This past week I received a notification from the State of Washington indicating my license tabs were set to expire at the end of the month. While in the process of renewing the tabs on the State’s website, I was also provided with an offer to purchase the Discover Pass for $30. The Discover Pass provides access to millions of acres of state recreation lands including state parks, campgrounds, hiking trails, and other natural and wildlife areas. While funding for upkeep of the state’s recreation lands used to come from tax revenue, the state has shifted towards a user-pay approach. In the past I generally have purchased recreation passes at outdoor clothing/gear stores such as REI. So it came as somewhat of a pleasant surprise when I noticed the Discover Pass being offered during the process of renewing my vehicle tabs. Now each year I have an easy and convenient way to purchase the pass and have it mailed to my personal residence.
As far as pricing goes, I think $30 is very reasonable for a full year of access to a majority of the state’s recreation lands. In addition, since most of the money is directly utilized for maintaining the parks and ensuring future accessibility, I would likely be willing to spend even more than what is currently being charged by the state.