Cool Hikes with Kids: Dash Point to Beach

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I recently shared a cool hike my daughter and I did at Flaming Geyser State Park in Auburn. I shared that from time to time, I’d like to report on other hikes we do in the area that I think would be fun for you to do with your kids, too.

This trail system isn’t too far from home, which meant we could start hiking pretty quickly. (As opposed to getting in the car and driving for a couple hours.) There are miles of trails so you can easily piece together a hike that’s just right for your family and ability. Today I’d like to give you an idea for a particularly neat hike you can do that will get you to the beach.

This is just a small snippet of the Dash Point Trail Map (print the full version HERE). On this particular hike, we started at the Ridge Trail, took Tahoma Crossing to The Downhill, then took the East Rim Trail to the Thames Creek Trail which takes you to the beach.

While that might sound rather tricky, you won’t get too lost so long as you keep following the signs that read “beach” and hug that stream depicted in the map. There are also LOTS of markers along the way with “you are here” stars marked prominently.

As far as trails go, this one is pretty well maintained and used year-round. (It’s particularly beloved by local avid mountain bikers and trail runners.)

You’ll also find many small streams and bridge crossings, something my kids adore!

As you might have guessed, the first portion of this hike is mostly downhill, as you’re headed to the beach. It’s roughly 2 miles or so.

My favorite part of the hike is when you hit the Thames Creek Beach Trail! Most of it winds right along the stream and it’s very scenic.

I like destination hikes – meaning, hikes that take you somewhere special. This hike takes you right out onto the beach! If you’re lucky as we are, you’ll have a low tide day too, and you can walk wayyyy out. Look for clams, shells, sanddollars…

We even found some monster crabs! (Sadly, this guy was not alive.)

My daughter had fun running across the sand and exploring! 

My husband pointed out landmarks to my son. I think in this photo he’s trying to describe how you can see Point Defiance from the beach.

I do have to admit after the 2-mile hike down and nearly a half an hour on the beach, none of us were super excited about the hike back UP the hill to our car…

A couple options, if you think you might feel similarly. First, you could consider starting at the beach and then hiking up. Second, you could bring two cars and have someone park at the beach and then drive back up to the Ridge Trail. No matter what you do, you could consider packing in a picnic lunch and enjoying it on the beach.

Here’s some of my overall thoughts about Dash Point State Park. It’s fairly easy to get to and you’ve got lots of options depending on how much you’d like to hike. It’s got points of interest such as a bird lookout and cool bridges. It’s not too difficult/technical and would be good for families and dogs. It’s not the most scenic trail I’ve been on, but it’s plenty nice for photos and to take in nature. On a scale of 1-10, I’d put it around a 7.

I should mention that if you plan on going here, you may need a Discover Pass depending on where you enter from as it is a State Park. Heads up. (Or just visit on one of the fee-free days.)

I’ll do my best to write about some of the additional spots we visit for hikes over the spring and summer. Have any you’d recommend we check out? Leave a comment below.

Other cool Puget Sound spots I’ve written about and recommend:

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