Explore Salt Creek Recreation Area

Salt Creek Recreation Area

Tide pools, a sandy beach, hiking trails, WWII bunkers, and stunning views over Crescent Bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. If this sounds good to you then you’ll love Salt Creek Recreation Area.

Salt Creek Recreation Area is a 196-acre park on U.S. Route 101, around 15 miles west of Port Angeles, WA. Though it is nearly an hour and a half drive from Manitou Lodge, the park is a great stop for anyone considering a Port Angeles area day trip.

Much of the park is dedicated to tent and RV camping. Park restrooms and water are available to day-use visitors. You may also use the picnic shelters, basketball court, softball field, volleyball court, and playground.

The most popular attractions at Salt Creek Recreation Area, however, are down at the shore.

Tide Pools and Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary

sea star in a tide pool at Salt Creek Recreation Area

Salt Creek Recreation Area is well known for its tide pools. This especially true for Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary, a protected section of Tongue Point.

Tide pools are the shallow pools left behind on rocky shores by the receding tide. The pools are alive with colorful sea stars, crabs, anemones, and other aquatic creatures. Students and enthusiasts from all over come to observe the marine life found at Tongue Point.

If tide pools are your goal, be sure to time your visit for or near low tide.

World War II Bunkers of Camp Hayden

Another huge draw for the park are the collection of old, concrete WWII bunkers and gun emplacements.

Salt Creek Recreation Area began life as a harbor defense military base named Camp Hayden, built between 1942 and 1945. Remnants of Camp Hayden remain throughout the park.

Camp Hayden consists of two large concrete bunkers, and several smaller structures. The large bunkers originally housed two 16-inch, Mark 2 guns capable of hurling a one ton projectile nearly 28 miles. Another bunker in the park sheltered two 6-inch guns. Other buildings on site served as magazine bunkers, lookouts, and fire control.

Follow the Beach to Bunker Trail from the parking area to locate the main portion of the WWII Camp Hayden site. Trails, staircases, and walkways throughout the park will lead you to other military remnants and natural attractions.

Salt Creek Recreation Area

Located on U.S. Route 101, approximately 15 miles west of Port Angeles, WA. The park is free and open to the public all year ’round.

The beach and recreation area west of Salt creek are privately owned by Crescent Beach RV Park. Contact the park directly and pay a small day-use fee for access.

Visit for directions, park maps, and more.

Olympic Peninsula Lodging

Manitou Lodge offers a variety of unique lodging options. Choose from our Main Lodge or Cottage Rooms for indoor comforts. Prefer something closer to the great outdoors? No problem! We also offer Cabins & Tents with access to our spacious outdoor shower and portable toilets. We even have fully-equipped and tent sites, set-up and with bedding included. Make the most of your PNW getaway with a stay at Manitou Lodge. Check Availability now!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *