Saltwater State Park

Saltwater State Park delivers a sandy beach getaway on the edge of Washington’s largest urban area, and the park is only 2 miles from Interstate 5.   

Set on a stretch of shoreline between Tacoma and Seattle, Saltwater is one of the most popular Washington state parks. While you won’t often have the beach to yourself on a warm summer day, the atmosphere can’t be beat.  

Wade in the shallows, make sand castles or play on the driftwood-strewn shore. Explore Saltwater’s tide pools or its seasonal salmon spawning in McSorley Creek. If you prefer to view sea life from under the water, Saltwater is the only state park with an underwater artificial reef for diving. The reef is a protected marine sanctuary, and harvesting is not allowed. 

Hike on the cool green forested trails, and watch the kids play in the playground. Cook up a picnic on one of the park’s many barbecue grills, or grab a bite from the onsite Saltwater Café.

Saltwater State Park is on the flight path of Sea-Tac International Airport and can be noisy at times, but it’s all part of the urban beach experience.   

Park Features


Saltwater State Park is a 137-acre camping park featuring 1,445 feet of saltwater shoreline on Puget Sound, halfway between Tacoma and Seattle. The two cities jointly and literally buried a hatchet at the park during the 1926 park dedication as a symbol of the end of their mutual competition.

Automated pay station: This park is equipped with an automated pay station for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass.

Alcohol is allowed only in the campground by registered campers of legal age and in their campsite only. It is not allowed in any other area of the park.

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  1. Activities
  2. Boating
  3. Camping
  4. Maps

ADA Amenities/Facilities


  • Campground
  • Restroom
  • Hiking trail

Picnic & Day-Use Facilities

The park provides two reservable kitchen shelters without electricity, plus 147 unsheltered picnic tables. Most picnic sites are near the beach or along McSorley Creek. Reservations can be made online or by calling (888) CAMPOUT or (888) 226-7688.

Activities


Water Activities


  • Diving
  • Fishing (saltwater)

Other Activities & Features


  • Amphitheater
  • Beach exploration
  • Bird watching
  • Two fire circles
  • Horseshoe pit
  • Interpretive activities
  • Sailboarding
  • Two volleyball fields
  • Wildlife viewing

Additional Information


  • The park has an underwater artificial reef on Puget Sound. The reef is a popular area for scuba diving. Fishing and harvesting are prohibited in the artificial reef area.
  • There are no overnight mooring buoys available at the park. 
  • The park offers three trails for hiking and biking.
  • A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.