Day Hike - Squaxin Park


Day Hike - Squaxin Park

Walk off some of the Thanksgiving dinner leftovers at an easy pace for about a mile in historic Squaxin Park. We'll walk the tidelands at low tide. This is a family hike, intended for children accompanied by adults.

  • Easy/Moderate
  • Casual
  • Mileage: 1.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 100 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 100 ft
  • Pace: 1 mph exploring

We will meet at 10:00, in the park, ready to hike.   Details will be emailed to registered participants a few days before the hike.

Please note that this is a family trip and all children must be registered with an adult, and all adults must be registered with a child.  Adults wishing to register for this hike without a child must request special permission from the leader.

Squaxin Park is on the shore of Budd Inlet, in an area used by the Coastal Salish tribes, including the Nisqually, Duwarmish and Squaxin, for shellfish gathering and salmon fishing for over 500 years before the first arrival of Europeans.  In 1848, at the request of French Canadian fur traders working for the Hudson Bay Company, Catholic priests were invited to establish a mission there, which included a school.  This was operated until 1860, and the area was called Priest Point.  In the late 1800’s it became a popular informal picnicking area, and in 1905 was dedicated as a city park, then called Priest Point Park and more recently renamed to reflect its longer history.

 We will be walking about a mile on a loop in the park, including the stretch of beach from the mouth of Ellis Creek to the mouth of Mission Creek.   We will be on the beach at low tide, and will walk in some wet areas.  Hiking boots or waterproof boots should be worn.  Rubber rain boots would be a good choice.   We will see shorebirds, sea shells, mussels, the siphon holes of abundant clams (sorry, too polluted to harvest and eat them), as well as the remains of docks and other structures from the 1800’s and early 1900’s.  The shore also has a nice view of the Olympia city skyline and the working Port of Olympia.  Some of our walk will be in the forest, which has some old and huge Douglas firs, cedars and big leaf maples, and a few large madronas.    We will finish up near the playground, and park restrooms are available.

Our distance and pace are intended to accommodate children who can walk the distance on their own, with stops for exploration and discovery.  The terrain will not be suitable for strollers.  There are options for additional hikes and walks in the park for those who want more. 

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Please bring basic family hiking gear appropriate for the expected weather, including:
backpack for each adult and kid, ideally with a waist strap;
family first aid kit;
rain gear and warm layers for everyone in your family group;   water and snacks;
binoculars and field guides as desired for wildlife and plant identification.

Maps will be provided by the leader.  If you want a preview or to print your own, take a look at the Squaxin Park link here:  Squaxin Park (  and click on the button for the Park Map or the Developed Facilities Map.

Trip Reports