On one of your next RVing adventures, discover a secret place known as Glass Beach near the town of Port Townsend on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.

If your RV travels have never delivered you to the Port Townsend area, plan to spend a couple of days absorbing the charm when you go. The town is a magnet for tourists as it offers much to see and do, including unique Victorian structures constructed during the 1850's boon.

Brief History: Captain George Vancouver “discovered” and named Port Townsend in 1792. It was one of the first safe harbors to be found after traversing the open Straights of Juan De Fuca from the perilous Pacific Ocean. Official settlement took place in April of 1851 and this new city, featuring a deep safe harbor, was dubbed "City of Dreams" by those who speculated that Port Townsend would become the largest sea-port of the west coast. Money was poured into the city, stately Victorian houses were constructed for ship captains, a grand court house complete with clock tower was erected and stout wharfs were driven into the bay. However, better ports with rail lines extending into the growing inland markets of the west could be found farther south in Puget Sound, thus the envisioned wealth and prosperity failed to materialize for Port Townsend. Today you will find scores of ornate Victorian buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, shops filled with items produced by local artists, museums, a maritime center, old military installations and more to investigate.

Once you have explored the typical tourism stops and are looking to get off the beaten track away from the crowds, head north of town and enjoy the hike to Glass Beach located near McCurdy Point.

Sea GlassThere you can search for sea glass thanks to the past practice of dumping trash off the bluff above. However, searching for and finding sea glass is only half the fun. The 2.6 mile hike from North Beach Park to the old dumping grounds will take you along the majestic shores of the Straights of Juan De Fuca where you can see across to Vancouver Island in Canada, watch huge freighters coming and going to Puget Sound and watch for wildlife such as sea otters, bald eagles, whales and more.

Camping is convenient too as two campgrounds are within walking distance of the trailhead. Fort Worden State Park borders the eastern edge of North Beach County Park where you will begin your beach hike and the Jefferson County Fairgrounds is just a few blocks south of the North Beach trailhead allowing for you to get a timely start on your hike to beat the tides.

Youll Love Glass BeachCamping, enjoying a beautiful hike and finding a little treasure too, just another joy of RVing in the Northwest!

When You Go:

Trailhead: You will begin your hike at North Beach Park. You'll find the park at 5800 Kuhn St, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Those navigating by coordinates will find the park at: N48° 08.515  W122° 46.930    

If you drive to the park it is best to arrive in your tow vehicle or dinghy as there is limited parking for larger vehicles. If you must drive your RV, you can parallel park it along the bollards on 58th Street on the south side of the park.  Note: Jefferson County Fairgrounds has no set check out time and you are welcome to leave your RV parked there into the late afternoon / evening as long as you don’t stay the night.

Glass Beach: From the trailhead turn left (west) and hike 2.6 miles along the beach. Start looking for sea glass as you approach McCurdy Point with the best glass to be found just past the point in the vicinity of N48° 08.006  W122° 50.461

Staying Dry: Tides of 7ft or higher will make your trek to glass beach more difficult, forcing you up on large rocks or the sandy bluff to avoid getting wet or from climbing over obstacles along the way. Plan your hike to glass beach on an outgoing tide and begin your return shortly after low tide.


Click here for information and reviews on Fort Worden State Park.

Click here for information and reviews for camping at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds.

For more information on Glass Beach click here.

Dave Helgeson
Author: Dave HelgesonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Dave Helgeson is the MHRV Show Director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.

Add comment

Security code

More share buttons