Saltwater State Park

Gulp It Up

Saltwater State Park - Pacific North Wanderers.jpg

Saltwater State Park is located halfway between Seattle and Tacoma, in the city of Des Moines, Washington. When the park was dedicated in 1926 the two cities symbolically buried a hatchet within the park to end bad feelings between them. The majority of the park was built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC). Throughout the park there are signs describing the CCC's work. Though air traffic from nearby SeaTac Airport is pretty constant, this remains one of the most popular parks within the Puget Sound region.

You should not see the desert simply as some faraway place of little rain. There are many forms of thirst.
— William Langewiesche

Getting Away Without Going Far


Parks, for us are oases in the desert of life's busyness. Like an oasis, providing an escape from the hardships of routine, a refreshing gulp of nature that leaves us hydrated long after leaving, a necessity to be returned to. We visited Saltwater State Park in the sunny brilliance of a Fall afternoon. The chestnut trees, having given up their burdens, bore a sparseness of yellowing leaves. The evidence of their once substantial canopies now lay underfoot in the form of yellow to brown leaves and partially gnawed chestnuts. Squirrels hopped through the grasses of the picnic area, carrying out their preparations for cooler weather to come, but for today, it was still Fall. 


A bit of sandy shoreline provides a beach for combing or simply luxuriating in the sun warmed sand. Water gently lapping forward and back again, a mantra of relaxation for the weary. A well maintained asphalt path leads along the waterfront, now fortified by large rocks as you move away from the sand. Looking out over the water several, small, rock islands breach the surface and provide stages for birds to display themselves in the sun. Boats pass by causing tiny tsunamis upon the rocks, only just interrupting the peacefulness. 


A hillside is the bookend of the other side of the path. Steep and tree filled, the striking red bark of Medronas are easily picked out among the others. Turning back on the path, toward the parking lot, more paths are to be found. Leading into the forest, it was just too lovely a day to hide in the shelter of the trees. We'll venture down those paths another day. While the campsites are closed for the season, we're told they are excellent. Perched high, with great views, we'll certainly have to find out for ourselves when the season returns. 


The pictures speak for themselves. A peaceful spot to relax, gaze out upon the openness of water, comb the sand for treasure, enjoy a picnic or a therapeutic hike through the forest, Saltwater State Park boasts many amenities for the soul!


Update 6/4/2017: We recently made our way back to Saltwater State Park and camped for a couple of nights. Read all about it here.


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