With a prime location on the inlets of Puget Sound, Penrose Point State Park is a must-see on your next RV road trip to Washington. At just 237 acres, Penrose Point is a great spot for relaxing and enjoying the scenic surroundings without being plagued with massive crowds that some of the bigger parks in the area experience. Located along the Mayo Cove of the Carr Inlet, the park offers endless options for outdoor fun, including water skiing, scouring the sand for clams and oysters, and watching for the unique wildlife that call this area home.
Other activities include hiking and biking on 2.5 miles of trail, fishing from both fresh and saltwater coves, and swimming and boating in the crisp, cool water that surrounds the park. There's plenty of picnicking areas to enjoy once you're ready for a break, and the park campground offers overnight accommodation for both RVers and tent campers.
The campground is available year-round, with over 80 sites available for RVers and tent campers alike. All spots are basic with no hookups available, making this the perfect park to hunker down in if you're interested in being one with nature (even if it's just for a night or two).
No matter which direction you're coming from, you'll be treated to a scenic drive on your way into the park. Located on the Car Inlet of the Puget Sound, Penrose Point State Park is situated in one of the most scenic parts of Washington. Far from major freeways and highways, the drive to the park should be a relaxing one. Even those hauling big rigs will have no trouble navigating the roads, as they take any curves nice and slow. Although there aren't any major cities or routes surrounding Penrose Point, the nearby town of Home is a great place to gas up the campervan or stock up on supplies before entering the park.
Once inside the park, roads remain paved and well maintained. The campground is just past the park entrance to the west, and most sites can accommodate motorhomes up to 35 feet in length. A few sites are a bit longer, but big rigs will have a problem maneuvering the narrow campground roads. The park is small, so after you park the Airstream and set up camp you can begin exploring on foot or by bicycle.
There are two additional parking lots for day visitors -- one in the day-use area near the beach, and one on the west side of the park near the campground.
Located in a forested area on the west side of the park, the Penrose Point State Park Campground is equipped with over 80 RV-friendly sites. All sites are basic with no hookups, making this the perfect place to unwind and reconnect with nature.
Although no hookups are available, each site is outfitted with its own picnic table and fire ring, and a dump station and three central bathhouses (two with showers) are available in the campground. RVs measuring 35 feet or under should have no problem fitting into most of the sites and navigating the narrow roads in and around the campground. Pets are welcome at each site, and there are also various ADA sites available.
Although overnight guests won't stay directly on the beach, they'll only be a short walk away. There are also hiking trails, volleyball courts, and horseshoe rings near the campground. The campground is open year-round, with reservations available up to nine months in advance from mid-May through mid-September. During the off-season, campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you're not much for planning, you may want to visit Penrose Point State Park during the off-season. From mid-September through mid-May, the park campground is available on a first-come, first-served basis. There are over 80 standard RV-friendly sites available to rigs 35 feet or less in length, and the campground is equipped with bathhouses, a dump station, and access to hiking trails. All sites are pet-friendly and a few are ADA accessible. If you plan on visiting during the peak summer season, recommendations are recommended.
If you're planning a group camping trip, you can stay at Penrose Point State Park's group campground. Located in the center of the park, this large campsite can accommodate between 20 and 50 guests. You can choose to sleep under the stars in your tent, or park the RV and stay in your home away from home -- just note that there are no hookups of any kind available.
The campground is equipped with a picnic shelter with three tables, fire rings, benches, vault toilets, and water spigots. There are restrooms with showers in the main campground, and flush toilets can be accessed in the nearby day-use area.
The group campground is open year-round, and reservations can be made up to nine months in advance.
Those looking to get their toes wet during their RV vacation to Penrose Point are in luck because the park has nearly two miles of shoreline. The water may be a bit cool and the shoreline a bit rocky, but those who really want to swim will have plenty of space to do so. There are also restrooms, picnic tables, and a large parking lot by the main beach area once you're ready for a break from the water.
Boating is one of the most popular activities at Penrose Point State Park. Once you make you're way out into the Car Inlet, you'll be treated to views of the stunning Mount Rainier in the distance -- on a clear day, that is. You can meander out into the bay with your sailboat, motorboat, or canoe, and once you've had enough for the day, you can park your boat at one of the many moorage areas available in the park. There is even a pump-out station available on the dock, along with restrooms and a picnic area nearby.
Once you're ready for a break from all the activities, hunker down at one of Penrose Point's many scenic picnic tables. The main picnicking area is near the beach, and visitors will find tables, restrooms, grills, and even a shelter -- all available on a first-come, first-served basis. If you're staying overnight, you can always head back to camp and picnic right outside the pop-up, as each site is equipped with its own table and fire ring.
Anglers visiting Penrose Point State Park will not way to miss their opportunity to reel in a keeper. There are options for both saltwater and freshwater fishing, and crabbing and clamming are even allowed during designated seasons. Lovers of freshwater fishing can head to the nearby Bay Lake, about a mile from the park, for some good trout fishing opportunities. If you're more into saltwater fishing, you can cast out from shore, or bring your boat out onto the bay and try your luck for sea-run cutthroat, resident coho, and migratory salmon.
Don't hesitate to pack the mountain bike or hiking boots along in the motorhome, because Penrose Point State Park has over three miles of trails to explore. If you're not sure where to start, head to the self-guided interpretive trail near the day-use area. This .2-mile trail is the only one in the park where bikes are not allowed, so take your time and learn a little more about the park's geology, history, and culture. If you'd like to take the trails at a faster pace, you can bike on all the rest of the trails at the Penrose Point. Just be aware that you'll be sharing paths with hikers and other bikers so make sure you practice proper trail etiquette.
Once you've seen all the trails, you can enjoy more walking by checking out the park shoreline. Penrose Point State Park has over two miles of access to the water, and beachcombing is a popular activity at the park. The best time for beachcombing is generally after a storm, so keep your eyes peeled for driftwood, seashells, and other marine life as you meander the shore -- just don't disturb any living creatures during your afternoon of beachcombing.
If you're interested in partaking in a unique experience during your RV vacation to the park, consider going down to the beach and clamming for an afternoon. During the early spring, crowds flock to Penrose Point State Park to harvest shellfish -- and all you'll need is a bucket, a shovel, and a license. You'll likely reach your limit quickly, as the beach is planted with tons of Manila clams and Pacific oysters. There are also native littleneck clams, horse clams, butter clams, and eastern softshell clams up for grabs -- yum!
Penrose Point State Park and the surrounding Puget Sound area is home to some interesting critters. The forested areas and saltwater marshes make for a great habitat, and if you tread lightly on the trails and paddle quietly close to the shoreline, you might catch sight of deer, seals, blue heron, bald eagles, or woodpeckers, to name a few. Birders should stick to the shoreline for their chance to see a number of sea birds, including goldeneyes, pacific loons, and hooded mergansers.