Kitsap Memorial State Park is packed with the beauty of the Olympic Mountains, a long saltwater shoreline of the Hood Canal, and 18 campsites for RVs that offer electricity and water. Located seven miles north of Poulsbo, Washington, the 63-acre Kitsap Memorial State Park is situated on the Kitsap Peninsula along the Hood Canal with over 1,700 feet of shoreline. The park was created by the Vinland Community Club in 1935 when the club began to buy parcels of land and make improvements in 1936. In 1937 the area of the park was given to Kitsap County and in 1949 the park was established after the land was deeded to the state of Washington.
The area surrounding Kitsap Memorial State Park was once the ancestral lands of the Suquamish and Port Gamble S’Klallam Indian Tribes. The area is rich in culture and offers many celebrations throughout the year such as Chief Seattle Days in August. This celebration combines the traditions of the tribes to commemorate Chief Seattle who was the ancestral leader of the Suquamish. The annual celebration includes canoe racing, totem pole carvings, and plenty of unique food from the tribes.
Today, Kitsap Memorial State Park is a perfect place to enjoy numerous activities during your RV camping trip. With plenty of shoreline to relish, you can participate in activities like scuba diving, canoeing, and fishing. There are lots of opportunities for clamming and crabbing along the Hood Canal. Photographers will be thrilled with the sunrise and sunset silhouettes of the Olympic Mountains to the west. Onshore activities include a great open field which is superb for playing frisbee, volleyball, and flying kites.
The weather at Kitsap Memorial State Park includes stellar temperatures from the high 60s to 70s in the summer with less than one inch of rain. Winter time brings temperatures in the mid-40s along with up to four inches of rainfall.
You can access Kitsap Memorial State Park from Northeast Park Street at Washington State Route 3 on the Kitsap Peninsula. You can access Route 3 in several ways including from Kingston to the east, as well as from Port Gamble to the north along Route 104. The Kingston-Edmonds Ferry allows access to Route 104 from the east but space may be limited to smaller RVs and trailers. Port Gamble is connected to the Olympic Peninsula via the Hood Canal Bridge which is a retractable floating bridge that can be hard to maneuver with larger RVs and trailers. You can expect to wait whether driving over the bridge or taking the ferry.
If you are going north to south on the peninsula from Poulsbo the drive is not difficult but the road is narrow. Once you arrive at the park, you will find one two-way road that takes you to the campground. You can expect traffic congestion within the park during high season around the two-day use parking lots. One is located near the entrance to the park. The other parking area is situated near the community hall that hosts numerous weddings in the summer. When traveling through the campground area please adhere to all posted speed limits. Be cautious of pedestrians, bicyclists, and children playing while driving.
The Kitsap Memorial State Park campground is situated along one two-way road and contains over 40 campsites for tents, RVs, and trailer, 15 of which offer full hookups. The campground offers plenty of trees for shade and sites boast some privacy. There is easy access to the Hood Canal from the campground. RVs and trailers are limited to 50 feet in length. Not all campsites can accommodate larger rigs.
These campsites are situated along a straight portion of the road before you reach the loop that contains the sites for tents. Each campsite has a fire ring, picnic table, and paved parking pad which may require leveling. There is a dump station for RVs to empty their holding tanks near the entrance of the park. Other amenities within the campground include flush toilets, showers, a playing field for sports and flying kites as well as a children’s playground. Generators may be used from 8:00 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. Pets must be restrained by a six-foot leash at all times.
There are a plethora of watersports to be had during your RV camping trip to Kitsap Memorial State Park. Water activities include kayaking or canoeing along the Hood Canal where you will find a different vantage point of viewing the incredible landscape of this lush area of the northwest. Swimming and scuba diving are common in the summer and there are a couple of mooring buoys for larger watercraft. If you are interested in bringing your boat, you will find a boat launch four miles north from the park at Salisbury County Park.
You should always have your rod and reel ready to go when traveling in your RV since the Hood Canal offers great fishing prospects. There are two boat mooring buoys offshore for watercraft and many anglers will use a kayak or canoe. Offshore fishing is best along the northern section of the beach area. Once you dip your line in the water, you can expect to catch a variety of fish from Coho salmon and sea-run cutthroat trout to steelhead and perch. Always check state and park regulations for bag and size limits as well as any seasonal closures.
Clamming and searching for oysters is a popular thing to do in Kitsap Memorial State Park. Along the southern portion of the beach area, you will find horse clams. While you are digging along the shoreline you can expect some native littleneck as well as Manila littleneck clams. In the cobble substrate along the shoreline there are butter clams. Oysters are abundant with geoducks directly off the sandier beach areas. Before you dig, check the Washington State Rules and Regulations for bag limits as well as digging closures.
There is a huge playing field at Kitsap Memorial State Park that is perfect for many activities. Kite flying is particularly fun in the large open field with constant winds to help lift your kite into the sky. Bring extra string to go high or try out your new acrobatic kite for fun. You can play volleyball in one of the marked courts or play catch with your children. There is sufficient room in the field to play Frisbee including a game of Ultimate Frisbee with your friends.
Beachcombing is fabulous along the almost 1,800 feet of shoreline along the Hood Canal. There are beautiful sandy beaches and tide pools for you to explore while beachcombing in Kitsap Memorial State Park. The shoreline offers refuge during low tide for numerous starfish, chitons, crabs and limpets. Other species can you view include several species of clams and oysters. Watch out for barnacles that can hurt your feet, so make sure you wear shoes while beachcombing. Hiking on land within the park consists of a nature trail with plenty of interpretive signs about the area's wildlife that takes you from the campground to the shoreline.
Bird watching is great activity to enjoy while RV camping at Kitsap Memorial State Park year round. You will spot more in the winter months when there are less people in the park. Make sure you take your binoculars for the best sight lines along the shore and of the Hood Canal. Bird species common to the park include great blue herons, kingfish, flickers, goldfinch, goldeneye, surf scoter, plenty of duck species, and seagulls. You can even expect to see an occasional majestic bald eagle.