Flaming Geyser State Park, Auburn

#5 of 9 in Things to do in Auburn
National Park · Hidden Gem · Nature / Park
The Flaming Geyser State Park is located on the Green River in southwestern King County, Washington, near the city of Black Diamond. The park was named for a flame which burned through a concrete basin, fueled by a methane gas pocket 1,000 feet below the surface. When the pocket was discovered by prospective coal miners in the early 1900s, the test hole hit gas and saltwater, shooting water and flames 25 feet into the air. The same methane pocket seeps gas through a mud hole to create the "Bubbling Geyser" nearby. Both "geysers" can be found along a short hike, though as of 2016 the flaming geyser is no longer lit due to depletion of its methane source.
Despite these unique features, the most popular park use is for summer tubing and rafting in the river. Flaming Geyser also has a specially designated area for flying remote-controlled model airplanes.
Flaming Geyser was operated privately from the 1920s until the 1960s when the park fell into bankruptcy. When the land risked takeover by home development, Washington State Parks purchased the land and has managed it since. Urban legend of the park's history describes how miner Eugene Lawson aimed to profit from the ignited methane emission. While Lawson is a real historical figure who owned the Lawson Mine between 1895 and 1898 prior to two fatal explosions in 1902 and 1910, there is little record of involvement with Flaming Geyser.
In March 2009, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Department announced that due to a serious financial shortfall, they were considering closing and "mothballing" a number of state parks. As of January 2011, closure is still a possibility despite the legislature's recent investment in repair to the park's electrical infrastructure. Officials cite little success from volunteer donations on license renewal fees.
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Flaming Geyser State Park reviews

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32 reviews
  • Had a great time floating the river today. We arrived around 10:30am on the hottest day of the year so far and parked in the furthest lot in the park. Floated all the way down to the parking area...  more »
  • Awesome state park on a beautiful river. Spent several hours beating the heat n the cool water. A must do.  more »
  • I floated the Green River today with two friends, we were all adults. We parked a car at Whitney Bridge Park, which comes right up in my navigation with just those exact words (I live in Sumner...  more »

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