With a name like Scenic Beach State Park, you know this park has to be beautiful and have a beach, right? And it’s true, the beach at Scenic Beach State Park is definitely scenic. Near Seabeck, Washington, on a peninsula jutting out over Hood Canal, this cozy little 121-acre park has 1,500 feet of beach to enjoy. With the wild rhododendrons all over the park, mountains in the background, and unobstructed view of the canal, the park is stunning no matter where you are.
You can enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating in the canal, as well as geocaching, biking, and hiking. In fact, one of the most popular trails is the ADA-accessible path that will take you to a rustic bridge, wood gazebo, and a vibrant garden tucked into the wooded acreage. Barbecue some of the fish you catch on one of the grills in the picnic areas or take them back to your RV campsite.
The park boasts 50 campsites along the waterfront that can accommodate rigs up to 60 feet long and has restrooms with hot showers as well as drinking water. You can also bring your pooches as long as you keep them on a leash. Spend the night, the weekend, or the whole week. There is plenty to keep you and the family busy.
On Kitsap Peninsula, in the small town of Kitsap, Scenic Beach State Park is located in the northwestern corner of the state. Just off of WA-3 and WA-16, the easiest way to reach the park is from I-5 or US-101. The park is actually located on the edge of the Olympic National Forest near Olympic National Park, so you will notice that the forest seems to be everywhere. (Because it is!)
Only 43 miles northwest of Seattle, take some time to stop in and visit the Space Needle or see why the city is one of the most populous cities in the state. There are also several state parks in the area that you can visit on your way in or out of town. Or make a day of it and visit several of them in one day. Illahee State Park is just 18.5 miles to the southeast and has watersports, hiking, and almost 1,800 miles of beachfront. Kitsap Memorial State Park is 20 miles to the northeast and boasts fantastic historical sites, oyster harvesting, clamming, and crabbing as well as amazing tide pools.
Scenic Beach State Park is of modest size but has plenty of room to maneuver your rig as they allow RVs and trailers up to 60 feet long. However, drive the posted 15 miles per hour or slower and keep your eyes open for other park visitors, including kids and dogs, as well as other wildlife. Once you park your rig in your spot, use your bike or feet to explore the area further.
The family campground has 50 campsites that can fit RVs and trailers up to 60 feet in length. In the middle of the park between Miami Beach Road and Maple Lane, you can find the campground just north of the entrance to the park. Each site has a large cleared space for the kids to play, a picnic table to eat at, and a fire ring with a grill to cook on. Since there are no utilities, you may want to also bring a camp stove or extra barbecue grill so you can cook for the whole group.
The park does have comfort stations with restrooms and hot showers in the middle of each loop, and the playground in the center of the camp will keep the little ones entertained. The canal is within walking distance, and there are paths you can take or just walk along the camp road. Pets are welcome, so bring your pup along; just be sure to keep him on a short leash. Reservations can be made online up to six months in advance.
If your family or group is too big for the standard campsites, why not get a group campground so you can all stay together? The camp can accommodate you and up to 39 other guests in a primitive wooded site secluded from the rest of the park. You’ll only have a vault toilet with no water, so you will have to pack in your own. However, there are fire pits to cook on and picnic tables where you can all eat together.
Located at the northern end of the park right along the water’s edge, you and the gang can enjoy some fishing, swimming, and boating easily. The hiking trail also starts at the camp where you can explore the entire park. Being right next to the day-use area, there are picnic areas and a playground nearby as well. Fido can join you, but you have to keep him on a leash at all times. Reservations are needed and can be made online.
If you want to get out into the thick of things and get away from the crowd, leave the rig in the lot, and grab your bike or hiking boots. Pack up your tent and some clothes, food, and water for a nice trek into the woods to one of two peaceful and primitive campsites. This is truly getting back to nature here with no restrooms, water, or other amenities. Don’t forget to pack some sunscreen and bug repellent as well.
Your pooch can join you, but make sure he is on a leash at all times. And don’t leave him alone at any time. There are bears and other wild critters in the park. Reservations are not needed, but you should still check in with the park office or ranger.
You may have eaten crab meat before, but have you ever felt the excitement of catching your own? Whether you are using pots, nets, or your hands, this is an amazing activity to share with the family at Scenic Beach State Park. You do have to have a fishing license from Washington if you are over the age of 15, and you need to get familiar with the rules and regulations before heading out there. All you need for crabbing with your hands is a stick, a piece of string or line, and bait, such as cut up fish, hot dogs, or chicken.
A boat launch is available for use less than a half-mile down the coast from the park. You will need a sticker and license for your boat before launching, though. The canal is a popular spot for all types of boating from large party boats to small kayaks. You can even do some paddleboarding if the water is calm enough. The water is typically choppy the further you go out, so it is best to stay near the shoreline if you are new at the sport and wear a life jacket at all times.
Saltwater fishing is the most exciting and diverse way to fish with such a large variety of different aquatic species to reel in. Whether you are hoping for a big fish, a fat crab, or even a sea turtle, you may be surprised what you pull out of the Hood Canal. Many visitors come for the large rainbow and cutthroat trout and salmon, which many say are easy picking with the right type of fly-fishing. Make sure you pack your fishing gear and bring your fishing license with you when you come.
Go ahead and hook that bike rack up to the rig before heading out so you and the family can enjoy some riding while you are at Scenic Beach State Park. If you have a fat bike, you can even do some riding on the beach. The fat tires and low air pressure make it easier to maneuver your bike in the sand. No matter where you are biking, make sure kids under 16 are wearing a helmet and you should wear one too.
Although the trail is just a short one, it is scenic and ADA-accessible, which means you can also bring a stroller. Starting at the day-use area, you can take this paved path for about a third of a mile over a bridge, along the forest, and past a gazebo where you can take some fantastic selfies with Mount Olympus in the background. And the rhododendron garden will blow your mind. The gazebo is often used for weddings so be sure to practice proper trail etiquette at all times.
With Mount Olympus and the Olympus Mountain Range in the background everywhere you look in this beautiful Washington park, you should definitely take the time to get some photos. Whether you are just taking selfies with your phone or are using a camera with a long lens to get some shots of wildlife, there are so many opportunities here. You can also just have a seat on the beach and take some shots of the sunset as it goes down behind the mountains and over the water.