The Olympic Peninsula is the northwesternmost tip of the continental United States. It's made up primarily of the Olympia National Forest and contains some of the most scenic sights in the country. On the Hood Canal, an hour from Tacoma, 30 minutes from the state capital of Olympia, and just outside of Hoodsport rests the quaint Potlatch State Park.
In the mid-1800s, the Potlatch region was a settlement for the Skokomish tribe. With western expansion well underway over the next 100 years, European settlers colonized the land and harvested the mighty trees in lumber mills for ship masts. In the late 1900s, Washington State Parks started purchasing up land to build… well… state parks. Shortly after, Potlatch State Park was opened to the public.
The main draw to this park is definitely the Hood Canal. Motorhome campers come from miles around for the swimming, shellfishing, boating, and other water sports. This 84-acre park is a great place to relax, take in the scenery, and take a dip in the water. Book an RV in Mason County and get started on your vacation.
The Hood Canal boasts over 5,700 feet of shoreline for the use of Potlatch State Park campers. Potlatch has four mooring buoys to park your boat, and permits are available for daily or annual use. There are four different rivers within a small radius of the park where you can also do some boating. Scuba divers, snorkelers, and swimmers also love the Hood Canal for its easy access, mystic backdrop, and crystal waters.
Don’t forget to grab a bucket and a beach shovel when exploring the water. This area is a hub for crabbing, clamming, and oyster harvesting. Collect a whole dinner’s worth, then take them back to the campsite. Find a good recipe for fried clams or steam them and dip them in butter. Or, wow your friends with fresh-shucked raw oysters.
Campers at Potlatch State Park have also been known to toss a line in the water and pull out a salmon or two. The four rivers and giant shoreline in and around the park is perfect for angling. Grab your fishing pole from your campervan rental and find the body of water that looks best. Drop a line and kick your feet up. You could walk away with some sockeye salmon, trout, or bass if you’re lucky.
Camping at Potlatch State Park
Potlatch State Park's RV campground features 35 campsites which accommodate RV rentals that require hookups. Water and 30 and 50-amp electrical hookups are provided, but there are no sewer hookups in the park. An additional 38 sites come without hookups. Pets are allowed as long as they are well-behaved and restrained by their owner. All sites are back-in only, and select sites can accommodate campers up to 60 feet.
Potlatch is small but has just the right amount of amenities. A dump stations public restrooms, and an amphitheater are all accessible to visitors camping at Potlatch State Park. Each site comes with picnic tables and a fire ring as well. The park has no Wi-Fi, but most cell phone providers have decent service here. The campground also provides easy access to hiking trails and the beach.
Exploring the Area
If you’re looking for something to do outside of the park, try heading up to the town of Union. Union is a secluded destination for artists and like-minded folks who enjoy getting inspired by breathtaking scenery. With its beautiful mountain backdrop and water view on three sides, it's no wonder that Union is hailed as one of the prettiest towns in America. Have a cocktail at one of the resorts, or share an exquisite meal at any of the great restaurants in the town. History buffs will want to snap some photos of the Dalby Water Wheel.
On the razor’s edge of Olympic National Park, just a few miles from Potlatch, you’ll find the small town of Shelton. Known for its rich forested landscape, Washington calls this town the “Gateway to the Olympics.” Quaint cottages and fun restaurants are what visitors come to Shelton to see. Try some of the local flavor at the fried chicken place, the bakery, or the Mexican restaurant. Or just walk among the humongous cedar, spruce, and fir trees. You can also get a dose of local history at the Mason County Historical Society Museum.
Hoodsport is only a few minutes from Potlatch State Park as well. This Olympic Peninsula town is a great place to have some fresh seafood. Visit the local oyster company or any of the area’s famous burger joints or cafes. Located on the Hood Canal, it's also a prime location for swimming, boating, and scuba diving. Or, stop by the Octopus Hole Conservation Area for a glimpse of local wildlife. Take the whole family or turn it into a romantic evening; whatever your plan, Hoodsport might just be the destination for you.
With three major cities located within an hour's drive of the park, you should have no problem finding gas stations or restaurants to get excited about. I-5 is a short drive away and, once there, you can head north to Canada, or south towards the great state of Oregon. Rent an RV near Potlatch State Park and start planning your trip to the Olympic Peninsula.