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Located in the scenic state of Washington is where you will find the beachfront Saltwater State Park, an 88-acre marine camping park designated as a "Marine Protected Area." An ideal getaway to the edge of Washington’s largest urban area, it"s very easily accessible, just off Interstate 5. A unique aspect of the park’s location is the fact that it’s at the halfway mark between the cities of Tacoma and Seattle, where both cities decided to literally "bury the hatchet" of a long-standing competition that prevailed between the cities: the hatchet is indeed buried under a rock in the park.
One of the most popular state parks in Washington, Saltwater is teeming with very interesting marine ecology to explore when you go RV camping in Saltwater State Park. The only state park with an artificial reef for diving, it’s a good idea to search for an RV in King County so that you may head out to explore the unique diving opportunities here, along with a having a great camping experience.
When you go camping at Saltwater State Park, set aside enough time to explore the varied offerings of the area, including hiking, diving, wildlife viewing, and boating. For hikers, there’s a range of trails to explore on your state park RV camping trip, including shoreline trails of the sandy beach to the shaded, forested trails. To go deep into the forest, explore the North or South Rim trails that can be accessed from the parking area near the parks entrance. Should you enjoy bird viewing on your hikes through the park, look out for herons, hummingbirds, woodpeckers, owls and ospreys, known to abound in the area. Keep a watch for the occasional fox that you might spot while on a motorhome camping trip in Saltwater State Park.
For a relatively easy diving experience, especially if you are new to diving, Saltwater State Park is a good option. It’s both a shore-accessible dive site as well as boat-accessible. The dive takes you to a shipwreck and three parallel artificial reef structures that are made of concrete pipes, boulders, and quarried granite. Teeming with marine life, the reef boasts of large lingcod, wolf eel, and giant Pacific octopus, anemones, jellyfish, crab and urchins. Two mooring buoys mark the artificial reef, while the depth of the dive ranges from 50 feet to 90 feet. If you plan to swim from the shore, it’s at a distance of about 300 feet from the shore, so be prepared for a long swim. Be sure to check dive conditions before embarking on your dive here, especially if you are a beginner diver. Planning your dives around the tide conditions is important, and don’t forget to take a diving buddy with you.
Planning to do a little RV camping at Saltwater State Park? Head to the park’s campsite, equipped with about 50 sites for RV parking. There are pull-thru sites, but no electricity. Tent camping is an option here. There are restrooms with showers, a dump station, and decent cell phone connectivity.
In the neighboring city of Bothell, about 30 miles from Saltwater State Park, is the Lake Pleasant RV Park, a site to consider if you want to camp in an RV near Saltwater State Park. This campground offers over 190 spaces with full hookups, pull-thru options, big rig sites, shaded and paved sites, back-ins, and picnic tables at each site. Facilities include restrooms, showers and laundry, metered LP Gas, self-service RV wash and RV supplies. There is plenty of room for the kids to run around and play. Pets are welcome too, though they must be leashed. There are restrictions on pet breeds, so it’s advisable to call ahead and inquire.
If you’re keen on staying closer to the park in your Saltwater camper rental, consider the Cran Mar RV Park in Covington. It’s a small campsite with just over 15 sites available that have full hookups, 30 and 50 AMP electricity, big rig access, sewer, and water. Here you have access to restrooms and showers, and good cell phone connectivity. The kids can make use of a volleyball court during your stay here.
Once you’ve finished exploring the state park, head to the town of Des Moines, where there’s quite a bit to take in. As most of the town is located along Puget Sound, take a moment to visit the recreational marina that offers pier fishing, boat launching, and moorage. Check out Redondo Beach, which is close by and worth visiting for its scenic vistas along the waterfront. The stunning views of the Olympic Mountains from the shores of Des Moines is something you wouldn’t want to miss on your RV rental trip. Head to the Des Moines Beach Park that served as the site of the town’s first sawmill, and is home to many historical buildings, a bike path, and the beach.
If you’re having big city cravings, drive to Seattle, less than half an hour from Des Moines. There is plenty to do and see in this huge city. Depending on how much time you want to spend here, you could make a day out of it or only explore for an hour or two.
If you’re just looking to drive through and hunger hits you, then stop for a meal of excellent seafood, or a cream cheese hot dog, before you fuel up at one of the many gas stations, and driving back to your campground.