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Penrose Point State Park immerses you in the natural beauty of the Evergreen State. The 165-acre park is perched on the southern end of Puget Sound and combines lush forest scenery with postcard-perfect shorelines. Beaches are the main draw, with more than two miles of shoreline to discover. Peer into colorful tide pools, harvest local oysters, and enjoy a picnic on the grassy foreshore. The park was named after Dr. Stephen Penrose, a local academic and passionate lover of the outdoors. Today, Penrose Point welcomes visitors from across North America and prides itself on creating a family-friendly, nature-centric atmosphere.
Planning a getaway to the Pacific Northwest? Book an RV in Pierce County and you can explore Penrose Point, as well as other nearby gems like Haley State Park and Joemma Beach. Alternatively, start your trip in the Emerald City and pick up a Seattle camper rental. From family-sized rigs to compact campers, you'll find a huge selection of RV rentals in Pierce County and across Washington State.
With more than two miles of coastal shoreline to explore along Mayo Cove and Carr Inlet, Penrose Point State Park is a fantastic place to discover the Pacific Northwest. Strolling along the sandy beach of glassy waters of Mayo Cove, you can peer into tide pools filled with colorful sea stars, crabs, and anemones. Watch for bald eagles perched in the Douglas firs and seals basking on the rocks. On a clear day, you'll see snow-capped Mount Rainier looming in the distance.
At low tide, Penrose Point State Park is a goldmine for clams and oysters — perfect for enjoying a shellfish feast back at your campsite. You can also cast a line for crabs and saltwater fish. Don't forget to pick up a recreational license for fishing and shellfish harvesting. On a sunny day, the grassy knoll overlooking Carr Inlet is the perfect place to enjoy a picnic. You can also set up at the breezy day-use area featuring picnic tables, grills, and a restroom.
More than two and a half miles of well-marked hiking trails wind through the forest and take you past towering Douglas fir, Pacific madrone, western red cedar, red alder, and big-leaf maple groves. Some of the steeper trails are popular with mountain bikers. For an easy hike, hit the self-guided A Touch of Nature interpretive trail. It was built by local scouts in 1982 and spotlights the local flora and fauna of the park. Birders will be in their element, with the chance to spot woodpeckers, bald eagles, and blue herons.
Set under a canopy of firs, cedars, and maples, the Penrose Point State Park Campground offers more than 80 standard sites. All sites are shaded and surrounded by a lush landscape of ferns, trillium, and huckleberry. You'll enjoy private picnic tables and fire pits, making it easy to enjoy your meals outdoors. Purchase firewood from the campground host, and don't forget your s'mores ingredients. In the summer, kids love attending Junior Ranger Program events held in the campground amphitheater.
Like most state park RV campgrounds, Penrose Point offers modern bathroom blocks with flush toilets and token-operated hot showers. There are no sewer hookups, though you can take advantage of the RV dump station near the park entrance. Sites vary in size, with most accommodating rigs of up to 35 feet in length. Some can handle larger vehicles, though the roads are narrow and winding, so it's best to book a small or medium-sized RV rental when camping at Penrose Point.
Pets are allowed; just be sure to keep your dog leashed. Motorhome camping reservations are accepted from mid-May to mid-September, with a first-come, first-served policy for the rest of the year. If you're traveling with a larger party, consider booking the popular group campsite anchored by a communal fire pit and covered picnic shelter.
RV camping at Penrose Point State Park sees you perfectly placed for exploring the Pacific Northwest. A ten-minute drive across the peninsula, Joemma Beach State Park is set on picturesque Case Inlet. Like Penrose Point, it's an excellent destination for shellfish gathering. Across Carr Inlet, Kopachuck State Park is popular with hikers, picnickers, and birdwatchers. It's worth staying for the fiery sunsets with views over Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Anglers make a beeline for Bay Lake, a popular trout fishing reservoir one mile from the park.
Need to stock up on supplies? The town of Home is a ten-minute drive up the peninsula and offers gas stations, grocery stores, and a handful of cafes and restaurants. For more choice, head to Tacoma, where you'll also find attractions like the Museum of Glass, Washington State History Museum, and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Tacoma is also a great place to rent a camper near Penrose Point State Park. A three-hour drive down the coast, Portland, Oregon is another popular base for picking up rental RVs and kicking off Pacific Northwest road trips.