I was originally going to head south from Bellingham to Mt. Pilchuck, but the weather was not working with me, so I decided to take the next exit that looked interesting, and head in that direction! The idea of summitng a mountain turned into a glorious day at the beach.
Finding the trail head
The trip to this state park takes about an hour and a half.
From Bellingham, take I-5 South toward Seattle about 30 miles. Then take exit 221 towards Lake McMurray. You’ll take a right in about a quarter mile onto the Pioneer Hwy towards Conway. Go about 5 miles and turn right onto the Old Pacific Highway. You will then follow the brown signs stating that there is a state park ahead, and take a right onto 269th Place Northwest. You’ll then keep left and head down NE Camano Drive. Drive 3 more miles and the destination will be on your right.
The trails down to the beach are pretty easy. I did both the bluff trail and the one that comes up the service road. You can park up at the upper parking lot at the entrance to the park and purchase a Discovery Pass ($10 for a day pass and $30 for an annual) which you will need to park in any Washington State Park. From this upper parking lot, I took the trail down the road and to the right, which was called the Bluff Trail. While following it down, there are informational stops along the way telling about the local foliage.
You will eventually come to a parking lot. This is where one of the state park shuttles can drop you off if you want and where there are restrooms. I opted to just walk down the trail seeing as it wasn’t very far from the upper parking lot, and there are a couple of compact car parking spots that you can park while checking out the park.
From the parking lot, continue straight ahead and you will see signs for the beach, and follow them down to the Cama Beach Sign.
From here, it is your choice on what you choose to do. I decided to make my way down the beach because tide was way out and the water was so calm and clear. I walked past the no trespassing signs (oops) and followed the beach till it once again turned residential. The walk there and back couldn’t have been more than 2 miles.
As you continue along the beach you will see a no trespassing sign, which is honestly a little confusing. I just went past it and watched the banks for signs of possible erosion (which was DEFINITELY happening farther down the beach). There are SO MANY CRABS along the beach when the tide is out! If you stop and listen, you can hear all of the sea dwellers on the shore moving, SO COOL.
Lots of beautiful shells and rocks along the beach as well.
When you get towards the end of the beach, there is a cute little rope swing that is a little hard to get on, but fun none the less. Basically you’ve hit the end of the beach now and you can make your way back to the parking lot by going past the adorable cabins.
If you want more information on how to get to the park, what services are offered by the cabins and the boat dock there, feel free to visit their website here.