With gas prices on the rise, many people will be vacationing close to home or heading out on day trips to state parks all over Washington.

A Discovery Pass is required for entry into most state parks in Washington and you can buy an annual pass for $30 (best value), pay as you go at $10 a day, or plan ahead and visit a state park on designated Free Discovery Pass days - there are 12 free days a year and you can find a list of those dates at the Washington State Parks website. Whatever you decide, make sure to get back out in the great outdoors and visit a state park this year. Keep scrolling and check out a list of 5 amazing Washington state parks to consider.

Deception Pass

Photo: park.wa.gov
Photo: park.wa.gov
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Deception Pass is by far the most visited park in the state of Washington, averaging well over a million visitors a year. Deception Pass is located in Western Washington near the town of Mount Vernon. There are a lot of reasons why people love this park - sunsets, a high bridge that will make your stomach turn, hiking, caves, cliff sides, fishing, and swimming in Cranberry Lake.

Palouse Falls State Park

Paul Hinkson
Paul Hinkson
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If you like history and natural wonders, then you're going to love Palouse Falls State Park in Eastern Washington. The falls and narrow cataract which drops 200 feet were formed over 13,000 years ago and is part of the Ice Age flood path.

Dubbed as "Washington's official state waterfall", it is truly a glorious sight. It's also a dangerous area for small children and adults too - a number of people have fallen to their death attempting to hike along the cliffs and near the edge of the falls. Because of this, part of the park has been closed permanently and camping is no longer allowed. It's still worth the visit though and should be on your list of parks to explore.

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Ginkgo Petrified Forest State park

park.wa.gov
park.wa.gov
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Located in the Wanapum Recreational Area near Vantage, Washington, the Ginkgo Petrified Forest is known for being one of the most diverse petrified forests on the planet. The petrified Ginkgo trees were discovered about 90 years ago and now the area is preserved and open for you to explore. From the interpretive center to the amazing Columbia River views, you'll enjoy this Ice Age flood carved area and the trailside museum which was built in the 1930s.

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

wa.parks.gov
wa.parks.gov
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Sun Lakes-Dry Falls is considered one of the geological wonders in North America. Like Palouse Falls and the Ginkgo Petrified Forest, Dry Falls was created by Ice Age floods thousands of years ago. In fact, roughly 13,000 years ago the once-great waterfall was four times as big as Niagara Falls. Dry Falls is 400 feet high and over 3 miles wide and overlooks breathtaking ravines and gorges. This park will truly take you back in time and is the perfect spot to spend a day exploring.

Ft. Flagler State Park

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wa.parks.gov
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If you like American military history, Ft. Flagler has plenty of it. Built over 100 years ago to watch over and defend the entrance of Puget Sound, Ft. Flagler Historical State Park sits on the Marrowstone Island near the Olympic Peninsula and was occupied during both World Wars and the Korean War.

Today the park offers tours during the summer months, an onsite museum, and a gift shop. You can also explore the Fort on your own with other recreational activities including, beachcombing, fishing, clam digging, crabbing, hiking, and boating. The park is also a favorite of paragliders.

Here's 3 Cool Hikes Near Tri-Cities

Badger and Candy Mountain are the two most popular local hikes, and for good reason, they're close, offer stunning views, easy parking, and they're fairly easy. But, if you're looking to freshen up your hiking experience without having to drive long distances, check out these three ideas, all within 30 minutes of Tri-Cities.

This Hike in the Columbia River Gorge is a Must Experience

The Labyrinth to Coyote Wall Loop. It runs 6.7 miles with an elevation gain of 1,489 feet. It features a waterfall, lava tube, rock formations, and incredible views. It’s heavily trafficked with hikers and mountain bikers on weekends and dogs are welcome on a leash. Beware, you’ll need good hiking shoes as a good portion of the trail is very rocky. It’s open all year round, but the experts recommend day use from March to November.