If camping within a stone's throw of a marine sanctuary, exploring old World War II bunkers, and enjoying brilliant sunsets over the Strait of Juan de Fuca sound enticing, consider carving out a little time in your Olympic Peninsula itinerary for a visit to Salt Creek Recreation Area. Located north of Lake Crescent and just west of Port Angeles, Salt Creek Recreation Area is a 196-acre park that was formerly a World War II military post known as Camp Hayden. A pair of 16-inch guns and a host of smaller caliber guns guarded the Strait of Juan de Fuca from attacks, and the bunkers that housed these massive weapons still stand and are accessible for exploration. Now this area is a brilliant park managed by Clallam County that offers trails, an extensive campground, access to Tongue Point and the surrounding tide pools, and stunning views to the north and west over Crescent Bay and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Much of the park is dedicated camping, which is divided into RV sites on set above the north shore of the peninsula and the campsites that are distributed on the small headland reaching out to Tongue Point. Day use visitors can get a great sense of the park via the trails that weave around the park, including the Beach to Bunker Trail that leads from the Salt Creek parking area toward the former Camp Hyden site and the Bluff Trail that overlooks Crescent Bay as it leads to the Tongue Point staircase; the Striped Peak Trail also leaves from within the park just east of the fee station at the main entrance. Campers and day use visitors can also use the picnic shelter on the eastern side of the park, along with the adjacent basketball court, softball field, volleyball court, and playground. Restrooms, vault toilets, and water are also distributed throughout the park.
Salt Creek Recreation Area is open year round, though the entrance gate does close at dusk. Call the park at 360.928.3441 for details.