What are the best state parks in Western Washington?
July 11, 2012 11:12 AM   Subscribe

Best state parks in Western Washington state? What should not be missed?

I have some time to get around, and while I've been to all the national parks in the area, I'd like to explore the other areas.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 19 users marked this as a favorite
Our family's favorite is Twanoh on Hood Canal. The beach has the warmest saltwater anywhere in the state due to its remove from the open Pacific. We were there this past weekend and it's already swimmable. It's seeded with oysters and other bivalves so bring a shucking knife if you're into that kind of thing (also bring water shoes so you don't cut your feet up). The forest runs right down to the beach there so there's plenty of shade if you want it. There's a concession stand and playground equipment for any kids you might be bringing along. It gets plenty crowded on summer weekends but nothing too crazy.
posted by otio at 11:46 AM on July 11, 2012

Ft. Canby State Park. Be sure to check out the WWII-era coastal battery ruins nearby. Lots of nice beach, a jetty, plenty of camping space, cool cliffs for scrambling, and some neat bouldering opportunities.
posted by tetracycline at 2:37 PM on July 11, 2012

Larrabee State Park. Absolutely incredible. It's like the land before time--green, cool, primeval, and quiet, with enormous trees. And you can walk down to the water and sit on giant rocks as the sun goes down. For maximum enjoyment, bring a little picnic.
posted by anonnymoose at 2:52 PM on July 11, 2012

Visit Crescent Lake, if you can. It's my favorite spot on the planet, so far.
posted by black8 at 5:33 PM on July 11, 2012 [1 favorite]

seconding Crescent Lake. I watched the moon appear over the northern mountain from the west end of the lake next to the boat ramp under an enormous sycamore. the moon was huge, visually far larger than expected due to horizon effects.

The lake is also famous for grisly reasons: there was a murder at the lodge which was notorious in its day and became the basis of a film, and apparently people used to drive into the lake at night by accident all the time.

Moran State Park on Orcas.

Deception Pass.

Fort Ebey.

this is in Olympic National, so I'm cheating: Kalaloch on the Pacific coast north of Grayland and south of Neah Bay. There's a lodge and cabins and also unimproved campgrounds.

Washington State Parks offer online selection and reservation of campground spaces, so you can make sure your tent is right on the lake at Moran.
posted by mwhybark at 7:14 PM on July 11, 2012

Wallace Falls State Park has a nice day hike to, well, Wallace Falls.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:56 PM on July 11, 2012

+1 for Larrabee. It's gorgeous!
posted by karizma at 2:06 AM on July 12, 2012

Snoqualmie Falls isn't a park, but it is beautiful.
posted by cnc at 8:52 AM on July 12, 2012

Deception Pass on a clear day. It's awesome. The pass it self should be viewed from above (assuming heights don't get to you), at the pull-off on the north end, and below, at the two beaches. Better still, you may get a free airshow out of Naval Air Station Oak Harbor just visible to the south when you're on the western beach.

There's also a freshwater lake literally a rock's throw from the saltwater sound, and several not-quite-contiguous beaches all around the pass.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:52 PM on July 12, 2012

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