National Parks of Washington


There is currently thirteen National Park Service Site in Washington and six associated sites.

Official National Parks of Washington

  • Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  • Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
  • Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
  • Manhattan Project National Historical Park
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Nez Perce National Historical Park
    • Burial Site of Chief Joseph the Younger
    • Nez Perce Campsites at Nespelem
    • Buffalo Eddy
  • North Cascades National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • Ross Lake National Recreation Area
  • San Juan Island National Historical Park
  • Whitman Mission National Historic Site

Associated sites of Washington

  • Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail
  • Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
  • Minidoka National Historic Site
  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Wing Luke Museum Affiliated Area
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Washington National Parks

Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Fort Vancouver National Historic site is the former headquarters of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Pacific Coast fur trading operations from 1824 until 1860.  The Fort was bustling with people from around the region.  The area was home to the first Pacific Northwest formal school, hospital, and library.  The fort was developed by John McLoughlin.

Today, the original Fort Vancouver is destroyed by fire and time, but a modern replica has been created on the site.  All structures are in their original locations.  During the summer, visitors can see weapons demonstrations and living-history programs.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site has three units.  One is the main fort.  The second site is the McLoughlin House National Historic Site.  John McLoughlin is often remembered as the “father of Oregon.” McLoughlin was the head trader for the Hudson’s Bay Company and donated large sums of money and land to the development of the Oregon Territory.  The third site is the Pearson Air Museum.  Pearson is a small aviation museum which looks at the history of the Pearson Air Field and Vancouver Barracks.

Fort Vancouver National Historic Site has created a National Monument in 1948. The site is located in both Oregon and Washington  It became a Historical Site in 1965.  McLoughlin House National Historic Site was created in 1941 and it was added to Fort Vancouver NHS in 2003. McLoughlin House is a stop on the Oregon National Historic Trail.

Photo Credit – Sam Churchill 

Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park preserves the Lewis and Clark Expedition’s 1805-1806 winter encampment site.  The area protects a replica of Fort Clatsop and other sites associated with the encampment.  These sites include the Fort to Sea Trail, Clark’s Dismal Nitch, Netul Landing, Saltworks, and Station Camp.

This site celebrated the completion of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery.  They reached their goal of reaching the Pacific Ocean.  Once here, they spent the winter before heading home to share their discoveries.  They built a small fort called Fort Clatsop for the winter.  While there, they developed relationships with the indigenous people before heading back east.  When they left Fort Clatsop, they turned the fort over to the local tribe.

Lewis and Clark National Historical Park was established in May 29, 1958 as Fort Clatsop National Memorial.  In October 20, 2004, the park was expanded and renamed Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and includes sites in both Oregon and Washington.

Photo Credit – Doug Kerr

Manhattan Project National Historical Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Nez Perce National Historical Park

The Nez Perce National Historical Park follows the Nez Perce people’s traditional lands and history and their resistance to the United States government’s forced relocation.  The park contains 38 sites in Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.

The park is headquartered in Spalding, Idaho.  It was created on May 15, 1965.  Management of the 38 sites is split between NPS and several other federal and state agencies.

There are three sites in Washington.  These are Burial Site of Chief Joseph the Younger, Nez Perce Campsites at Nespelem, and Buffalo Eddy.

Credit: NPS Photo

North Cascades National Park

Olympic National Park

Ross Lake National Recreation Area

San Juan Island National Historical Park

Whitman Mission National Historic Site

Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

The Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail will massive auto/hiking trail that follows the geological effects of the last ice age.  The trail branches out and sections run thru the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The trail was designated in 2009 and much of the trail is still being formally developed.

At the end of the last ice age, a sheet of ice blocked several important rivers such as Clark Fork and the Columbia.  These ice dams caused the water to back-up and created massive flooding. The effect of this flooding can be seen in massive canyons such as Columbia River Gorge and Wallula Gap.

Current stops on the trail include Multnomah Falls, Farragut State Park, Beacon Rock State Park, and Dry Falls/Sun Lakes State Park.

Photo Credit – Ken Lund 

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail

The Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail follows the route Meriwether Lewis and William Clark took across the United States’ newly purchased territory.  The trail starts at Camp Dubois, Illinois and passes thru Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, and ends in Washington.  The trail is a combination of auto, land and water routes.

The Lewis and Clark expedition started in May 1804 with the goal to find a practical route across the western region of North America. They were to lay claim to these lands to limit European expansion.  The expedition was a success.  Lewis and Clark crossed the Louisiana purchase and made it to the Pacific Ocean.  They recorded the plants, animals, and landscapes as they traveled.  They laid the foundations for future relationships with the American Indian tribes of the relationships.

The trail was established on November 10, 1978.  There are over 100 stops along the trail.

Photo Credit – NPS

Minidoka National Historic Site

 

Oregon National Historic Trail

The Oregon National Historic Trail is often called the Oregon Trail.  This 2,170-mile trail was used to travel from Independence, Missouri to Oregon Territory.  These men and women headed west to fertile farmlands. The first half of the trail was used by travelers on the California National Historic Trail and the Mormon National Historic Trail.

Roughly 400,000 people packed up their lives into covered wagons to follow the Oregon Trail.  Several stops along the Oregon Trail are their own national park sites such as Scotts Bluff National Monument, Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Hagerman Fossil Beds National Monument, and Fort Vancouver National Historic Site.  Many other sites are within a couple hours drive of the trail.

Today, the trail runs thru Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon.  The Oregon National Historic Trail is mostly an autoroute.

Photo Credit – Rick Obst

Wing Luke Museum Affiliated Area

View all the National Park Service Sites in neighboring states: