Central Washington's tips to make parking at the trailhead a breeze so you can enjoy a beautiful hike.
Carpool with your friends to extend the good times and save on gas money while also limiting carbon dioxide production and preventing overcrowding at your destination’s parking lot.
Parking is on a first-come, first-served basis at all trailheads and campsites. If you arrive at your destination and do not see a reasonable spot to park your vehicle, then the lot is full. Additionally, parking spaces at most trailheads are not marked, so please be sure to park in a way that is courteous to others and does not block other vehicles or park so closely that others cannot access their vehicles. It is also important to never block gates or other access points, as emergency vehicles may need to use the trailhead at any .time
These courtesies apply when parking near trailers as well. Be mindful of boaters, snowmobilers, horseback riders, and others who use trailers while parking. These individuals need to be able to turn their trailers around to load/unload their animals/equipment. By parking in areas that are signed as being reserved for trailers, you prevent those who need trailers to carry out their recreational activity from being able to enjoy the outdoors as you are. When parking near a trailer, leave space for the trailer to load and unload—horse trailers have doors that swing open and trailers that haul motorized vehicles have doors or ramps. Think ahead and practice courtesy when parking.
Plan ahead with one to two backup plans in case your preferred trailhead parking is full.
Trails are often less crowded on weekdays or during off-peak daylight hours. To avoid crowds, parking trouble, and disappointment at the trailhead, head to your destination earlier (before 8am), or go later in the afternoon (after 4pm).
Have a parking plan before you go to get on the trail as quickly as possible! Resources like Washington Trails Association and all trails usually include directions on how to locate your destination and where to park when you arrive.