Fort Simcoe State Park is a 200-acre, day-use heritage park in south central Washington on the Yakama Indian Nation Reservation. The park is primarily an interpretive effort, telling the story of mid-19th century army life and providing insights into the lifeways of local Native American culture. Located in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in an old oak grove watered by natural springs, Fort Simcoe was an 1850's-era military installation established to keep peace between the settlers and the Indians. Due to its unique historic significance, the park was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in June, 1974. Before the fort era, the site was an Indian campground where many trails crossed.Want to support Washington State Parks? Get involved by joining a friends' group. For more information, visit the Friends' Group web page.
Summer: 6:30 a.m. to dusk.
Winter: Closed Oct. 31, reopens April 1.
Winter Schedule for all Washington State Parks
Please note: Alcohol is not permitted at Fort Simcoe State Park. This policy is strictly enforced throughout the park, including reserved picnic shelters.
Don't move firewood: Please protect the Pacific Northwest from invasive species by obtaining or purchasing your firewood at or near your camping destination (within 50 miles). Firewood can carry insects and diseases that threaten the health of our western forests. You can make a difference by buying and burning your firewood locally. For more information, visit online at www.dontmovefirewood.org or the Washington Invasive Species Council website.
The Discover Pass now can be used on either of two vehicles!Annual pass: $30
One-day pass: $10
(Transaction and dealer fees may apply)
A Discover Pass is required for motor-vehicle access to state parks and recreation lands managed by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Exemptions:
Your purchase of the Discover Pass supports recreation on state lands. However, the Discover Pass is not required if you are camping or renting overnight accommodations, for the duration of your stay at that state park. For additional exemptions and more information, please visit the Discover Pass website
There is no individual camping available at this park, but a group camp that accommodates 50 guests and six RVs is available.
A group camp overlooks the fort and parade ground accommodates 50 guests and six RVs. For reservations, contact the park at (509) 874-2372.
Located seven miles west of White Swan, Wash. in Yakima County.
5150 Fort Simcoe Road
White Swan, WA 98952
Take the Hwy. 97 exit off of I-82 (south bound), and drive to the first traffic light (Lateral A). Turn right onto Lateral A. Drive to the second stop sign, about 12 miles (Fort Rd.) Turn right on Fort Road. Drive about 15 miles to the city of White Swan. In White Swan, watch for road signs to Fort Simcoe. The park is seven miles west of White Swan.
Off of Hwy. 97 in Toppenish (north or south bound), take Fort Simcoe Rd. west. Drive about 20 miles to the city of White Swan. In White Swan, watch for signs to Fort Simcoe State Park. Fort Simcoe is seven miles west of White Swan.
Fort Simcoe downloadable pdf map #1
List of all downloadable Washington State Park maps
The park features rich interpretive opportunities, which explore mid-19th century life and the clash of cultures that took place when settlers and Indians vied for the same territory.
Fort Simcoe State Park is one of the largest gathering areas in the Northwest of the Lewis's woodpecker. Named after explorer Meriwether Lewis of the Corps of Discovery, Lewis’s woodpeckers are among the most specialized of all American woodpeckers in fly-catching behavior. Unlike other American woodpeckers, 60 percent of the Lewis’s feeding time is spent fly catching. The woodpeckers can be located throughout the park, with the best viewing areas near the officer’s houses and the picnic area.
The fort is located on the Yakama Reservation. The site was a meeting, trade and culture center for prehistoric native tribes from areas all around the present state of Washington. Prior to 1850, the park was used as a trade center and campground for the various bands of Native Americans that now make up the Yakama Indian Nation. The fort was built in the late 1850s and was in use for three years. In 1859, the military turned the fort over to the Yakama Indian Agency. The fort was then converted to an Indian school and the Yakama Indian Agency managed its affairs from the site until the early 1900s. The park was established in 1956.
The park has an interpretive center and three officer's buildings that are open to the public from April 1 to Oct. 1, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. The entire park is of interpretive value. Group tours are offered for a fee. Tours the rest of the year may be made by appointment; call (509) 874-2372.
Five original buildings are still standing at the fort: the commander's house, three captain's houses and a blockhouse. Various other buildings have been recreated to appear original. Houses are filled with period furnishings.
A free family weekend in June celebrates military and Fort Simcoe History. Events may include military re-enactors and living history specialists, traditional tribal dancers, flag raising ceremony, military displays, antique car shows, free cake and refreshments. Call the park for dates and details at (509) 874-2372.
| ||Available in the area|
| ||• Gasoline|
• Postal service
Most services are within a few miles of the park. Fort Simcoe has a small book store located in the park's interpretive center.
|• 0.8 mi. Hiking Trails||• Bird Watching|
• 2 Horseshoe pits
• Interpretive Activities
• 1 Volleyball Field
• Wildlife Viewing
Fort Simcoe has large open grassy areas for baseball, football, softball and soccer. Wildlife viewing is seasonal and bird watching is year-round.
Free days at state parks
: Visit Washington state parks for free. The Discover Pass is not required to visit a state park on ten designated free days in 2013.
The 2013 State Parks free days are as follows:
Jan. 21 – In honor of Martin Luther King Day
March 30 – In honor of Washington State Parks' 100th birthday on March 19
April 27 and 28 – National Parks Week
June 1 – National Trails Day
June 8 and 9 – National Get Outdoors Day and Department of Fish and Wildlife Free Fishing weekend
Aug. 4 – Peak season free day
Sept. 28 – National Public Lands Day
Nov. 9 through 11 – Veteran's Day weekend
Please note: A Discover Pass is still required to access lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife during State Parks free days. For more information, please visit www.discoverpass.wa.gov
|Date/time||Event description||State Park|
|May 4 and 5
||Civil War Reenactment: History comes to life at Fort Simcoe State Park. See reenactments of American Civil War battles, including civilians, infantry, cavalry and cannons, surrounded by the park’s historic military buildings. The event opens Saturday morning with a 9 a.m. flag rising. Cake is provided at noon on Sunday. Activities are scheduled as follows:
May 4 – Flag rising at 9 a.m., battles at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m.
May 5 – Battles at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., cake served at noon
Presented by the Washington Civil War Association. To participate in the battle reenactment or for additional event information, call (509) 969-0125 or visit www.wcwa.net.
Full list of events
at Washington State Parks
Picnic and Day-use Facilities
The park provides four sheltered and 45 unsheltered picnic tables. Restrooms, running water, and ample parking are available, with no fees. Tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
|Mammals||Birds||Fish & Sea Life|
• Deer or Elk
|• Crows or Ravens|
• Doves or Pigeons
|Physical Features|| ||Plant Life|| |
| ||• Apple|
Park photo gallery