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Washington State Parks

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USA Parks
King Country Region
Saltwater State Park
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Saltwater State Park Amanita Muscaria © Michael Anway
Animita mushroom under tree.
Saltwater State Park Stranded Jellyfish © Michael Anway
Jellyfish stranded at High Tide
Saltwater State Park Great Blue Heron © Michael Anway
Great Blue Heron fishing at Saltwater State Park,Des Moines, WA
Saltwater State Park Black Tailed Weasel © Michael Anway
Little Weasel that was darting in and out of the rocks at Saltwater State Park, Des Moines, WA
Saltwater State Park Repsect Sealife © Michael Anway
Observe and Respect Beach Sea Life.
Saltwater State Park The local heron fishes for a meal. © Chiara Burt
Saltwater State Park © Chiara Burt
Saltwater State Park © Chiara Burt
Saltwater State Park Great blue heron catches a fish. © 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 © Brenda Hartman
Availability Search
25205 8th Pl S # 1
Des Moines, Washington   98198-8529

Phone: 253-661-4956
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.
A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to Washington state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
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.
Park Store
Services/Supplies Available in the area ? Auto repair? Airport? Boat rental? Camping? Diesel? Fishing/hunting? Gasoline? Gifts? Golf? Groceries? Hardware? Hospital? Marine supplies? Postal service? Propane? Recreational equipment? White gas? Wood? Swimming

An cafe and expresso stand available in the park. Most services are available within a few miles of the park.

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.

Visitor Comments, Memories and Reviews
June 18 Great Park, but needs upkeeping though! by TP1275
park review stars; one to five 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
park review stars; one to five To reserve a campsite, call (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.
August 25 One of our favorite parks by Indy
park review stars; one to five Ever since the campgrounds reopened, Saltwater State Park offers camping nearby without having to spend your vacation money on gas!
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Area Campgrounds
Seattle/Tacoma KOA
5801 South 212th Street
Kent, WA
Sun Outdoors Gig Harbor
9515 Burnham Drive
Gig Harbor, WA
Nearby Hotels

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.

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Washington State Parks