published: November 7, 2023
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Did you know that the state of Washington is home to over 140 state parks? These parks include marine parks, historical parks, and more traditional parks. They’re spread all over the state, making a beautiful park extremely accessible no matter where in Washington you are.

The state parks in Washington vary considerably in size. To maximize your adventure to Washington, head to the biggest state parks in the state! Here’s a list of the 10 biggest state parks in Washington. Read on to discover their size, location, and the activities you can do while visiting the park!

10. Steamboat Rock State Park

Banks lake and the walls of Grand Coulee in Steamboat Rock state park in Eastern Washington state, USA

Steamboat Rock State Park is located on a peninsula between Banks Lake and Devil’s Punch Bowl. It’s a few hours west of Spokane, Washington.

©Amehime/Shutterstock.com

Located in Grant County, Steamboat Rock State Park is the tenth-largest state park in the state of Washington. It’s a whopping 3,522 acres in size! The park features rock formations, along with beautiful water. It’s named after the large basalt butte that sits in the Banks Lake. Visitors can camp, bike, hike, and take part in a long list of water activities.

9. Columbia Plateau Trail State Park

The Snake River is a major tributary of the Columbia River and has its headwaters inside Yellowstone on the Two Ocean Plateau. Various stretches of this important river have had at least 15 different

Columbia Plateau Trail State Park is only a few miles south of Spokane, Washington, making it a convenient stop!

©Ansel B/Shutterstock.com

The ninth-largest state park in Washington is the Columbia Plateau Trail. It’s located in Adams County and reaches an astonishing 3,880 acres in size. While you’re visiting this park, be sure to keep your eye out for the abandoned railroad! The trail along the railroad runs for 130 miles, making it a great spot for hiking, biking, and more. You can also enjoy horseback riding and wildlife viewing in the park.

8. Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Umatilla Rock at Sun Lakes State Park in Washington

This beautiful state park is located at the south end of Banks Lake.

©CL Shebley/Shutterstock.com

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is the eighth-largest state park in Washington state. Like Steamboat Rock, this park is located in Grant County. It’s 4,027 acres in size and includes hills, forests, and water. The Dry Falls on Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is a cliff that was once a rushing waterfall. Now, it’s a beautiful spot to observe the flora and fauna of the park. Visitors to the park can swim, hike, fish, and more. There’s even a golf course available if you’d like to take a few swings in paradise!

7. Deception Pass State Park

Iconic Deception Pass Bridge connecting Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands in Washington State.

Deception Pass bridges the gap between Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island, in the northwest part of the state.

©Denise Lett/Shutterstock.com

Located in Island County is Washington’s seventh-largest state park: Deception Pass. This park is 4,134 acres in size, featuring beautiful water as well as a stunning old-growth forest. The bridge featured here is known as the Deception Pass Bridge, which connects the two islands. Visitors to Deception Pass State Park can hike and explore the forest and water. Additionally, expert divers can explore the depths of the Deception Pass with a scuba diving excursion. The Deception Pass often hosts dangerous conditions, however, so that activity is reserved for extremely competent divers.

6. Wallace Falls State Park

Wallace Falls

Wallace Falls State Park is just northeast of Seattle, nestled in the mountains of the midwest part of the state.

©Roman Khomlyak/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking to take in some of the beautiful falls of Washington, the sixth-largest state park in the state, is a great pick for you. Wallace Falls State Park is 4,735 acres in size, located in Snohomish County. The three waterfalls at Wallace Falls are absolutely stunning. Wallace Falls State Park is along the west side of the Cascade Mountains. When you’re visiting the Falls, expect to see some astonishing forests and rushing rivers. The park is a great spot for hiking and biking, and there is also a campground onsite.

5. Moran State Park

Scenic view over Rosario Strait from the watchtower at the top of Mount Constitution in Moran State Park - Orcas Island, WA, USA

Moran State Park sits on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands of the Puget Sound. The Mountain Lake is an expansive lake visible in the park.

©Amehime/Shutterstock.com

The fifth-largest state park in Washington state is Moran State Park, located in San Juan County. Moran is 5,000 acres in size and features a beautiful mix of water and land. Land activities include hiking and biking, and you can also check out the Mt. Constitution Observation Tower in the state park. The top of the tower is the highest point in the San Juans! You can also camp on the property, and if you have a non-motorized boat, you can take it out on the water!

4. Beacon Rock State Park

Beacon Rock from Boat Dock Moorage along Columbia River Gorge during Sunset in Washington State

Beacon Rock is located along the Columbia River. It’s just northeast of Portland, Oregon, sitting right along Washington’s southern border.

©Thye-Wee Gn/Shutterstock.com

Located in Skamania County, Washington, is Beacon Rock State Park, the fourth-largest state park in the state. The park is 5,100 acres and features some one-of-a-kind natural sights. See the volcanic rock nestled in the forest beside the stunning Columbia River. This park is not to be missed. Beacon Rock looks like a volcano but is actually a volcanic plug. However, Washington is, in fact, home to twelve volcanoes! This state park is a great spot for rock climbing but also offers mountain biking and hiking. Additionally, boating and camping are available.

3. Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park

View over Wanapum Lake and Columbia River on Gingko State Park

Gingko Petrified Forest State Park is located centrally in Washington. The park itself is in Vantage, Washington, sitting along the Wanapum Lake, which is formed out of the Columbia River.

©Moses Rode/Shutterstock.com

The third-largest state park in Washington is an astonishing 7,470 acres in size. Ginkgo Petrified Forest, located in Kittitas County, is a petrified forest that features dozens of types of wood. Camp in the forest of the park or explore the Wanapum Reservoir of the Columbia River. One of the draws to this state park is the visible Wanapum petroglyphs. Visitors can observe the history and nature of the Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park through hikes, biking, swimming, and boating.

2. Riverside State Park

Riverside State Park

Riverside State Park is located just northwest of Spokane, Washington. Visitors to the park can enjoy forests, rivers, and waterfalls.

©digidreamgrafix/Shutterstock.com

The second-largest state park in the state of Washington is Riverside State Park, located in Spokane County. This park is 10,885 acres in size and features beautiful forests alongside the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers. There are lots of activities to do in Riverside State Park. Visitors can camp, fish, kayak, bike, rock climb, and more. It’s also a stellar place for an ATV ride! Riverside State Park is a great spot to visit if you’re an adventurous outdoorsman.

1. Mount Spokane State Park

Views from Mount Spokane.

Mount Spokane is located northeast of Spokane, right along the state’s border with Idaho. The views from the peak are absolutely stunning.

©Ric Schafer/Shutterstock.com

The largest state park in Washington is the beautiful Mount Spokane State Park, located in Spokane County. The park is 13,919 acres in size. There are eight summits in this state park, with the tallest being Mount Spokane. This peak reaches a height of 5,889 feet. While you’re visiting the park, you can take a tour of all eight peaks and learn about the beauty of the area. While Mount Spokane is an astonishing peak, the highest summit in Washington is Mount Rainier, which reaches an incredible elevation of 14,411 feet above sea level.

Conclusion

Washington state is home to some incredible state parks. Whether you’re in the mood for a swim or an exciting hike, there’s a park for you. These parks contain incredible displays of both nature and history, making for an extremely enlightening experience. Take in the diverse terrain of Washington by visiting some of these epic state parks.

State ParkCountySize (acres)
Steamboat RockGrant3,522
Columbia Plateau TrailAdams3,880
Sun Lakes-Dry FallsGrant4,027
Deception PassIsland4,134
Wallace FallsSnohomish4,735
MoranSan Juan5,000
Beacon RockSkamania5,100
Ginkgo Petrified ForestKittitas7,470
RiversideSpokane10,885
Mount SpokaneSpokane13,919

The photo featured at the top of this post is © JPL Designs/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Em Thomas is a writer at A-Z Animals primarily covering places, travel, and chili peppers! She's an MBA student with a passion for storytelling. Though she's a Michigan native, she presently resides in Denver, Colorado. While she doesn't currently have any pets of her own, she's an avid dogsitter with an affinity for big dogs!

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