I was contacted by Park Ranger Brett Bayne on July 25th. We had a good talk. He took time to address all of my concerns in this area.
I am satisfied with the information he provided.
Fort Ebey State Park:
Afternoon visit 7/8/16
Midday visit 7/16/16
Entrance coned off to one lane.
Vehicles with Discover Pass & vehicles already checked in- forced to wait behind vehicles registering for camping.
Sort of like checking into a hotel- going out to dinner- then, after dinner- no access to room unless you wait at the desk behind others just arriving to check in.
One reason to purchase a Discover Pass off-site, is to be able to get started on an outing with no hassle.
WA State Parks web page:
People who need to register to camp must stop at the guard shack to sign in & pay.
People who are in the middle of their camping stay & people who have already purchased a valid daytime parking pass use the lane provided to bypass the cars waiting in line to register.
Why did this change?
“The new rules allow some leeway. At Battle Ground Lake, for example, four 15-minute parking spaces allow visitors to swing in for a bathroom break or to retrieve belongings they left behind. No pass required.”
Looks like this has been phased out. The Discover Pass seems to be more of an access permit than a parking pass now.
More here: Taking the fun out of State Parks
My parent’s generation introduced me to Washington State Parks in the 1970s. Since then- the parks have taken on an authoritarian tone. The feeling is that visitors are treated as guilty until proven innocent. If people are taking axes to trees, or setting picnic tables ablaze- find them & deal with them as individuals. When we rent a slab for the weekend- maybe just leave us alone to come & go as we please. Extra supervision is unwanted.
Rent yourself a State Parks buoy at Fort Worden
Voted best consumer value in weekend recreation.
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Photo- Sunset at Fort Ebey
Olympic Peninsula in the background