Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Clayton Beach 11-21-2011

After living in the Chuckanut area for 23 years, I finally made a visit to Clayton Beach.

Clayton Beach is a popular destination for locals. It offers access to the waters of Puget Sound, a rope swing, nice scenery (in good weather) and some train tracks.

The weather was less than idea for a visit to Clayton Beach. Stormy weather wasn't a surprise because it's been forecasted on the news for days, but what I hadn't considered were the tide tables.

My visit seems to have been at high tide. So, there were some nice solid and scenic rock slabs to sit on and hang out, but as far as an actual beach to get up close and personal with the water didn't seem to exist.

Maybe the 'beach' part of Clayton Beach is under water at high tide.

Parking for Clayton Beach is in a fair sized parking lot off Chuckanut Drive, about a mile south of Larrabee State Park. At the present time, a Washington Discover Pass is required for parking ($10/day or $30/year). I believe you are able to self-purchase a day pass at the parking lot (cash into envelope into drop box, no credit cards or electronic payments).

There are a few parking spots along the side of Chuckanut Drive itself, but those too are marked as 'Discover Pass Required'.

The hike from the parking lot down to Clayton Beach is less than a mile and is probably less than a 200 feet elevation change, but parts of the trail are indeed steep, potentially muddy and contain many tree roots. Please use caution.

The rope swing was a pleasant surprise, but as with most rope swings, it's not an official attraction and no one really knows who put it there, how long it's been there or whether it is safe to use or not. Use it only at your own risk - they can be dangerous and this one is no exception.

Will probably have to swing by here again in the summer at low tide to see what all the hoopla is about. For those of us that live year... Clayton Beach offers a lot of scenery that is also available at other locations - such as Larrabee Park which seems to offer better beach access and plenty of amenities.

GPS/Topo Image: I went straight down to the beach (via the rope swing), then wandered south along the train tracks (RR ties are gross and slippery), then wandered North to the Larrabee Park Entrance before returning to the car via the interurban trail.

Once back at the car, I resumed a drive to the north for a hike to Huckleberry Point (trip report coming in the next week or so).

Happy Trails!



  1. I think you might have missed the actual beach. If you went by the rope swing to the beach then you were North of Clayton Beach by a ways, and it is just rocky ledges above the water. The rope swings are now cut, so you can just skip that part and head down the main trail - or climb the embankment on the other side of the creek from the rope swing and follow that small trail to the main trail. When you cross the tracks you go left and look for the trail to pick up again about 100 feet later. That trail takes you to the beach... there is always some beach at that spot whatever level the tide is at - and if you catch it at low tide you are in for a treat. Maybe worth another visit (on a beautiful summer day). It's a favorite for this local for sure.

  2. Thank you for the suggestion! I'll swing by sometime soon and do a little more exploring.
    when I visited I did follow the tracks south for a bit, until I slipped on one of the RR ties and really injured my knee... sucked the fun right out of the adventure really quick.
    Hopefully I'll get up there this week sometime.