Commencement Bay

Puyallup River, Washington 98401

Commencement Bay

Commencement Bay Professional Review and Guide

"Here you will find a pleasant contrast to expectations of a polluted industrial wasteland. Commencement Bay has a bit of everything.

There are the wooded bluffs of Point Defiance, the “downtown” feel of the Thea Foss Waterway with its yachts and workboats, the melancholy quiet along the slag shores of the abandoned Asarco smelter site, and the intense activity of loading and off-loading ships in one of the busiest ports in the Northwest. Within the bay and adjacent waterways is enough to fill many days of exploration."

Commencement Bay Reviews

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A great easy trip from several different directions. Can be very crowded in summer on sunny weekends. Check for updated info.
This trip is mcuh easier if you have a boat. If you have a boat you can get to the less populated "back side" where there is a very nice beach and campgrounds. Watch out for the ranger, he is not nice.
Blake Island State Park is a great family get-away and a great place for begginer campers. A few well-mantained hiking trails cross the island, and though they are for the most part dirt roads, you get the feel that you are in the wilderness. This feeling is very peculiar, for at the same time you have views of the seattle skyline and the ferries going from Fauntleroy to Vashon Island. The only bad thing about the trails is that they have lotes of stinging nettles on them, so be careful. A few of them have tons of mosquitos too. The Trail which goes around the perimeter of the Island has a few trails to the water and great views of Vashon Island and Seattle. All of the trails seem to be a bright green color that seems to consume you. All in all, this is a great place to take the family for a hike. The kids also LOVE to explore the beach. After the hike, you can go to Tillicum Village, an American Indian experience on the Island.
Ferry ride fun and scenic. Tillicum Village is great! Food is great, shop, atmosheare and staff very friendly. Lots of wildlife to see. We actully saw young deer near the long house, just walking around, eating grass, unhindered, and unfraid. So beautiful!

Commencement Bay Photos

Trail Information

Puyallup River
Nearby City
Skill Level
Part Day To Full Day.
Spring to Fall
SeaTrails Wa 203; Noaa charts 18445 SC (1:80,000), 18474 (1:40,000), or 18453 (1:15,000).
Local Maps