Dash Point State Park
Washington water fans, look no further! Bust out your kayak, sand bucket, swimsuit or fishing rod, and head straight for Dash Point State Park!
Hidden in plain sight between Seattle and Tacoma, this park offers miles of forested hiking and biking trails, but its main draw is the beach. The shoreline narrows at high tide, bringing anglers out to its pier. Low tide turns the sand flats into a play destination for locals, families with children and hip skim boarders surfing the shallow water.
Dash Point has become a hotspot for skim boarding, which consists of throwing a small, thin board into shallow water, jumping onto it and riding it like a cross between a surf board and a skateboard. Low tide at Dash Point provides ideal conditions for this activity, and this is a popular place for skim boarding camps, competitions and gatherings on the park's sandy shores.
While boarders chase the ultimate ride, birders can see a multitude of shore birds and raptors. Beach explorers will find starfish and crabs. Budding botanists can identify a rich variety of trees, plants and flowers.
Whether you're out for an afternoon or a camping trip, whether you're watching your kids, the birds or the boarders, you'll be delighted by this oasis tucked between two urban hubs.
Dash Point State Park is set on the Puget Sound in western Washington and is a popular destination for water recreation. This 461-acre camping park features 3,301 feet of saltwater shoreline. The beach provides unobstructed views of Puget Sound and opportunities for sea-life study. The sandy beach at the park is a relaxing beach getaway near the cities of Seattle, Tacoma and Federal Way.
Automated pay stations: This park is equipped with automated pay stations for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass and boat launch permit.
Alcohol is allowed only in the campground, by registered campers of legal age, in their campsite only. It is not allowed in any other areas of the park.
- Picnic shelter
Use our interactive ADA recreation map to search for other state parks with ADA amenities and facilities.
Picnic & day-use facilities
There are two covered picnic shelters in the park that are reservable. The park provides 20 unsheltered picnic tables available first come, first served.
- 8 miles of biking trails
- 11 miles of hiking trails
Water activities & features
- Beach exploration
- Fishing (saltwater)
Other activities & features
- Beach exploration
- Bird watching
- Kite flying
- Mountain biking
- Wildlife viewing
Interpretive events are held June through August. Fridays and Saturdays there are evening amphitheater programs. Fridays through Sundays there are day walks and talks. Times and subjects are posted at the park.
Boating is available to smaller boats (e.g., canoes and kayaks) that do not require a watercraft launch. Additional information can be found in the Boating Program.
The park has 114 standard campsites, 27 utility campsites, one dump station, four restrooms and six showers. Maximum site length is 40 feet (limited availability). There are no primitive sites at this park.
Alcohol is allowed only in the campground, by registered campers of legal age, and only in their campsite. Alcohol is not allowed in any other areas of the park.
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.
Overnight accommodations Each cabin is furnished with a queen-size futon, bunk bed that sleeps three, table with four chairs and small end table. Outside is a picnic table and fire pit with grate. Bathrooms and showers are nearby. All cabins are heated, but visitors should take along blankets and warm clothing as evenings can be cool. Pets are only allowed in cabin C1 with a $15 pet fee per night. For more information, visit our cabins and yurts page.
The park offers a group camp that accommodates up to 96 people. The camp includes 12 individual campsites that allow up to eight people and a small, central gathering area. One primitive restroom facility and three water stands for potable water are available at the group camp. Electricity is unavailable. Fees vary with size of the group. The group camp reservation fee includes 12 extra-vehicle permits for vehicles staying overnight. Contact the park office at (253) 661-4955 in advance to make arrangements for permit pickup. All day-use visitors must display a Discover Pass.
Reservations & fees
Services & supplies
Most services are available within a few miles of the park.
- Auto repair
- Pay phone
- Postal service
- Recreational equipment
- White gas
Dash Point State Park lies within the traditional territory of multiple Native American tribes. The lands that now make up the park are most strongly associated with ancestors of the Puyallup Tribe, but may have been used by bands of the Nisqually and Muckleshoot tribes as well.
The portion of the park that lies within Pierce County was at one point a part of the Puyallup Indian Reservation established following the signing of the Treaty of Medicine Creek in 1854. However, laws that allowed for individual ownership of tribal lands caused most of the reservation, including Dash Point, to eventually fall into private, non-tribal ownership.
The park might never have come to be if not for a letter sent by Carl Anderson, a resident of nearby Edgewood, WA. In 1957, Anderson noticed the property now comprising the park was for sale. It had been platted for development about a decade earlier. Anderson, who grew up swimming, fishing and digging for clams on the beaches at Dash Point, then known as Fairview Beach, had dreamed of the site becoming a public park since his youth. He wrote to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission alerting them to the sale.
Quoted in a newspaper article, Charles DeTurk, a parks planner remarked, “Ordinarily we can’t investigate all the suggested park sites we receive, but Anderson’s description of the area was so vivid we played a hunch, made an appointment with him, and he showed us the area he had in mind. It was ideal!”
The Commission moved quickly to acquire the 272 acres of land, and the sale was executed on July 22, 1958.
Dash Point State Park was dedicated in a ceremony presided over by Governor Albert Rosellini on June 10, 1962. The park is now nearly 400 acres.