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Washington has some of the best offroad trails in the country, hands down. But your big weekend trip full of endless trails and top notch scenery could be an expensive dud if you don't obtain your riding passes in advance. When the camper is stocked, and the bikes are prepped and everyone is looking forward to the fun ahead, you'll want to feel comfortable that all of your paperwork is in order. So, what do you need?
It boils down to two factors: 1) Where You Will Be Riding and 2) Whether Or Not Your Vehicle Is Street Legal
BLM (Bureau of Land Management) and National Forests are exempt from the Discover Pass, but you still need current registration to ride on any BLM or National Forest land. Private motocross tracks and offroad parks are also exempt from any pass or registration requirements except those of the park itself. So far, so good.
Land managed by the state of Washington or Washington DNR (Department Of Natural Resources) do require the Discover Pass. Some examples would be Tahuya or Walker Valley. To determine which type of land you will be visiting you can use this chart.
Now, before you buy any pass also consider the following:
The Discover Pass is required if the motorcycle/ORV is street legal and licensed for highway use. If you are towing your street legal motorcycle or ORV in the bed of your truck or on a trailer you will need a pass for BOTH the truck (or tow vehicle) AND for each street legal motorcycle/ORV that is being transported (An additional pass is not required for the trailer itself).
If the motorcycle is NOT street legal (just a regular ol' dirt bike) and you have to haul the bike in the bed of a truck or trailer, then you only need a Discover Pass for the truck itself because it will be parked on state land. The bike, however, still needs to be registered, and the process for that depends on whether or not you are a resident of the state of Washington.
In summary, the pass is intended to cover parking on state land, and the revenue collected helps pay for staff, trail maintenance and facilities. The cost is $35 for an annual pass which covers up to two license plates and is good for one full year (365 days) regardless of what time of year it is purchased. It covers access to 160+ recreation sites managed by DNR, over 100 state parks, 700 water access points plus hundreds of natural and wildlife areas. Just need a day pass? Cost is $11.50.
To purchase a Discover Pass call (866) 320-9933, go to discoverpass.wa.gov, or visit one of these local vendors.