I moved to the greater Seattle area in early September and immediately went out and started exploring everything this state has to offer. I quickly realized just how incredible the State Park system is here. The abundance of public land combined with its tendency to be very pet-friendly (it’s not an adventure without my sidekick Roscoe) keeps me coming back! I’ve recently started a 2020 Washington State Park Bucket List.
Our most recent adventure took us to Federal Way, Washington. About 30 minutes south of Seattle and 20 minutes north of Tacoma you’ll find a beautiful piece of land on the Puget Sound — Dash Point State Park.
Dash Point is probably my favorite state park to date! With winding forest trails and gorgeous beach, it’s truly the best of both worlds. With 461 acres you will have to come back multiple times to experience all it has to offer.
Let’s start with the forest. There are over 10 miles of hiking trails snaking through this state park. They also have approximately 8 miles of biking trails for the cyclists in your family! I recommend taking a look at the trail map and making a plan. All of the trails are very well-maintained and marked, making every combination of trails you choose easy to navigate.
Dash Point Trails
The trails are considered easy with an average of 500 feet of elevation gain. Coming from Florida where our elevation can be below sea level, I’d categorize that as moderate, but to each their own. The trails themselves will lead you to creeks, a river and through wildflowers this time of year.
While the trails of this park are plentiful the biggest draw is the beach. Dash Point State Park has 3,301 feet of shoreline on the Puget Sound. Swimming, kayaking, and skimboarding are all popular water activities at this park. When we visited at low tide there were hundreds of sand dollars! If being next to, or in, water makes you happy, this is the park for you!
Some other amenities of this park that I didn’t have a chance to explore:
- Camping. Currently all Washington State Parks are open for day use only. However, this park has ample camping spots.
- A BMX area
- Picnic tables
- An Amphitheater
I recommend this park for day trippers looking for some easy trails to walk through, water lovers and families. Please note that at this time most playground facilities are closed.
Like all Washington State Parks you are required to have a Discover Pass to park. It’s $10 for a day pass and $30 for an annual pass. There are automated pay stations at this park.
While this park is open to the public it is running at half capacity. I recommend coming in early or on weekdays to prevent getting turned away, and always have a Plan B in case you are unable to park.
Like most Washington State Parks, this park is dog-friendly, but please keep them on a leash at all times.
Crowded parks lead to closed parks. COVID-19 is changing the way we get out and explore. Below are some of my personal guidelines while going outside.
Continue to research local guidelines. Things are changing week to week and different communities have different guidelines. It’s important to know what both the state and local guidelines are for the community you’re visiting.
Stay close to home. There’s nothing I want more than to explore new cities and parks, but for the time being I’ve decided it’s best for the locals in those communities if I stay away. My personal guideline is not going anywhere that I can’t get to and from with one tank of gas.
Pack it in, pack it out. I’m making sure I bring everything I might need with me so I can avoid extra stops including: snack for the day (for humans and pups), water, hand sanitizer, masks and a full tank of gas.
Exploring with only my household. I miss my friends and our adventures. But for the time being we are limiting contact with those outside of our immediate household.