Under the Stars near Seattle

Olympic Peninsula: Salt Creek County Park
  |  Gorp.com

Directions: Take the ferry across the sound, drive to Port Angeles, continue 11 miles west on Wash. 112, and turn right on Camp Hayden Road.
Travel Time: 2 to 2 1/2 hours (from Bainbridge Island ferry landing).
Information: (360) 928-3441.
Reservations: Not accepted.
Fee: $10 ($8 for Clallam County residents).
Open: Year round.



Located on Tongue Point overlooking the picturesque Crescent Bay, this is the prettiest waterfront campground on the Olympic Peninsula. Rocky islets, seaside cliffs, a crescent-shaped beach, views across the Strait of Juan de Fuca; you know, the sort of place where you just want to kick back and drift off into quiet reverie. To hell with getting any exercise. Try to bag one of the campsites on the edge of the cliff; the sunsets are awesome.

Surfing and sea kayaking are the top activities from this campground. When the surf's up, surfers (and surf kayakers) descend. When the swell is small and the winds are light, this is a great place to paddle a sea kayak. The rocky coastline between here and Freshwater Bay, a few miles to the east, is dotted with pocket beaches and there are plenty of places to beach your boat for a picnic. At the foot of the cliffs on Tongue Point, you'll also find lots of tidepools to explore. From here you can also do easy day trips up to Hurricane Ridge for alpine hiking, to Dungeness Spit for bird-watching or more paddling, or after all that hiking and paddling, to Sol Duc Hot Springs to soak your aching muscles.


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