Potlatch State Park | Shelton, Washington

PotlatchThe Hood Canal: Now that I’ve written about our Twanoh State Park adventures to the south, this post is all about our time at Potlatch State Park to the north.

Potlatch is an 84-acre park with camping and water access with scenic fallen logs and tree-capped hillsides. It also has … buried treasure! Read on to see what we found 🙂

Buried Treasure

Ok, so totally getting to the treasure part. But first, what’s a Potlatch? The internets say a Potlatch is a Native American tradition among northwest coastal tribes that involves a ceremonial feast. Possessions are given away or destroyed to display wealth or enhance prestige.

Who knew?

That is interesting though, given that the kids and I found buried treasure there — in the form of a circa 1930s glass bottle we dug up from the cliffside!!

⁣Here’s the story of how we discovered it:

I was crouched down and hawk-eyed among the sea stones and shells at the water’s edge when I found it, looking for shards of glass to save from Clara and Wyatt’s little feet while we played.⁣

And that’s when I saw it. Not far from the waterline, catching the sunlight on its one edge that wasn’t buried deep in the layers of earth visibly eroded from high tide. ⁣

A glass bottle. ⁣

This one wasn’t at all a threat to little feet. But intriguing nonetheless. I could see where the glass curved into letters near the bottom, an etching I couldn’t quite make out. A little mystery along the shore.⁣

That’s when I called out to the kids. They ran over, intrigued, and offered to help dig it out. They started with their hands, gladly digging tiny fingers into the mud like they so often love to do. Around them, oyster shells littered the ground. ⁣

I asked the kids if there were any tools we could use to make digging easier? 😉. Without missing a beat, they picked up the shells as little shovels and started scooping the mud away from the edges of the glass. Then they decided to divide and conquer in their own little way. Wyatt went cleared the digging field by squirting water on it while Clara worked the edges with the scoop. And soon … the bottle was free! ⁣

A little research showed that the discovery was a 1930s bottle of Hinds Honey and Almond Cream!! Also etched was A.S. Hinds Co. Bloomfield NJ USA. ⁣ No cool lid though. Maybe next time 🙂

It may be a small thing, but it was so cool for us!!⁣

Tell me, do you love buried treasure like this?

Wind Surfing

The state park website says on windy days, visitors may also opt to windsurf or fly kites. We saw windsurfers there in September and it was so cool!!


Clamming Crabbing Diving Fishing (saltwater) Moorage buoys (4) Oyster harvestingApparently, this beach is all about clamming, crabbing, and oyster harvesting — all new things to me! But they aren’t lying! We saw a ton of crabs!

Here’s some official info on harvesting: Anyone over 14 years of age needs a shellfish license to harvest oysters. The daily limit is enforced. A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. The harvesting season for 2020 has ended. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife website.)


Here’s a closer look at the park:

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: Potlatch State Park

ADDRESS:  21020 US-101, Shelton, WA 98584

PARKING — Paid Discover Pass

Discover Pass is required to park at Washington State Parks for access to campgrounds, parks, wildlife areas, trails, natural areas, wilderness areas and water access points. For details about the pass, see the state’s Discover Pass website.

  • Day Pass: $10. Allows visitors to park at state recreation lands for one day.
  • Annual Pass: $30. Allows visitors to park on state recreation lands for one year from the issue date.


About Tonya Strickland

Tonya Strickland is a journalist and Instagram influencer in the family and travel niche. A former newspaper reporter, Tonya shares unfiltered #momlife content about places to go with kids. Her family moved from California's Central Coast to Washington state in August 2020. Their adventures now continue in the Pacific Northwest.

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