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Saltwater State Park.
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11 transit-accessible camping trips near Seattle

Car-free camping without the backcountry

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Saltwater State Park.
| George Cole/Shutterstock

Does your idea of an outdoor adventure involve transit? While not all camping parks in the Seattle area are accessible by public transportation, there are a few campgrounds reachable by bus, with trip times ranging from just 30 minutes to four hours from downtown Seattle.

Of course, add in Amtrak or Greyhound, and the possibilities expand even further, factoring in farther-away locales like Leavenworth or Ellensburg. But for purposes of this map, we stuck west of the Cascades, with destinations on the Kitsap peninsula, in south King County, and even within the Seattle city limits. In some of these parks, the transit directions even work on the weekends. Just remember to pack light!

From Illahee State Park in Bremerton to Dash Point State Park in Federal Way, here’s a collection of state and city campgrounds and cabin rentals accessible by King County Metro, Sound Transit, Mason County Transit, Community Transit, Clallam Transit, and Kitsap County Transit.

No overnight required? Here are 10 transit-accessible hiking trails.

Have a car, but need a cabin? Here are 14 state parks near Seattle with cabin rentals.

Did we miss your favorite transit-accessible trip? Tip us!

Map points are ordered north to south.

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1. Squire Creek Park

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41415 State Rte 530 NE
Arlington, WA 98223
(360) 435-3441
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Region: Snohomish County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: This one’s an adventure. Make your way to the Smokey Point Transit Center, which will be two routes from Seattle no matter how you shake it: Either catch Community Transit route 421 to Marysville and transfer to the 227 at the Ash Avenue Park and Ride, or hop on the Sound Transit 510 to Everett and transfer to Community Transit 201 to Broadway and 34th. Regardless, once you’re at Smokey Point, Community Transit 230 will drop you a four-minute walk away from Squire Park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: More than three hours. Bring a book.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Nope—and because this relies on weekday commuter buses, it would require leaving in the morning. But don’t worry too much about getting stranded: The 230 (which turns into the 240) also runs to and from to the Stanwood Amtrak station (which is a more simplified route just in general).

Total transit fare: $4.25 to $12.75 each person each way, depending on route, timing, and payment method.

Accommodations: This Snohomish County Park in Darrington is near the site of the Summer Meltdown Festival, the Sauk River, and Whitehorse Mountain. Sites are surrounded by (of course) creeks and old-growth forest.

2. Bear Creek Campground

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Region: Olympic Peninsula

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bainbridge Island Ferry, then the Clallam Transit Strait Shot to the Gateway Transit Center in Port Angeles. From there, catch the 14 to Hungry Bear Restaurant on Highway 101.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly four hours, based on catching the 9:35 a.m. ferry to Bainbridge Island from Colman Dock. It’s more like five on Saturdays thanks to route timing.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Saturdays only.

Total transit fare: $31.50 round-trip ($8.50 round trip for the ferry, $10 each way on the Strait Shot, $1.50 each way on the 14).

Accommodations: This is a small campground—just 16 sites—and includes a scenic overlook and hiking trails to the river.

3. First, Second, and Third Beach in La Push

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Region: Olympic Peninsula

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bainbridge Island Ferry, then the Clallam Transit Strait Shot to the Gateway Transit Center in Port Angeles. From there, take the 14 to Forks, then the 15 to the end of the line in La Push.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Six or seven hours, based on catching the 9:35 a.m. ferry to Bainbridge Island from Colman Dock. Add an hour for Saturday trips. If you hurry, you can use your transfer time in Port Angeles to catch the 20 to the Olympic National Park visitor center for your wilderness camping permit (it’s cutting it really close, though, so probably best to call in advance).

Transit-accessible on weekends: Saturdays only.

Total transit fare: $34.50 round-trip ($8.50 round trip for the ferry, $10 each way on the Strait Shot, $3 each way for an all-day pass on Clallam Transit).

Accommodations: While these beaches are technically backpacking trips, you’re probably already packed for it—and beach camping on First Beach is just a short walk away. To get a little farther out, hike an hour or two to Second or Third Beach. While it assumes driving, this rundown from REI has more information on the trip.

4. Fay Bainbridge Park

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15446 Sunrise Dr NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
(206) 842-3931
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Region: Kitsap County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bainbridge Island Ferry from Colman Dock, then take Kitsap Transit route 96 to the park. It’s about 20-minute walk to the park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly an hour and a half.

Transit-accessible on weekends: No, but if you don’t mind a longer walk, Kitsap Transit Route 90 runs on Saturdays and stops an hour-long walk (or 20-minute bike ride) away, or it’s a 45-minute bike ride from the ferry terminal.

Total transit fare: $9.70 per person each way.

Accommodations: This city park on the northeast corner of Bainbridge Island has 1,420 feet of Puget Sound waterfront, and has both tent camping sites and cabins available to rent.

5. Tolt River-John MacDonald Park

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31020 NE 40th St
Carnation, WA 98014
(206) 477-6149
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Region: East King County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take Sound Transit Express route 545, then transfer to Metro route 224 at Redmond and 166th. Transfer again at Brown and Richardson and catch Snoqualmie Valley Transit route 629, or Valley Shuttle. It’s a five-minute walk to the park from State Route 203 and 40th.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: An hour and 15 minutes to two and a half hours depending on route and timing.

Transit-accessible on weekends: No—the 224 only runs on weekdays.

Total transit fare: $2.75 each way.

Accommodations: If rivers are more your thing, this 574-acre park sits at the intersection of two: the Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers. Camping accommodations include converted shipping containers and yurts if you don’t want to haul a tent with you, or just a regular old tent site.

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6. Illahee State Park

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3540 NE Sylvan Way
Bremerton, WA 98310
(360) 478-6460
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Region: Kitsap County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bremerton ferry or Kitsap fast ferry, then transfer to Kitsap Transit route 21. It’s a 20-minute walk from the bus stop to the park.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Yes.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly two hours, depending on traffic and route timing.

Total transit fare: $12.50 per person each way.

Accommodations: Illahee State Park, located right on Port Orchard Bay, has 23 standard campsites and two sites set aside for people arriving without a vehicle—either on foot or on bicycle.

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7. Camp Long

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5200 35th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126
(206) 684-7434
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Region: Seattle

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take Metro route 21—it goes straight there.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Yes.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: ~30-40 minutes

Total transit fare: $2.50 to $2.75 per person each way.

Accommodations: While Camp Long doesn’t offer tent camping, it does have cabins available for $50 per night with a two-night maximum, plus a $50 damage deposit per cabin. Each structure has three double bunk beds, overhead lights, a picnic table, a stone fireplace, a fire pit, and outdoor running water.

8. Belfair State Park

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Belfair State Park
Belfair, WA 98528

Region: Kitsap County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bremerton ferry or Kitsap fast ferry, then transfer to Mason County route 3. Transfer again to route 4 at Bill Hunter Park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly three to four hours, depending on traffic and route timing

Transit-accessible on weekends: No.

Total transit fare: $9 to $12 per person each way.

Accommodations: Belfair State Park is located on the Hood Canal, and has 90 standard campsites, eight cabins, and a few “primitive sites” for those who don’t need many accommodations.

9. Maury Island Marine Park

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(206) 296-0100
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Region: Vashon Island

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the C Line to the Fauntleroy ferry dock in West Seattle and hop on the Vashon Island Ferry. From there, catch the 119 to Maury Island. Alternatively, you can take the Vashon Water Taxi from downtown and catch the 119 from there and walk half an hour to the park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Two to three hours depending on route and timing.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Not really—the 119 doesn’t run on weekends. If you’re feeling up to a walk, the 118 will go to the Valley Center Park and Ride, a two-hour walk or 40-minute bike ride from the park.

Total transit fare: If you’re taking the ferry and your transfer’s still valid on the other end of the water, it’s about $8.20 there and $2.75 back. But that could vary depending on route and timing.

Accommodations: The seven campsites available at Maury Island are relatively new. They’re also primitive—meaning no access to water—and don’t allow fires. But they’re right by the beach.

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10. Saltwater State Park

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25205 8th Pl S
Des Moines, WA 98198
(253) 661-4956
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Region: South King County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: You’re going to want to get to Metro route 166 at the Burien Transit Center, but you have a few options for getting there. For the fewest transfers, take the 120. You can also take Link Light Rail and transfer to the A Line in Seatac. Whichever route you take, it’s a 20-minute walk from the 166 stop to the park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly two hours.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Yes.

Total transit fare: $2.50 to $5 per person each way.

Accommodations: Located in Des Moines, Saltwater State Park has 1,445 feet of shoreline along the Puget Sound. The park has 47 campsites available.

11. Dash Point State Park

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5700 SW Dash Point Rd
Federal Way, WA 98023
(253) 661-4955
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Region: South King County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take Sound Transit Express route 577 or 578, then transfer to Metro route 187 at the Federal Way Transit Center.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly one hour by bus to the edge of the park, then a 15 to 20 minute trail walk into the park.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Yes.

Total transit fare: $5.25 to $5.50 per person each way.

Accommodations: This state park along a sandy Puget Sound beach—with more than 3,000 feet of shoreline—has both campsites and cabins available for rent.

1. Squire Creek Park

41415 State Rte 530 NE, Arlington, WA 98223

Region: Snohomish County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: This one’s an adventure. Make your way to the Smokey Point Transit Center, which will be two routes from Seattle no matter how you shake it: Either catch Community Transit route 421 to Marysville and transfer to the 227 at the Ash Avenue Park and Ride, or hop on the Sound Transit 510 to Everett and transfer to Community Transit 201 to Broadway and 34th. Regardless, once you’re at Smokey Point, Community Transit 230 will drop you a four-minute walk away from Squire Park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: More than three hours. Bring a book.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Nope—and because this relies on weekday commuter buses, it would require leaving in the morning. But don’t worry too much about getting stranded: The 230 (which turns into the 240) also runs to and from to the Stanwood Amtrak station (which is a more simplified route just in general).

Total transit fare: $4.25 to $12.75 each person each way, depending on route, timing, and payment method.

Accommodations: This Snohomish County Park in Darrington is near the site of the Summer Meltdown Festival, the Sauk River, and Whitehorse Mountain. Sites are surrounded by (of course) creeks and old-growth forest.

41415 State Rte 530 NE
Arlington, WA 98223

2. Bear Creek Campground

Port Angeles, WA 98363

Region: Olympic Peninsula

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bainbridge Island Ferry, then the Clallam Transit Strait Shot to the Gateway Transit Center in Port Angeles. From there, catch the 14 to Hungry Bear Restaurant on Highway 101.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly four hours, based on catching the 9:35 a.m. ferry to Bainbridge Island from Colman Dock. It’s more like five on Saturdays thanks to route timing.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Saturdays only.

Total transit fare: $31.50 round-trip ($8.50 round trip for the ferry, $10 each way on the Strait Shot, $1.50 each way on the 14).

Accommodations: This is a small campground—just 16 sites—and includes a scenic overlook and hiking trails to the river.

3. First, Second, and Third Beach in La Push

La Push, WA 98350

Region: Olympic Peninsula

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bainbridge Island Ferry, then the Clallam Transit Strait Shot to the Gateway Transit Center in Port Angeles. From there, take the 14 to Forks, then the 15 to the end of the line in La Push.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Six or seven hours, based on catching the 9:35 a.m. ferry to Bainbridge Island from Colman Dock. Add an hour for Saturday trips. If you hurry, you can use your transfer time in Port Angeles to catch the 20 to the Olympic National Park visitor center for your wilderness camping permit (it’s cutting it really close, though, so probably best to call in advance).

Transit-accessible on weekends: Saturdays only.

Total transit fare: $34.50 round-trip ($8.50 round trip for the ferry, $10 each way on the Strait Shot, $3 each way for an all-day pass on Clallam Transit).

Accommodations: While these beaches are technically backpacking trips, you’re probably already packed for it—and beach camping on First Beach is just a short walk away. To get a little farther out, hike an hour or two to Second or Third Beach. While it assumes driving, this rundown from REI has more information on the trip.

4. Fay Bainbridge Park

15446 Sunrise Dr NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Region: Kitsap County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bainbridge Island Ferry from Colman Dock, then take Kitsap Transit route 96 to the park. It’s about 20-minute walk to the park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly an hour and a half.

Transit-accessible on weekends: No, but if you don’t mind a longer walk, Kitsap Transit Route 90 runs on Saturdays and stops an hour-long walk (or 20-minute bike ride) away, or it’s a 45-minute bike ride from the ferry terminal.

Total transit fare: $9.70 per person each way.

Accommodations: This city park on the northeast corner of Bainbridge Island has 1,420 feet of Puget Sound waterfront, and has both tent camping sites and cabins available to rent.

15446 Sunrise Dr NE
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

5. Tolt River-John MacDonald Park

31020 NE 40th St, Carnation, WA 98014

Region: East King County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take Sound Transit Express route 545, then transfer to Metro route 224 at Redmond and 166th. Transfer again at Brown and Richardson and catch Snoqualmie Valley Transit route 629, or Valley Shuttle. It’s a five-minute walk to the park from State Route 203 and 40th.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: An hour and 15 minutes to two and a half hours depending on route and timing.

Transit-accessible on weekends: No—the 224 only runs on weekdays.

Total transit fare: $2.75 each way.

Accommodations: If rivers are more your thing, this 574-acre park sits at the intersection of two: the Snoqualmie and Tolt rivers. Camping accommodations include converted shipping containers and yurts if you don’t want to haul a tent with you, or just a regular old tent site.

31020 NE 40th St
Carnation, WA 98014

6. Illahee State Park

3540 NE Sylvan Way, Bremerton, WA 98310

Region: Kitsap County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bremerton ferry or Kitsap fast ferry, then transfer to Kitsap Transit route 21. It’s a 20-minute walk from the bus stop to the park.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Yes.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly two hours, depending on traffic and route timing.

Total transit fare: $12.50 per person each way.

Accommodations: Illahee State Park, located right on Port Orchard Bay, has 23 standard campsites and two sites set aside for people arriving without a vehicle—either on foot or on bicycle.

3540 NE Sylvan Way
Bremerton, WA 98310

7. Camp Long

5200 35th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98126

Region: Seattle

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take Metro route 21—it goes straight there.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Yes.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: ~30-40 minutes

Total transit fare: $2.50 to $2.75 per person each way.

Accommodations: While Camp Long doesn’t offer tent camping, it does have cabins available for $50 per night with a two-night maximum, plus a $50 damage deposit per cabin. Each structure has three double bunk beds, overhead lights, a picnic table, a stone fireplace, a fire pit, and outdoor running water.

5200 35th Ave SW
Seattle, WA 98126

8. Belfair State Park

Belfair State Park, Belfair, WA 98528

Region: Kitsap County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bremerton ferry or Kitsap fast ferry, then transfer to Mason County route 3. Transfer again to route 4 at Bill Hunter Park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly three to four hours, depending on traffic and route timing

Transit-accessible on weekends: No.

Total transit fare: $9 to $12 per person each way.

Accommodations: Belfair State Park is located on the Hood Canal, and has 90 standard campsites, eight cabins, and a few “primitive sites” for those who don’t need many accommodations.

Belfair State Park
Belfair, WA 98528

9. Maury Island Marine Park

Vashon, WA 98070

Region: Vashon Island

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the C Line to the Fauntleroy ferry dock in West Seattle and hop on the Vashon Island Ferry. From there, catch the 119 to Maury Island. Alternatively, you can take the Vashon Water Taxi from downtown and catch the 119 from there and walk half an hour to the park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Two to three hours depending on route and timing.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Not really—the 119 doesn’t run on weekends. If you’re feeling up to a walk, the 118 will go to the Valley Center Park and Ride, a two-hour walk or 40-minute bike ride from the park.

Total transit fare: If you’re taking the ferry and your transfer’s still valid on the other end of the water, it’s about $8.20 there and $2.75 back. But that could vary depending on route and timing.

Accommodations: The seven campsites available at Maury Island are relatively new. They’re also primitive—meaning no access to water—and don’t allow fires. But they’re right by the beach.

10. Saltwater State Park

25205 8th Pl S, Des Moines, WA 98198

Region: South King County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: You’re going to want to get to Metro route 166 at the Burien Transit Center, but you have a few options for getting there. For the fewest transfers, take the 120. You can also take Link Light Rail and transfer to the A Line in Seatac. Whichever route you take, it’s a 20-minute walk from the 166 stop to the park.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly two hours.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Yes.

Total transit fare: $2.50 to $5 per person each way.

Accommodations: Located in Des Moines, Saltwater State Park has 1,445 feet of shoreline along the Puget Sound. The park has 47 campsites available.

25205 8th Pl S
Des Moines, WA 98198

11. Dash Point State Park

5700 SW Dash Point Rd, Federal Way, WA 98023

Region: South King County

Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take Sound Transit Express route 577 or 578, then transfer to Metro route 187 at the Federal Way Transit Center.

Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly one hour by bus to the edge of the park, then a 15 to 20 minute trail walk into the park.

Transit-accessible on weekends: Yes.

Total transit fare: $5.25 to $5.50 per person each way.

Accommodations: This state park along a sandy Puget Sound beach—with more than 3,000 feet of shoreline—has both campsites and cabins available for rent.

5700 SW Dash Point Rd
Federal Way, WA 98023