In the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, you’ll find the perfect place for a Washington State RV getaway - Sequim Bay State Park. Boasting nearly a mile of shoreline, this 92-acre park is filled with diverse activities to enjoy during your stay. For about a century, it was believed that Sequim translated to “quiet waters.” In 2010, this translation was determined to be incorrect. The correct translation is a “place to go to shoot.” It is thought to be a reference to Sequim's hunting history for elk and waterfowl.
In the present-day, the park is a great place to visit for RV lovers of all ages. You can take a hike or bike ride down the Olympic Discovery Trail, which has a section running directly through the park or hop on your paddle-board or kayak to paddle around the calm water in the bay. While hunting is prohibited in the state park, it is excellent for bird watching and spotting other wildlife such as deer, many species of birds, and various sea life. You’ll be sure to see plenty of different animals and marine life during your stay, no matter the season.
Sequim Bay State Park hosts several campsites spread across three loops, including some sites that are equipped with full hookups. There are others with partial hookups and some dry sites that can fit an RV or trailer of varying lengths, so there are plenty of options available. Peak season at Sequim Bay State Park runs from May to mid-September.
Located on Sequim Bay in the Olympic Peninsula, Sequim Bay State Park can be reached off Highway 101, which is where you will also find the park entrance. This well-known highway runs along the Pacific Coast from southern California through Tumwater, Washington so it will be easy to find for all travelers
If driving north on Highway 101, be mindful of the curves. The highway mostly follows the coastline, and while it provides stunning scenery, the road can be treacherous, especially at night. If coming from the west, you’ll experience a mostly easy route driving to the state park. You’ll pass over the floating Hood Canal Bridge. The bridge can be opened at times to allow for boats and vessels to pass through. The length of time the bridge is open can vary, which can cause traffic to stack up. On either route, be cautious of driving while in the rain as the roads can become slick. If visiting the state park in the wintertime, watch for black ice, especially on bridges and shady areas.
Need to get some supplies before your arrival? The closest township to the park is Sequim, but you could also stop in at Port Angeles (around 21 miles away) or Quilcene (about 26 miles away). The closest city to the park is Seattle, but driving to Olympia will be quicker due to a more direct route being available.
Looking for more to do in the area? You can also check out Anderson Lake State Park since it is located 18 miles further along Highway 101.
Sequim Bay State Park is home to one campground that has a total of 86 sites for you to choose from when visiting on your RV getaway. The campground is divided into three loops: the Hookup Loop, Upper loop, and Lower Loop.
RVs can camp in any of the loops, with the most popular being the Hookup Loop. There are 26 campsites with full hookups available in this loop that can hold rigs up to 45 feet long.
The other loops feature 45 additional sites, some of which offer water and 50-amp electric hookups and others that are primitive with no hookups. Smaller rigs and trailers are suited for the dry camping sites if they are 30 feet long or less. Some parking pads are sloped, so come prepared to level your rig if need be.
Each campsite is equipped with a fire-pit and picnic table, and there is a dump station located within the campground for RVs not staying on a site without sewer hookups. Electric generators are also permitted; however, they can only be used between 8 AM and 9 PM.
Be sure to reserve your site online or by calling the park before your arrival since Sequim Bay is a popular place to stay, and these sites can fill up months in advance.
There are no first-come, first-served specific sites within Sequim State Park, but sites that aren't reserved are available on a first-come, first-served basis. This can be a good option for visitors making a last-minute trip to the back, but if you are planning a trip it is recommended that you secure a reservation. This is particularly the case if you want to stay at one of the sites that feature full hookups.
The Upper and Lower Loops of the campground feature tent pads so they are best suited for tent campers. The Hookup Loop is recommended for RVers since they don't have tent pads. Some sites are also suitable for more than one tent, so keep this in mind if you and a few friends are planning on visiting the park at the same time.
While there is no group campground within Sequim State Park, there is a fantastic group lodge for those visiting the park with a large number of people. Located a quarter of a mile from the main area of the park, the lodge features a multitude of amenities, including three sleeping cabins that are heated, five three-sided sleeping shelters, and a commercial kitchen for all your cooking needs.
Depending on what time of the year that you visit, the minimum number of people required to use the center varies. If you are planning to stay at the Ramblewood Retreat Center during the peak season from the beginning of May until the end of September, there is a minimum of 25 and a maximum of 60 people allowed. If you don't have 25 people you can still stay with a smaller group, but you will have to pay for 25 people. During the off-peak season from the beginning of October until the end of April, you will have to pay for a minimum of 15 people.
When visiting the state park, be sure to bring a shovel or clam gun. The 4,909 feet of shoreline at the state park offers plenty of clam digging opportunities. At low tide, head down to the beach to dig for fresh clams. A shellfish harvesting license is required for individuals 15 and older, so make sure you get one if you want to go digging. Make sure to also check for closings as some beaches may close sporadically due to pollution and weather conditions.
Sequim Bay State Park is perfect for birdwatching with both migratory and year-round species known to frequent the park. Look for herons and hawks gliding through the skies or an eagle perched high in a tree. Watch waterfowl fish for food and float on the bay water. No matter the time a day or season you’re bound to see many different species of birds throughout the park.
The park provides a few casual games you can play with friends or family just for fun or for a friendly competition during your visit. There are horseshoe pits located in the park and across Highway 101; there are also tennis courts and a baseball field. A tunnel connects the park to the sports fields, so state park campers have direct access without having to crossover the highway. How handy!
The Olympic Discovery Trail is a 120-mile-long trail that spans the Olympic Peninsula and runs to the Pacific Ocean. The trail passes through cities that include Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Forks, and Sequim. Sequim Bay State Park is host to a portion of this trail, so make sure that you check it out. You can hop on your bike or set off on foot for a hike to see the beautiful views of the ocean and the Olympic Mountains.
With its 4,909 feet of saltwater coast, Sequim Bay State Park is perfect for beachcombing. During low tide, head on down to the beach to see what treasures and marine life you might find. Turn over a rock near the water or tide pool, and you may find a flurry of tiny crabs. Walking along the shoreline, you’ll find clam and oyster shells and may even find a few live ones that have been washed in by the changing tides.
During the warmer months, the waters of Sequim Bay are wonderful for all types of boating. Motorboats, kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding are just a few of the popular activities you can experience in the calm waters, so no matter what you are interested in doing out on the water, there will be something to enjoy. While out on your watercraft, keep an eye out for otters, jellyfish, and other wildlife. You may even spot an eagle nesting in a tree.