Dash Point Park and Beach walk to Saltwater State Park
Miles of trails and a wonderful waterfront make Dash Point State Park a worthwhile destination for the intrepid bus hiker. If the tide is low, it's possible to walk the shoreline north to Saltwater State Park.
Hike Length: variable, up to several miles(7 miles to Saltwater State Park)
Hike Difficulty: easy (difficult to Saltwater State Park)
Dash Point Beach
In downtown Seattle, catch Sound Transit 577 or 578 and ride to Federal Way Transit Center. Transfer to Metro 187 (plan carefully, bus leaves only hourly). Get off at the intersection of 47th Ave SW and SW 320th St.
Dash Point Park forms a green wall of trees on the west side of 47th. Walk south along the road until you find an unsigned trail heading into the park, then dive in. Supposedly there are 11 miles of trails there; due to storm damage I couldn't walk on most of them during my visit.
The park is divided into two parts of quite different nature. The east side is a rolling plateau with a campground and trails popular with mountain bikes. West of Dash Point Drive, the park drops steeply down to the waterfront area; on the hillsides and down in ravines you can find more hiking trails. This waterfront area is the prettiest part of the park. If you time your arrival on a good minus tide, the beach walking is marvelous.
Redondo Beach pier
If the tide is very low, -2 feet or lower (such tides occur in midday April thru August), you can walk north all the way to Saltwater State Park, about 6 miles. Allow at least 2 hours and start well before low tide if you want to try this. Along the way you pass the resort-like boardwalk of Redondo Beach. The final two miles to Saltwater is over rough cobblestone beaches, which are tedious to walk on. Take this section slowly and don't get frustrated...you will get there eventually.
Note that beaches can be privately owned in Washington State, and technically you are trespassing on someone's property much of the way from Dash Point to Saltwater. However, if you stay away from houses, don't dig clams, keep moving along, and generally be discreet, you probably won't be hassled.
Saltwater Park has its own small network of trails in its 80 acre expanse, worth a look if you have any energy left. Otherwise head out to the east end of the park. Walk north on 16th Ave S, east on S 250th St, south on 20th Ave S, and finally east on 252nd St. to get to Pacific Highway and bus stops.
Elaborate trail bridge, Dash Point State Park
If you hiked to Saltwater State Park, catch Rapid Ride A on Pacific Highway. Transfer to Link Light Rail at the Tukwila Transit Center.
If you remained at Dash Point Park, retrace your route to the east side of the park, and ride Metro 187 then Sound Transit 577/578 to get back to Seattle