Description - **Note: This information was provided by www.mostateparks.com.
A visit to Washington State Park is sure to be a memorable experience for anyone. A favorite attraction here are the Indian rock carvings found in the park. These carvings, or petroglyphs, are believed to have been made around A.D. 1,000 and give clues to the lives of the prehistoric Indians who once inhabited this part of Missouri.
Washington State Park retains many of its original buildings constructed in a rustic architectural style in the 1930s by African-American Civilian Conservation Corps stonemasons. In addition to a lodge, there are quaint stone hiking shelters, a picnic pavilion, and the beautifully laid stone slabs that make up the 1,000 Steps Trail. The three hiking trails at Washington State Park provide every experience, from an easy stroll with bluff-top views of the river to a vigorous excursion through 10 miles of rugged Ozark terrain.
Park visitors also can enjoy camping, fishing and swimming -- in a modern pool, or in the Big River. Available for rental are canoes and comfortable cabins with fully-equipped kitchens.
Come and see for yourself why the area now known as Washington State Park has been attracting visitors for nearly a thousand years.
- Washington State Park offers basic and electric campsites and a special-use camping area. Services include reservable sites, a dump station, showers, water and laundry. Campsites 1-31 and 45-51 are open year-round. Campsites 32-44 are open April through October. For reservations, there is a required two-night minimum stay for weekends from April through October and major holidays from May 15 through Sept. 15.
Washington State Park contains several picnic areas located throughout the park. There are two open shelters available for use and can be reserved for $25 and $30 per day, respectively. If not reserved, the shelters are available at no charge on a first-come, first-served basis. There is one shelter located in the main day-use area near the Big River and the other is located across from the petroglyph site. There are three playgrounds within the park -- at the swimming pool, in the campground and near the shelter at the Big River day-use area.
Recreation - Watercraft rentals are available daily, Memorial Day through Labor Day; Saturday and Sunday only in May and September. Canoe and raft rentals include personal flotation devices (PFD), paddles and transportation. Children 12 and under are free for canoe and raft rentals but do count as occupants. You must be 18 years of age to rent watercrafts.
The Big River offers fishermen opportunities to catch a wide variety of fish, from catfish and crappie to large and smallmouth bass. The portion of the Big River that extends from the Hwy. 21 bridge to the Meramec River has been designated by the Missouri Department of Conservation as a Smallmouth Bass Special Management Area. Special regulations of length and possession limits apply to smallmouth bass in this area.
The swimming pool is open Monday through Friday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 17 through Sept. 2. It is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. ending with Labor Day (Sept. 5).
Hiking is available at this park.
Climate - Missouri experiences four distinct seasons with an average yearly temperature of 54 degrees F. Summer temperatures reach 90 degrees F often and are plagued with high humidity levels. Nighttime lows during the summer dip slightly near 70 degrees. September brings cooler fall weather with less humidity. By October nights begin to cool significantly and the fall foliage changes to brilliant hues of orange, red and yellow. Winter months bring an average of 24 inches of snow and normal temperatures average between 20 and 45 degrees F. Spring is characterized by wet weather with temperatures reaching between 32 and 60 degrees F.
13041 State Hwy. 104
DeSoto, MO 63020