If you’re like me, whenever I choose a park to go to, I’m always very interested and enjoy discovering the history of a place… How did it come to be? Why did they pick this particular piece of land? What was this area used for a hundred years ago? We will learn together about a really nice park in northwestern Washington state. Dosewallips State Park is a 425-acre, year-round camping park with 5,500 feet of saltwater shoreline on the Hood Canal and 5,400 feet of freshwater shoreline on either side of the Dosewallips River. This park is unique in that it offers both freshwater and saltwater activities.
Old rail beds are still in place where logs were hauled from the mountains down to the water prior to being floated to their destinations (ships and mills around Puget Sound. Before Europeans made it to the Puget Sound, Native American tribes lived and traded along Hood Canal and the rivers that flow into it, including the Dosewallips River. The name is derived from the Twana word “dos-wail-opsh,” in reference to a legendary chief who was transformed by The Great Changer into a mountain near the head of the river. Back around the turn of the last century, the nearby town of Brinnon was quickly becoming a bustling logging community. In 1903, James Izett purchased his first timber claim in the Dosewallips River Valley and quickly began construction of the first logging railroad south of the Dosewallips. The Izett Logging Company eventually built five miles of railroad to help haul timber down to Hood Canal where logs would be lashed together and floated down to lumber mills in booms. During this era, loggers used large steam engines – often called steam donkeys – to help pull logs and machinery up and down mountainsides. The railroad was eventually removed, and today the railroad grade is still in use as part of the Dosewallips State Park trail network.
All camp areas are grassy and located in scenic, rustic settings. The park offers several breathtaking views of Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains. There are freshwater and saltwater activities in the park, and mushrooming can be enjoyed by visitors. Some of the activities that can be enjoyed at Dosewallips State Park are picnicking, camping, hiking on of trails, boating, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, clam digging, crabbing, beachcombing, birdwatching, wildlife viewing, and horseshoes.
Located 63 miles to the northwest of Seattle Washington via WA-305 (and a ferry trip across Elliot Bay, it should take you just a little over a couple of hours to get there. Dosewallips State Park is situated in an area that is called the eastern gateway to the Olympic Peninsula. This whole region is made up of forests, mountains, rivers, beaches, and deltas – and surrounded by sound and sea.
The park campground has 75 tent spaces, 48 utility sites, one dump station, 3 restrooms (one ADA), and 2 showers (one ADA).Maximum site length is 60 feet. There are 2 group accommodation areas that can be used for up to 80 people on a large grass field. The 12 cabins at Dosewallips are situated among evergreen trees looking towards the Olympic Mountains. Each cabin is 10-by-26-feet in size and features a 6-foot covered front porch, electric heat, lights, and locking doors. There are also (very cool to rent!) 3 platform tents at Dosewallips. They is 14-by-16-feet in size and comfortably sleep, 5 people. Made of white canvas on wooden platforms, they are light inside, even on cloudy days. Each tent is outfitted with a bunk that sleeps 3, a futon for 2, lights, table, and heater.
There are 7 free campgrounds located within 30 miles of Brinnon, WA. Based on https://freecampsites.net/#!Brinnon,+WA,+USA They all appear to be disperse camping.
—-Hiking & Biking—-
There are many miles of hiking and biking trails in this part of Washington. Dosewallips State Park can also serve as a base from which to explore the historic forts and charming small towns to the north and Olympic National Park to the west.
—-Things to Do—-
Dosewallips State Park has (In the summer months), campfire programs that are conducted on most weekends. There is a wildlife viewing platform, and vast areas are open for field sports. Freshwater activities are nearby on the banks of the Dosewallips River, and saltwater activities can be found on nearby Hood Canal.
All the images were from https://parks.state.wa.us/499/Dosewallips except the last which was from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dosewallips_State_Park.