Salt Creek County Park & Crescent Bay

Salt Creek County Park has some of the most diverse scenery in the state. You can explore rocky bluffs, tide pools, upland forests, or comb the sandy beaches. There are panoramic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Crescent Bay, and Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The park also has the remnants of World War II Fort Hayden. Two concrete bunkers that housed 16" cannons and several siting bunkers used to defend the coastline still remain. All of these features are found in this 196-acre full service camping facility.

Good scuba diving is available with entry off the low bluffs at the east side of the park. However, a tide of at least 4-8' is necessary for safe access through the rocks. Entry should be made at slack using Race Rocks as a guide. It is usually better to dive in the morning before the prevailing strong westerly winds develop. Beware of strong surge and thick kelp beds. Diving with shore support and other divers is advised.

Last week of September, Turkey Vultures soar on thermals to migrate south. Shrubs attract warblers, vireos, thrushes; seas sustain Harlequin Ducks, murrelets, auklets. Excellent tide-pooling. Audubon Important Bird Area.

HABITAT: 198-acre county park with forest, tide pools, creek, estuary.

BIRDING: Last week of September, Turkey Vultures soar on thermals to migrate south. Spring-summer, check thickets for Wilson’s and Orange-crowned Warblers, Warbling and Hutton’s Vireos. Find Downy, Hairy, and Pileated Woodpeckers, Swainson’s Thrushes, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Western Tanagers, Band-tailed Pigeons. Year-round, ocean sustains Harlequin Ducks, Marbled Murrelets, Rhinoceros Auklets.

VIEWING: Walk short path to overlook for Black Oystercatchers, Black Turnstones on rocks. Bonus: River otters off point.

ACCESS: From Hwy 112 at milepost 53.8, turn north onto Camp Hayden Rd. Drive 3.4 miles, veer right at Y into park entrance. Drive 1.2 miles through campground to Tongue Point picnic parking.

MORE BIRDING: Salt Creek – Exit park, turn right at Y onto Crescent Beach Rd. Drive north 0.2 mile to paved parking on right. Walk right side of creek on falling tide. Check firs for Bald Eagles, rock island for Pigeon Guillemot nest holes. Private Beach – Continue 0.3 mile west on Hayden Rd, turn left into Crescent Beach RV Park. Purchase required day pass at office. Long-tailed Ducks possible fall-spring.


Attraction Features: 

Scuba Diving and Snorkeling
Recreation Vehicle Parks
Tents, Yurts and Teepees
Cliffs, Gorges and Geological Features
Scenic Viewpoints
County Parks and Recreation Areas
Bird Watching
Wildlife Viewing

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