Dosewallips State Park is a recreational area (around 1,064 acres) locateds less than a mile north of Brinnin in Jefferson County, Washington. Being close to Olympic National Forest, and surrounded by fresh and saltwater environments, the park is one of great diversity in landscape, nature and recreational activities.
It contains natural forested areas, mountains, fish filled rivers, and provides access to pristine beaches. Within the park, the freshwater Dosewallips River connects to the saltwater Hood Canal, which drains into the Salish Sea, providing a big draw card for RV travellers.
The park was established over a period between 1954 and 1972, replacing a hand full of old homesteads. Prior to this time, the area was logged and the wood transported from the mountains to the Dosewallips River by rail. The old railroad remnants can be found in the park’s far southeast. Once the wood reached the river, it was floated down to ports and mills, and a little exploration can open up a wealth of history. In addition, north of the park lie some old forts, which can be easily accessed by using the park as a home base.
To top it off, a range of RV camping options are available, with all sites nestled in beautiful grassy locations graced by scenic backdrops. Many sites are shaded, and the camping areas provide a range of RV facilities.
Camping is open all year round, with partial closures subject to weather conditions.
RV Rentals in Dosewallips State Park
Transportation in Dosewallips State Park
The park can be easily accessed via route 101. The beautiful drive along route 101, which meanders next to the Hood Canal, is considered a visitor highlight. To reach the park, drive north from Shelton by 40 miles, or from highway 104, drive 20 miles south (follow signs).
Roads within the park provide two wheel drive access, and all camping areas can be accessed by an RV. Roads are open all year round, with spontaneous closures during flood events, which can occur in December and January.
There are no driving restrictions for RVs within the park, so you’ll be able to get around easily, whether you’re in your rig or another vehicle.
Parking, in addition to the designated camping areas, is provided near the southern park entry on route 101, and to the north of the park near Shellfish Beach.
Campgrounds and parking in Dosewallips State Park
Campsites in Dosewallips State Park
Dosewallips State Park Campground
The camping area in the park provides 70 tent sites and 48 RV sites. All 70 tent sites can handle an RV, but only the 48 dedicated RV sites provide hookups. On all sites there is a maximum of 8 people. The camp provides one dump station, three rest rooms and two showers. Check iIn starts at 230pm and checkout is 1pm, with noise restrictions starting at 10pm. The park has a maximum RV length limit of 60 feet.
During the summer, the maximum stay is ten consecutive days. Between the 1st of October and 31st of March, this is extended to 20 days. It is important to note that water at hookup sites can be switched off during very cold conditions. Some day-use areas may be closed during flooding in December and January. Weekends are generally busy, but mid-week you are likely to have many areas within the park to yourself!
Considering the abundant forest all around, the campsite is cleared of most vegetation and quite open. This makes it easy to navigate, although you may wish for a little more shade in the summer. The nearby trees make their presence felt, though, with the occasional summer ‘snow storm’ caused by the budding of the cottonwood trees.
Meadow Group 1 provides for 80 people on a large grass field suitable for tents and RVs. This area has a large fire pit, eating areas, picnic tables, BBQs, water and toilets.
River Group 2 provides for 50 people, and is more suitable for tent camping.
Inquire with park authorities for group bookings at the required time of year.
Seasonal activities in Dosewallips State Park
In summer, the park runs campfire programs and and Junior Ranger programs on most weekends.These are a great way to keep youngsters occupied with something educational while you enjoy some relaxation. And who knows? It may help spark a love of the outdoors in your kids that will last them a lifetime. Plus, you may end up learning something yourself.
A range of picnic facilities are available, including a kitchen shelter (with no electricity) as well as six shaded, reservable picnic tables. Braziers and restrooms provide that little bit of extra comfort. It’s a fantastic way to enjoy the outdoors and relax in the beautiful scenery Dosewallips State Park offers.
The Dosewallips river provides some picturesque freshwater swimming locations. On a hot day, there’s no better way to cool off and enjoy yourself while getting some exercize. However, be aware that there are no official swimming areas and currents can be strong, so children should be supervised at all times.
Boating is a great way to spend a summer day. Triton Cove State Park located seven miles south provides a watercraft launch site. Note that a launching permit is required, and available at Triton Cove State Park. PAark headquarters at Olympia provides annual permits.
The park contains almost five miles of hiking trails. Trails traverse forest groves, ridges, and saltwater wetlands. Hiking through the park provides the best chance of spotting some wildlife! Trails are split into two main loops, one being easily accessible for kids, and the other more difficult. Trails offer some breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
In the colder months of the fall, the park is ideal for chasing fish. Four Sspecies of sSalmon and Steelhead use the Dosewallips River. In particular, Fall in the river is well known for its Steelhead run. Fishing licences can be purchased at the Brinnon general store.
With a little effort, one can return to the RV with a good hall of Chanterelle mushrooms, one of nature’s finest wild foods! Chanterelles love moist areas and often grow in forest groves around the base of large old hardwoods. In the season, you’ll find plenty of locals taking advantage of what the forest has to offer. Grab a basket and do the same.
The park is a prime location to watch wintering herds of Elk. While Plus, eagles and many other sea and land creatures can be found by exploring the many hiking trails the park has to offer. Seals and porpoises can be seen in the marine areas, and if you’re extremely fortunate, killer whales have been spotted offshore.
While shell fish can be harvest year round in the area, it is a great off-season activity while other activities are not an option. The nearby Hood Canal is legendary for a range of shellfish, including littleneck clams, oysters, butter clams, cockles, geoducks and horse clams. Note that you need a license and you must abide by strict bag limits.