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
Located two miles south of Des Moines, Wash., near Sea-Tac International
87.84 acres with 1,445 feet of saltwater shoreline.
The park was acquired in seven parcels between 1929 and 1974, for a
total cost of $46,772.61.
The park was originally presented April 24, 1926, through the cooperative
efforts of the Seattle/Tacoma Associated Young Men's Business Club,
co-sponsored by the Seattle Star and Tacoma Times, dedicated August
20, 1933. During the 1930s the CCCs built the first facilities, manager's
residence and shop, and roughed in the road and trail. In the early
1950s, the creek bed was moved to the north to enlarge the parking area
and extend the beach.
Three residences, 4 comfort stations, 4 picnic shelters, 1 kitchen shelter,
group camp, storage/registration booth, 2 vault toilets, 52 tent campsites,
290 car parking, 128 picnic tables, 30 pedestal stoves, 150' of unguarded
beach, sunken barge and tire reef for scuba divers, scuba rinse station,
2.0 miles of road, 2.0 miles of trail, 3 buoys, trailer dump station.
Saltwater contains an underwater park.
Of Special Interest:
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
The upper trails of the park have beautiful views of Maury and Vashon
Islands, the Olympic Mountains, and spectacular sunsets.
Several educational programs are available. The Tidelands Stewardship
Training program is offered March through May, with clock-hour credit
for school teachers. "Teach on the Beach," a youth summer
camp, is offered in July and August. The camp also features an active
Junior Ranger program. For information on park programs, call (253)
2 Fire Circles
1 Horseshoe pit
2 Volleyball Fields
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.
Crows or Ravens
Doves or Pigeons
Fish & Sea Life
Moss or Lichens
From the south:
Take exit #147 off I-5. Follow signs west, and turn right on 16th St.
past the Safeway store (sign missing). Then follow signs to park. Turn
on Marine View Dr., which runs through the park. Turn left into the
From the north:
Take exit #149 off of I-5, go west, then turn south on Hwy. 99 (sign
missing). Follow the signs into the park. Turn right on 240th at the
Midway Drive-in. Turn left on Marine View Dr. and turn right into the
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Courtesy of Washington
State Park and Recreation Commission