OPP Club List of Launch Sites in the Salish Sea Area, Neah Bay to Potlatch State Park on Hood Canal
Compiled by Felix and Steven Sedlacek
(Note: MP means milepost along highway 112.)
Neah Bay. There is a small beach with some parking just west of the Coast Guard Dock (before the bus stop) that makes for a nice launch. When doing an overnight trip I move my vehicle to the nearby Makah Museum parking lot. The town of Neah Bay (which is part of the Makah Indian Reservation) also has public toilets and showers (4 quarters) by Washburne’s store. Linda’s Bakery and the Warmhouse Restaurant are good places to eat. There is a boat launch ramp in town which charges a fee but I see no reason for kayakers to use it. Purchase a recreational use permit (good for the calendar year, $10 in 2010) at Washburne’s store, marina, Warmhouse Restaurant or other permit vendor. You’ll get a map of the reservation with your permit hangtag. Map
Snow Creek Resort. This is a private site with showers, bathrooms, camping, cabins, fishermen, launch ramp, parking, and fees. It is at MP 0.6 on highway 112 and is very near Sail and Seal rocks. Not always open; call 645-2284 for information. Map
MP 4. Has a deep pullout and a beach that looks good for launch at most tides.
MP 5.2. Has a good launch and parking. Also has parking on the south side of the highway.
MP 6.1 to MP 6.5. This is the Shipwreck Point area with several pullouts and launch sites, this is all DNR land as are the tidelands.
MP 10.3. At the eastern end of the bay between the Sekiu River mouth and the Hoko River mouth, a roadside pullout provides some parking (perhaps enough for as many as 5 cars) and a short carry (with a drop) to a sand beach good at most tides. This spot is west of Vista Drive and east of Sekiu River Road. Just 0.1 mi east of the pullout is a spur road (about 50 feet long) with good beach access where one could get off the highway a bit more, but the entrance to this road is hard to spot. (N 48.28437; W 124.38242)
Between MP 12 and 13, turn south onto the Hoko-Ozette Road to go to Lake Ozette.
Seiku (Olson’s Resort) Launch Ramp. This is commercial, used by boats, and has a fee for launching and parking. The ramp may be slippery. Map
Clallam Bay 112 Roadside. Look for a pullout a bit west of and across the road from the Breakwater Restaurant. If you are approaching from the east, pull in right beyond the green sign “Sekiu Right ½ Mile”. This roadside pullout has a short path to a beach good for launching at any tide level. No toilet here, but the facilities at the Clallam Bay Park are nearby. Between MP 15 and MP 16. (N 48.25761; W 124.28962)
Clallam Bay Park. The park is located at a nearly 90 degree turn on 112 in Clallam Bay near MP 17. A paved path leads from the parking lot over a bridge to the beach. The carry is about 180 paces. The park has plenty of parking and deluxe toilets (sinks with running water.) Park is open ½ hour before sunrise to ½ hour after sunset, and the gate may be closed after hours. Map
The coast east of Clallam Bay and west of the Lyre River generally has a wide tidal flat that can make launching or landing at lower tides an occasion for a hike over a broad tidal flat, try for at least a 3 foot tide to avoid this. (Twin is an exception.)
Pillar Point County Recreation Area. This park is near MP 30 and has a boat ramp and parking. The toilet near the launch is closed, but there are toilets a short distance up the hill. No tap water is available, but there is a stream here. Be aware that the tidal flat here is very wide. Map
MP 35.1/ Deep Creek. A large pullout near MP 35 and to the east of Deep Creek offers a couple short paths to the beach. The tidal flat here is somewhat wide, but much narrower than at Pillar Point. (N 48.17143; W 124.01611)
Twin Rivers Just west of MP 39 and Bear Creek/W. Twin Road , a short arc of gravel road takes you along the beach. There is parking and a porta-potty here. This is a favorite surfing spot of many. There is not a wide tidal flat here, so this is probably the best low tide launch in the 23+ miles between Pillar Point and Salt Creek.
Murdock Beach. Between MP 44 and 45, turn north on a gravel road marked with a yellow caution sign “School Bus Turnaround”. The road name is “PA-S-2510”, and you might be able to find that name on a post, after you’ve turned onto the road. Follow the road about 1 ½ miles to a parking area. This DNR site has a few (tent) camping sites, fire rings, a toilet, and limited parking. The tidal flat here is wide, so you may wish to avoid this one at lower tides (less than 3 feet.) The carry to the beach is several hundred yards so be ready for this with wheels or friends.
Harrison Beach (928-3006, 5 miles west of Joyce) and Whiskey Creek Beach (928-3489, 3 miles west of Joyce) are private beaches with campgrounds. I think they are both currently closed, but you may wish to inquire, if you are looking for a launch site where you can also rent a cabin or park your RV.
Salt Creek / Crescent Beach. The beach at the mouth of Salt Creek can be reached via either Crescent Beach Road (leaving 112 near MP 51 and the Joyce General Store) or Camp Hayden Road (near MP 54). If using Camp Hayden Road, drive north about 3 ½ miles, pass the entrance to the Salt Creek County Recreation Area and continue a short distance downhill to the left to the parking area (with toilet) next to Salt Creek. If using Crescent Beach Road, you’ll pass the Crescent Beach RV Park (928-3344) in the last half mile before reaching the creek. Launch in the creek or carry your boat out to the ocean depending on the creek level and tide level. Salt Creek serves as the boundary between the Salt Creek County Recreation Area and the private Crescent Beach RV Park. Be aware that the beach east of Salt Creek is private and trespassers are not welcome unless you pay their access fee of $5. This is a popular surfing area. Map
Freshwater Bay County Park. Located about 10 miles west of Port Angeles. From Highway 112, turn north on Freshwater Bay Road (between MP 56 and MP 57) and go about 3 miles north. Has ample parking, launch ramp, and a toilet. The bay is shallow, so you may have to carry your boat out at low tide. Map
Mouth of the Elwha River. From Hwy 112, about 1 ½ miles west of the bridge over the Elwha near MP 59, turn north on Place Road and drive about 1.9 miles to its end. Turn right on Elwha Dike Road and park at the end. There’s a porta-potty next to the parking area. It is a long walk to the water, so bring a light boat or some wheels. This is a popular board surfing area and works well for kayaks too.
Ediz Hook Paddle Park, Port Angeles. Take Marine Drive and drive out on Ediz Hook past the paper mill to the paddle park site on the harbor side which has parking, a porta-potty and tables. Map
Ediz Hook Boat Ramp. Drive out Ediz Hook to the end of the publicly accessible road just before the Coast Guard entrance. There is parking, a launch ramp and toilet. A $10 fee may apply.
Hollywood Beach. It is possible to launch from the Hollywood Beach by the Red Lion Inn in downtown Port Angeles. This is at the corner of Lincoln and Railroad streets. There is public parking (limit of two hours), tables and bathrooms. A short carry from the parking lot gets your boat to the beach. Longer term parking can be found not far away. Map
Cline Spit County Park is off Marine Drive about six miles north of Sequim and about ½ mile west of Dungeness Landing. No dock. Mud flats at low tide. Map
Dungeness Landing County Park is about ½ mile east of Cline Spit County Park. It has a small dock and boat ramp. Mud flats at low tide.
Sequim Bay State Park. There are two launch sites in the park, one is free, the other has a fee. The free launch is on the east end of the park where the mooring dock is located. Drive to the dock to a small parking area and beach access. The fee area is on the west side of the park where the boat launch ramp is located and has a $7 fee. These launches provide access to Sequim Bay. The Park exit is well marked on Hwy 101. Map
Port Williams 48*05.830’N; 123*02.800’W Concrete boat ramp, small beach, protected from west winds, bathroom, good close parking. Paddle to Jamestown Beach and 3 Crabs north then west; south into Washington Harbor and Sequim Bay, nice currents for play sometimes at entrance to bay; east to Miller Peninsula, county and state parks. Map
John Wayne Marina Sequim Bay (south lot) 48*03.690’N; 123*02.495’W Hand carry down foot ramp from the south parking lot (not easy), long carry at minus tides, no beach at very high tides, parking and nice bathrooms, water. Paddle around Sequim Bay and north to Paradise Cove. Map
Diamond Point 48*05.760N; 122*55.220’W Marked small public access old boat ramp between houses, parking along street, NO bathrooms. Paddle around Protection Island; west along Miller Peninsula; east to Discovery Bay, North Beach. Map
Gardiner Beach Discovery Bay 48*03.445’N; 122*55.030’W Old concrete boat ramp, small beach, porta potty, lots of parking. Paddle north to Diamond Point, east to Beckett Point and Cape George, South to Contractors Point and Mill Cove. Map
North Beach Port Townsend 48*08.555’N; 122*46.930’W Nice beach, close parking, bathrooms. Paddle west to McCurdy Point, Cape George and Discovery Bay; east to Point Wilson, Port Townsend. Map
Fort Worden Beach 48*08.200’N; 122*45.670’W Nice big sandy beach, parking, bathrooms, Discovery Pass required to enter. Paddle south to Port Townsend. Map
Port Townsend – Maritime Center 48*06.925’N; 122*45.120’W Launch ramp south of new marine center building, park on street, bathrooms. Paddle along Port Townsend; over to Marrowstone Island; northwest to Fort Worden; south to Kala Point. Map
Port Hadlock 48*02.010’N; 122*45.115’W Small access across the road from Ajax Cafe, limited parking. Paddle north to Chimacum Creek, Kala Point; across to Indian Island; south to the canal. Map
Oak Bay Park 48*01.300’N; 122*43.815’W Old boat ramp, rough big beach, ample parking, bathroom. Paddle up the canal; over to Indian and Marrowstone islands; south to Mats Mats Bay. Map
Indian Island County Park 48*01.565’N; 122*43.265’W Nice beach, parking, bathrooms, long carry at minus tides, across from Oak Bay and nicer. Paddle up the canal, nice currents for play at the canal; around the islands, south to Mats Mats Bay. Map
Marrowstone East Beach 48*03.410’N; 122*41.040’W Nice beach, can be a bit of a carry, bathrooms, parking; Paddle north around Marrowstone Island to Mystery Bay with short shuttle; south to Oak Bay. Map
Mystery Bay State Park 48*03.500’N; 122*41.700’W Launch ramp, nice small beach, parking, bathrooms; Paddle into Kilisut Harbor, north to Bird island. Map
Fort Flagler State Park 48*05.550’N; 122*43.310’W Boat launch, beach, parking, bathrooms; Paddles in all directions. Map
Mats Mats Bay 47*57.040’N; 122*41.160’W Concrete ramp, dock, launch on ramp as mudflats can be sticky and sinking; porta potty, parking; Nice protected bay, once out of the bay Port Ludlow is south and Oak Bay is to the north. Map
Salisbury Point 47*51.420’N; 122*36.430’W Over Hood Canal Bridge then left and left. Ramp and beach, parking bathrooms. Paddle east to Port Gamble; north to Coon Bay; west across to Hood Head. Map
Twin Spits 47*55.605’N; 122*36.945’W Small launch beach at the end of Twin Spits road, no bathroom, limited parking; porta potty in Hansville. Nice paddles north to Foulweather Bluff or south to Coon Bay and Port Gamble. Map
Point No Point 47*54.725’N; 122*31.740’W Huge nice sandy beach, parking and bathrooms. Paddle north to Foulweather Bluff or south to Eglon. Map
Eglon 47*51.750’N; 122*30.825’W Nice beach, parking, bathrooms; Paddle south to Kingston or north to Point No Point. Map
Shine Tidelands 47*52.195’N; 122*38.050’W Launch from beach, close parking, porta potty, don’t use steep concrete ramp next to bridge. Paddle north to Hood Head, the dragon, or Bywater Bay; south under the bridge to Squamish Harbor. Map
Squamish Harbor (William Hicks County Park) 47*52.040’N; 122*39.820’W Old ramp, small beach, parking, vault toilet; Paddle north to Hood Canal Bridge and Hood Head or south to South Point and Thorndike Bay.
Quilcene 47*48.080’N; 122*52.065’W Launch from beach south of small boat ramp, porta potty, limited parking; Paddle north to Quilcene River and Quilcene Bay; south to Point Whitney. Map
Point Whitney 47*45.715’N; 122*51.115’W Big shell covered beach, parking, bathrooms, heated ladies room; Nice paddles north into Quilcene Bay or Dabob Bay, south to Jackson Cove, across to Toandos Peninsula and Zelatched Point. Map
Pleasant Harbor 47*39.605’N; 122*55.235’W DNR launch site with ramp and small beach, parking, bathroom, Discover Pass or DNR permit required; Nice protected cove, paddle north to Dosewallips or south to Triton Cove, across to Seabeck. Map
Triton Cove State Park 47*36.540’N; 122*59.075’W Ramp and small beach, parking, bathrooms; Paddle north to Pleasant Harbor, south along Hood Canal and Hwy 101.
Potlach State Park 47*21.625’N; 123*09.410’W Nice beach, bit of a carry from parking area, bathrooms, water; Nice paddle south into Annas Bay and Skokomish River delta. Map
Suquamish 47*43.740’N; 122*33.105’W Very steep concrete ramp, small beach, park on street, no bathrooms; Nice paddles north into Miller Bay, south to Agate Pass, across to Port Madison. Map
Keyport 47*42.260’N; 122*37.450’W Limited parking or park on street, small beach, porta potty.Nice paddle into Poulsbo and Liberty Bay or out into Port Orchard Bay. Map
Southworth (next to WSF terminal) 47*30.730’N; 122*29.830’W Small beach with small area to unload, park in ferry lot, porta potty at ferry; paddle east to Blake Island, north to Manchester, or south to Vashon Island. Map
Eagle Harbor (Waterfront Park) 47*37.320’N; 122*31.070’W Very small parking area or park on street (limit 2 hours) small beach, bathroom; Nice paddle in Eagle Harbor, south to Port Blakely and Fort Ward, north to Fay Bainbridge State Park. Map
Fay Bainbridge State Park 47*42.145’N; 122*30.380’W Large sandy beach, unload area, bit of a carry, parking, bathrooms, water; Paddle north and west to Port Madison and Agate Pass, south to Eagle harbor. Map
Manzanita at Dock St 47*40.600’N; 122*33.705’W Very small launch, limited parking, no bathroom; Nice paddles north, south, and west. Map
Fort Ward State Park 47*30.300’N; 122*31.895’W Nice beach, ramp, parking, bathrooms; Paddle north to Manzanita, across to Manchester, around the south end of the island to Blake Island. Map