Penrose Point State Park covers 237 acres on the shores of Puget Sound. Surrounded by lush forests, the park is a popular spot for a day on the water with two miles of saltwater frontage on Mayo Cove and Carr Inlet.
Located about 45 minutes outside of Tacoma, Washington, the park is easily accessible, but keep an eye on the winding roads.
Take your boat out onto the water for swimming, water skiing, diving, crabbing, and saltwater fishing in the shadow of Mount Rainier. At low tide, hunt for oysters and clams. Try to spot sea stars in the tidal pools as you stroll on the beach.
Hikers and bikers can enjoy two and a half miles of wooded trails. Catch glimpses of bald eagles and deer, as well as seals playing in the water and on the shore.
Park your RV in one of 82 campsites with restrooms and showers. Relax in the shade and enjoy the day’s catch or shellfish haul by the fire. If you bring your own boat, feel free to sleep in your vessel while moored along the dock.
Discover the best of Puget Sound on your next vacation with a stop at Penrose Point State Park.
RV Rentals in Penrose Point State Park
Transportation in Penrose Point State Park
Penrose Point State Park is located on Puget Sound about 45 minutes outside of Tacoma, Washington. The park sits along Carr Inlet, Mayo Cove, and Delano Bay.
Since the park sits off the main stretch of State Route 302, it can be sometimes be difficult to find. Visitors will travel from Purdy on State Route 16 and follow State Route 302, also known as Key Peninsula Highway, through the towns of Key Center and Home. Look for Cornwall Road, the second road after crossing Home Bridge, and turn left. Continue on Cornwall Road for about one and a quarter miles, and take a left onto 158th Avenue. This street will dead end in the park.
The roads throughout the park are paved and well-maintained. However, campers are encouraged to follow trailer and RV length limits as the roads can be narrow and winding in some areas.
Bikes are allowed on all trails except the interpretive trail and can be ridden into the park.
Campgrounds and parking in Penrose Point State Park
Campsites in Penrose Point State Park
Penrose Point State Park Campground
Penrose Point State Park Campground features 82 sites without hookups, and is ADA accessible. The sites are reservable during peak season — May 15 through September 15 — and operate on a first-come first serve basis during the off-season. Three restroom areas are spread throughout the campsite, two of which have token-operated showers. An RV dump station is available near the park entrance. Campers have access to picnic areas and group pavilions with fire rings, barbecue grills, covered shelters, picnic tables, and water. Campsites are a short walk from the beach.
Seasonal activities in Penrose Point State Park
Swimming and Boating
The waters of Puget Sound invite swimmers and boaters alike to enjoy the salty waves. There is no designated swimming area at Penrose Point State Park, but visitors can wade in from anywhere on the shore. The park hosts 158 feet of dock and 270 feet of moorage for boaters. All personal watercraft is welcome including motorized boats, canoes, sailboats, and jet skis. The area is popular for waterskiing and diving. Boaters are welcome to camp in the campground or sleep on their vessels while moored at the dock or on one of the available mooring buoys.
Shellfish Harvesting and Crabbing
In season, campers can harvest shellfish and go crabbing in the sound. A recreational license is required in order to fish or harvest shellfish in Washington state parks. At low tide, the beaches are covered in manila clams, oysters, littleneck clams, butter clams, horse clams, cockles, and eastern softshell clams. You’ll also find the occasional mussel. Visit during the annual Penrose Point State Park Shellfest to feast on clams and oysters while celebrating clean water and healthy shellfish.
Two and a half miles of hiking and biking trails weave through Penrose Point State Park. The longest single trail is 0.7 miles long, making the trail system the perfect strolling site for hikers of all skill levels. Catch glimpses of Mount Rainier while winding through woods of Douglas-fir, western red cedar, red alder, Pacific madrone, and big leaf maple. Keep an eye on the forest floor for ferns and huckleberry. Don’t miss the self-guided interpretive trail, “A Touch of Nature,” that begins in the day-use area.
When the water is too cool for swimming, diving, and crabbing, enjoy a day on the beach. Search for sea stars in the tidal pools. Enjoy a game of horseshoes in one of the two horseshoe pits. Bring your own volleyball, badminton, or bocce sets, and set up for an afternoon of competition on the lawn in the day-use area. Just remember to clean up the area when you leave the park.
Take a boat out on to the Puget Sound any time of year for some saltwater fishing. Depending on the time of year, you might catch chinook, coho, salmon, Pacific halibut, and green sturgeon. Take a short drive one mile outside of the park to Bay Lake to fish for trout. There is a boat launch available, or you can fish from the shore. A recreational fishing license is require in all Washington state parks.
No matter the season, Penrose Point State Park is a scenic place for a picnic. The park provides three picnic areas and several covered pavilion picnic shelters. Picnic areas come equipped with fire rings, barbecue grills, picnic tables, water, garbage cans, and a vault toilet. Enjoy preparing your catch of the day as you relax by the fire, watch for wildlife, and play games on the beach. Parking is provided for visitors at picnic areas.