Beat the ‘end of summer’ blues this Labor Day weekend

Grab your Discover Pass and head out to your favorite DNR recreation site this weekend. Photo by: DNR

Many Washingtonian families are packing up the car to get outside and enjoy the last bit of summer this Labor Day weekend. There is a feeling of excitement about creating memories, but also a heavy heart that another Northwest summer has passed by so quickly.

Don’t despair, this Labor Day recreation guide will help you beat the ‘end of summer blues’ and get the most of this weekend.

1-      Snow Cabin Campground – They say that gratitude is the best way to change a bad mood, and when it comes to Snow Cabin Campground in Ahtanum State Forest, there is a lot to feel grateful for. Snow Cabin Campground was closed in 2009 due to state budget cuts. However, in 2011, many recreationists rejoiced when Discover Pass funds allowed this site to be opened again to the public.

This summer, DNR had to close the campground again when a harsh winter created unsafe conditions with downed logs hanging precariously over campsites.

…but wait that’s not the end of the story: The campground will reopen August 30, just in time for Labor Day weekend fun.

Campground Highlights: Snow Cabin Campground is the western-most facility on the North Fork Ahtanum Creek Road. The name of the campground refers to a long-gone cabin that was used for monitoring snow levels. The campground has eight primitive campsites with a vault toilet and no running, potable water. DNR has replaced or refurbished picnic tables and added new fire pits.

Ride all day on Tahuya’s miles of dynamic trails. Photo by: DNR

2-      Camp Spillman (map): This year-round recreation site, located near Belfair in the Tahuya State Forest, offers access to over 200 miles of multi-use, single-track, deep woods trails. Tahuya is just gearing up for its prime season as autumn rains keep riding fresh. Rustic campgrounds will fill up quickly, so head out early this holiday weekend.

The Mission Creek trail line twists and turns over roots, whoop-de-dos, slow, sandy, and pebbly sections that offer great fun for all skill levels. And check out the other features in the area. Whether you’re a mountain bike fanatic, an ORV enthusiast, an equestrian addict, or a campground aficionado, Tahuya State Forest has something for you.

3-      Rock Creek Campground – Want to get away with your horses this weekend? Just east of Vancouver, Washington, the Rock Creek Campground in Yacolt Burn has everything you need to make your long weekend a dream vacation. Rock Creek offers 19 equestrian-oriented campsites, 5 picnic areas, and breathtaking scenic landscapes.

No horses? Never fear, Yacolt Burn State Forest has many other sites that feature ORV trails, hiking, and vistas for all to enjoy.


Don’t see what you are looking for? The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has over 140 recreation sites across the state – take a peak and see what adventures await.

So, strike out and turn your ‘end of summer blues’ into an end of summer adventure! Don’t forget to grab your Discover Pass as you head out the door.

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