Griffith’s-Priday State Park feels like a Washington coastal location that doesn’t get enough credit for its trails and relative seclusion. Recently I traveled with my son and Q to Ocean Shores in Washington State in hopes of knocking off a few more state parks from our list. This state park was a welcome change of pace to the more crowded beaches we encountered on the Washington coast.
A Park With Recent Mixed Reviews
So, a little back story. I’m currently trying to hit all the Washington state parks in the next 18 months. It’s a daunting task. So, we pick an area and work our way around regardless of how well reviewed or loved a location is. If I was going off recent reviews alone, I might have skipped this spot. Overall, the reviews were good, but recently mixed: Complaints of overgrown trails, long hikes, and no beach car access (yes, this is a thing). By the time we arrived, I had moderate expectations.
However, what I found was not overgrown trails but single-track trails going through dense forest that made you feel like you were on a remote coastal hike. My son said he felt like an adventurer in a rain forest. These trails led through a preserved area for animals (thankfully meaning no cars) and popped out on a remote beach with NO ONE insight.
What are misses for some people were serious wins for us.
There is something whimsical about sandy trails winding through forests and dunes. Perhaps it’s because, as a Spokane photographer, this terrain is a little foreign to what we see inland.
Some sections of the trails traversed along an eroding dune that we decided to venture off of and away from the edge. The trail conditions in some spots are probably my only warning. While it’s OK for a semi-experienced hiker, the Mom in me got a little nervous at how close the edge was to where the dune was eroding.
Griffiths-Priday State Park Offers Seclusion
I think my favorite part about this park is the relative seclusion it provides. Beaches are often packed with dogs running around and in Washington cars driving up to 30 mph. Did you know in Washington State, a beach is considered a highway? Yes, this puts a severe damper on sandcastle building. Cars zooming by and kids running around makes me uneasy.
Thanks to a large creek on one side, car access is limited, and the 20 min walk to the beach deters many people looking for easier access. I was able to let my dog run a bit, and my son had the entire beach to himself.
We encountered one car in the parking lot on our trip, didn’t pass a single person (or dog), plenty of sunshine, and had empty beaches all to ourselves. If that doesn’t make for a great day, I’m not sure what does.
Overall, I give Griffith’s-Priday State Park a huge endorsement as being dog, kid, and photographer friendly. If you find yourself on the Washington Coast, make sure you make time for this spot. If you want more detailed information, check out the state park website.
Happy Hiking! MB and Q – A Spokane Photographer who is traveling the Pacific NW in search of dog-friendly trails.