Meadowdale Beach Park Hike
Meadowdale Beach Park is a wonderful destination for the whole family, offering an ecologically diverse area where a creek empties into Puget Sound. The Olympic Mountains, Brown’s Bay, and the surrounding islands make for a great view on this easy-moderate 3.7 km hike. This trail is heavily trafficked, so try to visit outside of peak hours if you’re able to.
This route follows Lund Gulch to the beach. The forest alongside the gulch is splendid, boasting lively green foliage and a babbling brook. This hike is a treat for the whole family, especially if you take some time to enjoy the beach before heading back up the gulch.
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Route Description for Meadowdale Beach Park Hike
Meadowdale Beach Park is a lovely park with miles of shoreline looking out over Puget Sound and the Olympics. The hike down Lund Gulch to reach the park is a worthwhile trip in itself, with a vibrant forest and a flowing creek to set the mood. Bring a picnic and some blankets to make an afternoon out of this route.
This hike can get busy on nice weekends, but you can visit in off-peak hours to get a quieter experience.
The route is easy-moderate, with modest elevation gain and a trail that is very easy to follow. Dogs are also allowed on this hike but they must be kept on leash.
The hike begins from the parking area at the end of the street. There are facilities here, including restrooms, picnic tables, and an information board.
Head out on the obvious trail, descending to the creek. It’s a bit of a steep drop, but there are stairs built into the hillside that make it a much easier journey.
It’s not a long walk to the beach, so savor the peace of the forest as you go. Listen for birds, look for salmon in the creek, check out the foliage, and see if you can spot any wildlife.
You’ll initially walk through an alder forest before passing into a mature Douglas fir forest.
The path hugs the north side of the creek, making it very easy to follow. The end of the trail near the beach splits into a loop, but going either direction will take you to the shore. The most interesting way is to go left to look down into the stream from the bridge, then walk past the Ranger station to where there’s a picnic area and volleyball fields.
There’s a tunnel that passes under the railroad tracks here. Walk through it to get to the beach, strolling on the metal grate built over the water. Note that in heavy rain, the grate may be underwater and your feet may get wet.
Head out onto the sand, looking out over the mountains, the islands, and the water. Toss down a blanket and have a picnic, dip your toes or brave a swim, explore the beach- it’s up to you!
When you’re ready to return, simply retrace your steps up the pathway back to the parking lot.
Note: This trail occasionally closes for habitat restoration. Check the Snohomish County website or call the parks administration to ensure it’s open before visiting. These closures are temporary.
Meadowdale Beach Park
Meadowdale Beach Park was first homesteaded in 1878, later becoming a private park with a fine swimming pool and bathhouses. When the club closed in the 1960s, Snohomish County Parks acquired the land to create a public park. It was reopened in 1988 and now features a rich estuary ecosystem and recreational spaces for hikers, volleyball players, and beachgoers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Meadowdale Beach Park open?
The park occasionally closes for habitat restoration. We recommend calling the park admin to check on the current status.
Do I need a pass or permit for Meadowdale Beach Park?
No, no pass or permit is required to use this trail or visit the park.
Can you camp at Meadowdale Beach Park?
Some campers arriving by boat are able to camp on the shore (Water Trail camping) but no other camping is allowed.
Insider Hints for Meadowdale Beach Park Hike
- It’s illegal to cross the railroad tracks. Use the tunnel underpass.
- You can walk quite far down the beach at low tide, so plan your trip around then if you want to explore.
- The beachcombing here is fantastic!
Getting to the Meadowdale Beach Park Hike Trailhead
The trailhead for the Meadowdale Beach Park hike is at the western end of 156th Street SW.
Meadowdale Beach Park Hike Elevation Graph
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Meadowdale Beach Park Hike Reviews
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