Kitsap Memorial State Park is packed with the beauty of the Olympic Mountains, a long, saltwater shoreline of the Hood Canal, and a spacious, RV-friendly campground. 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, including 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 also 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. Wintertime brings temperatures in the mid-40s along with up to four inches of rainfall.
No matter what time of year you visit, you'll be able to find a place to park your RV rental. The campground remains open year-round, and there are even four cabins if you'd like to get out of the campervan for a night or two.
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 the high season around the two day-use parking lots. One lot is located near the entrance to the park, and another 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 trailers, 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 40 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. Pets are allowed but must be restrained by a six-foot leash at all times.
The campground is open year-round, and reservations are available up to nine months in advance.
If you prefer to lodge with creature comforts, then rent one of the four ADA-accessible cabins available at Kitsap Memorial State Park. Each cabin can sleep up to five guests and is equipped with a kitchenette, heat, and lighting. Guests will also find a picnic table and fire ring outside, along with a parking space. Although no indoor plumbing is available inside of the cabins, a water standpipe is available outside, and restrooms with showers are located in the RV campground, just a short walk away from the cabins.
The cabins are available year-round, and reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
Even if all the campsites at Kitsap Memorial State Park were spoken for, you won't have to go far to find a place to park the rig for the night. There are a plethora of private RV parks on the Kitsap Penninsula, most of which boast top-notch amenities.
There are also lots of state parks nearby, with the closest option being Illahee State Park. Located less than half an hour to the southeast, Illahee is equipped with 25 RV-friendly sites, two of which are full-hookup sites.
Scenic Beach State Park is also under 30 minutes away from Kitsap Memorial to the southwest, and as the name suggests, visitors will be treated to scenic beach views as well as 50 primitive RV campsites.
Manchester State Park is just a bit further than its predecessors, at nearly 40 minutes to the southeast of Kitsap Memorial. The extra drive may be worth it, as the campground is outfitted with 50 RV-friendly sites, 15 of which offer water and electric hookups.
Bird watching is a 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 fewer people in the park. Make sure you take your binoculars out from the teardrop for the best sightlines 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.
Beachcombing is a fabulous way to spend the day at Kitsap Memorial State Park, and there are almost 1,800 feet of shoreline along the Hood Canal. There are beautiful sandy beaches and tide pools for you to explore while beachcombing and the shoreline offer 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, and make sure you wear shoes while beachcombing.
There is a huge playing field at Kitsap Memorial State Park that is perfect for a variety of activities, so don't hesitate to bring your favorite gear along in the campervan. Kite flying is particularly fun in the large open field with constant winds to help lift your kite into the sky. Bring some extra string to go high, or try out your new acrobatic kite for fun. You can also play a round of two of 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.
Lace-up your hiking boots and leave the Airstream back at camp. Kitsap Memorial State Park has a mile and a half of hiking trails to explore, and whether you're going out for a morning stroll or looking for a place to catch the park's famed sunsets, you're sure to enjoy the trails. One of the trails starts at the main campground and carves its way along the beach, and the other cuts its way through a wooded area. Both trails are fairly easy to hike with very few inclines present.
Clamming and searching for oysters are both popular things 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.
You should always have your rod and reel ready to go in your motorhome when you visit Kitsap Memorial because the Hood Canal offers some great fishing prospects. There are two boat mooring buoys offshore for watercraft, and many anglers 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.
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 also 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.
When the weather is warm, there's no better way to enjoy the outdoors than by hunkering down at a picnic table with family and friends. Kitsap Memorial State Park has numerous tables spread throughout the park, and if you're hosting an event, you can rent one of the kitchen shelters. One is equipped with electricity and one is not, so be sure to reserve early if you'd like to secure a shelter. Those staying overnight can cozy up right outside of the pop-up, as each campsite is equipped with its own table and fire ring.