Saltwater State Park '' © Chiara Burt
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USA Parks
King Country Region
Saltwater State Park
25205 8th Pl S # 1
Des Moines, Washington   98198-8529

Phone: 253-661-4956
Saltwater State Park
© Chiara Burt

Saltwater State Park
'The local heron fishes for a meal.'
© Chiara Burt

Saltwater State Park
'Heron and Gulls'
© Chiara Burt

The local heron shows off its majestic wing to a nearby seagull.

Saltwater State Park
'A Heron Stands Tall'
© Chiara Burt

Saltwater State Park
'Great blue heron catches a fish.'
© Chiara Burt

Saltwater State Park
© Brenda Lee Hartman


Saltwater State Park
© Chiara Burt

Saltwater State Park is an 88-acre marine camping park with 1,445 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound. The park is located halfway between the cities of Tacoma and Seattle. The cities jointly and literally buried a hatchet in the park as a symbol of an end to their mutual competition. The park offers beautiful views and wildlife-watching opportunities. The park features tide pools and marine life, including salmon spawning in McSorley Creek. There is an underwater artificial reef for scuba divers. The park is on the flight path of Sea-Tac International Airport.

Park hours/updates:

Summer: 8 a.m. to dusk.Winter: Closed Dec. 15, reopens April 1 (day-use area is open year round.)

Camping:Check-in time, 2:30 p.m.Check-out time, 1 p.m. Quiet hours: 10 p.m. to 9 a.m.
Nature of the Area
Wildlife Mammals Birds Fish & Sea Life? Foxes? Squirrels? Crows or Ravens? Doves or Pigeons? Ducks? Eagles? Gulls? Hawks? Herons? Hummingbirds? Ospreys? Owls? Quail? Woodpeckers? Clams? Crabs? Mussels? Octopuses? Oysters? Sea Birds? Sea Cucumbers? Seals? Shellfish? Squid? Starfish? Whales? Eel? Perch? Salmon? Shark? Trout

Environmental Features Physical Features Plant Life ? Cedar? Douglas Fir? Hemlock? Spruce? Alder? Ash? Birch? Oak? Poplar? Rhododendron? Rose? Berries? Ferns? Moss or Lichens? Seaweed
History of the Area
The park dedication in 1926 included a peace effort to stop the bad feelings between the cities of Tacoma and Seattle. The park is located halfway between the two cities, and a hatchet is symbolically buried under a rock somewhere in the park. Much of the park we see today was built by the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s.
The park has 50 tent spaces, one dump station, four restrooms (one ADA) and two showers (both ADA). All standard sites are in McSorley gulch, next to the creek. Sites have no hook-ups. Maximum site length is 60 feet (may have limited availability). The park is in the flight path of Seatac Airport and, during certain hours, planes land or take off over the park every 15 minutes. All campsites are first-come, first-served.

Check-in time is 2:30 p.m., and check-out time is 1 p.m. Quiet hours are from 10 p.m. to 6:30 a.m.Engine-driven electric generators may be operated only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.Length of stay: You may stay up to ten consecutive days in any one park during the summer; the stay limit is extended to 20 days between Oct. 1 and March 31.
Boats and RVs
Leavenworth Outfitters.com Outdoor Center - Leavenworth, WABoat Rentals
We want to share the nature and adventure of river rafting, kayaking, cross country skiing and snoeshoeing in the beautiful Cascade Mountains of Washington State with our honored guests.
71 miles from park*

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Nearby Parks

The park provides two kitchen shelters without electricity, plus 147 unsheltered picnic tables. Most picnic sites are near the beach or along McSorley Creek.

The kitchen shelters are reservable by calling the park office at (253) 661-4956 or Dash Point State Park at (253) 661-4955.
Area Attractions
Water Activities Other? Diving? Fishing (saltwater)? Beachcombing? Bird Watching? 2 Fire Circles? 1 Horseshoe pit? Interpretive Activities? Sailboarding? 2 Volleyball Fields? Wildlife Viewing

The park has an underwater, artificial reef on Puget Sound. The area is often used for scuba diving and fishing.

The park offers three trails for hiking and biking. The park can be noisy, as it is located in the flight path of a major airport.
Things To Do in the Area
Gig Harbor Rent-A-Boat Charters, LLC - Gig Harbor, WABoating
Take command and be the Skipper Rent one of our Larson powerboats by the hour or the entire day. Take in the scenery or zip around the sound in a speedboat, deck boat, or cruiser. If you don't have the need for speed rent one of our Kayaks, Canoes or Pedal Boats. You can enjoy the scenery at your pace. Whatever your desire may be here at Gig Harbor you will make memories that will last a lifetime.
Web Site: gigharborrentaboat.com
13.2 miles from park*
Leavenworth Outfitters.com Outdoor Center - Leavenworth, WAFamily Outting
We want to share the nature and adventure of river rafting, kayaking, cross country skiing and snoeshoeing in the beautiful Cascade Mountains of Washington State with our honored guests.
Web Site: leavenworthoutfitters.com
71 miles from park*
Bainbridge Bluegrass Festival - Rollingbay, WAArts/Cultural/Drama
Bainbridge Bluegrass Festival is a family-focused music event organized by volunteers. The festival brings diverse music to the community, raising funds for local charities, this year PAWs of Bainbridge Island and North Kitsap.
Web Site: BainbridgeBluegrass.org
23.3 miles from park*
Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 18 Great Park, but needs upkeeping though! by TP1275
My family and I LOVE this park, however, the bathrooms are never clean and are always horribly kept. The bathrooms are almost always flooded by overflowing toilets and sinks. The smell is horrible. However, the beach itself is one of the most beautiful we have visited. I hope that they will be able to get the issues with the bathrooms resolved soon. My last visit was last week 6/12/13 and they were still in horrible condition. Also they have a great cafe available to purchase food and snacks after searching the beach and after the kids work up an appetite!
September 19 Reservations required
To reserve a campsite, call (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.
August 25 One of our favorite parks by Indy
Ever since the campgrounds reopened, Saltwater State Park offers camping nearby without having to spend your vacation money on gas!
April 3 by Gexydaf
For years I?ve wondered about Saltwater State Park in Des Moines, WA. I mean I like parks and one with saltwater just has to be good, right? And yet I only seemed to think about it as I drove by on I-5 on my way to or from somewhere with no time to stop. Well, today after dropping my dad at the airport, I finally went! It is lovely. There is plenty of Puget Sound shoreline (1,445 feet) with rocks to turn over and look for sea life, a stream that goes into the sound, some wooded trail areas, picnic tables, restrooms and a seasonal concession stand. I visited with a woman who was getting ready to scuba dive and she told me about seeing octopus and seals. There is an underwater artificial reef for scuba divers. My only caution would be to wear sneakers or other thick soled shoes because the beach area is covered with barnacles and broken shells. http://blog.firsttries.com/?p=2970
September 30 A HIDDEN GEM by crystalmtkid
ive driven past the sign on I-5 a hundred times.finally went to check it out today. beautiful park.took the family.nice loop not too long to walk.the shoreline was awesome.the tide was in, so we didnt get to play in tidepools but our visit was excellent. defanatly worth a second visit.
August 2 by Bryan
Nice park
May 17 There is no camping @ Saltwater State Pa by Saltwater@parks.wa.gov
Camping was closed at Saltwater State Park in 2008.
September 6 Gods country a rare and wonderful experi by Exceptionally happy
It is a view and experience you can not find any where else in the world. The Puget Sound is a master piece. This is a very rare experience it must never go to anyone else and always remain open.

Area Campgrounds

Seattle/Tacoma KOA
5801 South 212th Street
Kent, WA

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Located two miles south of Des Moines, Wash., near Sea-Tac International Airport in King County.

Traveling north or south on I-5 take exit #149 at the Kent-Des Moines Hwy. 516, travel west on Hwy. 516 to Marine View Dr. turn left and travel south to S. 252nd St., turn right. The park entrance is one block on the left.

From I-5 North: Take exit 147, turn left onto S. 272nd St. travel to 16th Ave So., turn right, travel north to Woodmont Dr. So., turn left , then turn right onto Marine View Drive (HWY 509) and travel north to S. 252nd Street, just past the bridge turn left onto S. 252nd. The park entrance is one block on the left.

USA Parks
King Country Region
Saltwater State Park
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