Washington State is one of the most beautiful states I have ever been to. The state experienced a gold rush in the 1870s and hundreds of mining towns popped up throughout the state. Washington State has 157 miles of coastline and no shortage of beaches to explore.
Metal detecting is allowed in numerous State Parks in Washington State, and many of these State Parks have spectacular beaches on which you can detect. There is no shortage of breathtaking scenery, gorgeous shorelines, and fabulous places to metal detect while exploring Washington State.
1. Pacific Beach State Park
Pacific Beach State Park features a small camping area northwest of the town of Aberdeen with waterfront sites for tents, RV hookups, and yurts. There are a total of 64 campsites along the coast with 42 electric hookups, 22 standard sites, and 2 yurts. Fires can be lit along the beach if they are 100 feet or more from any vegetation. The beach is flat and sandy and the waves crashing onto the beach create a serene and peaceful atmosphere for metal detecting.
Pacific Beach is a 17-acre park with 2,300 feet of shoreline. The area features potable water, toilets, hot showers, and RV dump stations. Pacific Beach is popular for kite surfing, biking, picnicking, clamming, beach combing, metal detecting, and wildlife viewing. It is open year-round.
Where to Metal Detect in Pacific Beach State Park
The best place to start metal detecting in Pacific Beach State Park is the sandy areas. The sands hold numerous secrets just out of view. Check areas where people have set their items for the day, called the towel line. Check near the surf, as the ocean waves are constantly changing the coastline as they ebb and flow. You can also check areas near the campsites. Campsites are one of the best places to find lost items!
Metal Detecting Tip: Beaches can be great, but Washington has so much more to offer. Let me show you even more treasure hunting spots in this article -> The Best Places to Metal Detect in Washington
2. Ocean Shores Beach
Ocean Shores is a scenic coastal city in Gray’s Harbor County, Washington. It is well-known for its picturesque sandy beach with low sand dunes and its network of waterways and lakes. Behind the dunes lies the Ocean City State Park, lines with pine trees, which is a protected area for migratory birds. Check out the Ocean Shores Coastal Interpretive Center for more information about this incredible area.
There is no shortage of things to do at Ocean Shores Beach including kite flying, horseback riding, wildlife watching, shell collecting, watching the sunset, and of course, metal detecting! Ocean Shore Beach is home to numerous activities throughout the year including festivals, expos, and athletics tournaments.
Where to Metal Detect on Ocean Shores Beach
As with most beaches, the best place to metal detect will be the sandy areas. Many beaches in Washington State allow you to drive your vehicle onto the beach, so you can take in a sunset or simply cruise around and take in the sights. People will park on the sand, get out and walk around. The sand holds untold fortunes dropped by recreators to the area.
3. Scenic Beach State Park
Scenic Beach State Park is a 121-acre camping area with 1,500 of coastline on Hood Canal. It features the restored 1912 Emel House, a gazebo, and spectacular views. This State Park is known for its native rhododendrons during the springtime, making it a popular venue for weddings. The beach is just a short drive from Bremerton yet feels like you are out in the country.
Scenic Beach is popular for picnics, with breathtaking views of the Olympic mountain range. The area is dog friendly, so bring your leashed furry friend on your metal detecting trip so they can enjoy nature, too! Scenic Beach is a great area for boating, crabbing, diving, swimming, fishing, and wildlife watching. It features fire pits, playgrounds, horseshoe pits, barbecue pits, and volleyball field.
Where to Metal Detect at Scenic Beach State Park
Metal detecting is not allowed on the sandy areas of Scenic Beach State Park. The Park will provide maps of the allowed areas of detection. There are 2 areas, one 5-acre area and one 15-acre area for metal detecting. These areas feature numerous trails, so you have a good chance of finding dropped items.
Metal Detecting Tip: Washington State’s beaches are a mixture of sandy and rocky conditions. Make sure you take along the proper tools for each location. If the beach you are detecting is sandy, take a good quality sand scoop. This allows you to filter out the sand while leaving your target in the basket. If the beach you are detecting is rocky, take along a good quality shovel. Learn more about shovels, trowels in the article – Best Digging Tools for Metal Detecting
4. Joemma Beach State Park
Joemma Beach State Park is a scenic boat ride from Olympia, Tacoma, and the picturesque shoreline communities in between. It is set on Key Peninsula in the South Puget Sound. The Puget Sound has been compared to a maze by many pilots with its many land fingers, waterways, and islands. Joemma Beach is known for its crab and fish. This beach has a boat launch, vehicle parking, pier, dock, and mooring buoys.
Joemma Beach is popular with kayakers, paddlers, and canoers. Camping is also a fun activity within the State Park. It features 19 tent camp sites, 3 hiker-biker sites, and 2 Cascadia Marine Trail sites. This park is 106 acres with 3,000 feet of coastal areas and almost a mile of hiking trails It is a popular spot for wildlife viewing and beach exploration.
Where to Metal Detect in Joemma State Park
There is a nearly 14-acre section of Joemma State Park that is open to metal detecting. This area covers the parking lot and nearby forested area. Parking areas are always a good option for metal detecting. People often drop items when entering or exiting vehicles, so you have a good chance of finding items here. The hiking trails also wind through the metal detecting area.
5. Kopachuck State Park
Kopachuck State Park is located just a half an hour from Tacoma. It is a quick trip from South Puget Sound and the Kitsap Peninsula. The Park is 280-acres and features 2-miles of beautiful, shaded hiking trails. It has 50 picnic tables and 5,600 feet or shoreline alone Henderson Bay. One area, Cutts Island, is only accessible by boat.
This area is popular for boating, clamming, crabbing, oyster harvesting, swimming, and diving. There are 4 areas within Kopachuck State Park where metal detecting is allowed, totaling over 17 acres. The beach areas are off limits, but the forested areas are fine to search. Check with the Park for a map of areas where you can metal detect.
6. Westport Light State Park
Westport Light State Park is 560-acre area with 1,215 feet of shoreline along the Pacific Ocean and Half Moon Bay. It features tall dune grass, snaking pathways, Westport lighthouse, and Westhaven Jetty. Westport is popular for fishing, crabbing, clamming, bird watching, and exploring the beach. There is even the Bigfoot Surf School for those who want to learn more about surfing!
Metal detecting at Westport Light State Park can be done along a 50-acre stretch of beach. This area is perfect for finding items dropped in the sandy areas. Check areas where people have recreated for the day. These are perfect for finding jewelry and coins. You may even uncover some relic from Washington’s past!
7. Lake Sammamish State Park
Lake Sammamish State Park is not far from Seattle and boasts two lakefront beaches. Trails wind through wetlands and deciduous forests. At Lake Sammamish, you can paddle board, kayak, bike, walk, and bird watch. There is a brand-new playground for the kids, community events, fishing, and baseball fields.
Lake Sammamish State Park is a 531-acre park with 6,858 feet of waterfront area. Metal detecting is not allowed in all areas, so check the map provided by the Park ranger. Several areas along the waterfront allow detecting. Check the sandy areas and surf in these locations.
Metal Detecting Tip: Detectorists have to be a model of good citizenship. Lots of folks might consider this a destructive activity – DON’T BE THAT PERSON! Clean-up trash, fill holes and get permission for private land. Check out my guide for getting invited to metal detect on private property – How To Get Permission To Detect Private Property
Metal Detecting Laws for Washington State
All states in the country are governed by the Archaeological Resources Protection Act and Antiquities Act of 1906. These are aimed at protecting the nation’s heritage by protecting artifacts. The removal of any man-made artifact over 100-years of age is prohibited on public lands under these Acts. Any item like this found should be left in place and reported to the authorities.
If you metal detect on private property, the federal level laws do not apply. You can keep any item you find regardless of age. All you need to do is receive written permission from the property owner before you metal detect. Written permission keeps you safer than oral permission. You must determine what happens to the items you uncover during your hunt, too. Include this in your written permissions.
Learn more about the laws in this detailed article by the State of Washington Parks and Recreation – Metal Detecting in Washington State Parks
Each city will have its own laws regarding metal detecting. You will need to check with your local authorities to determine these laws before detecting within your city. Seattle, for example, does not allow metal detecting in most areas. Spokane, however, allows metal detecting in some city parks. There are also restrictions on digging implements in some cities.
Metal detecting is allowed in many state parks in Washington. Detectorists are required to register with the Washington State Parks Department and must follow all posted regulations. You can find the registration form, rules, and list of parks that allow metal detecting here https://www.parks.wa.gov/127/Metal-detecting
Metal Detecting Clubs in Washington State
- Metal Detecting Association of Washington seeks to promote, preserve, and protect metal detecting in the state of Washington. Learn more about them here https://sites.google.com/site/metaldetectwa/home
- Olympic Peninsula Treasure Hunters is an active club with newsletters, scrapbooks, and many great resources. Read more about this group here https://sites.google.com/site/olympicpeninsulatreasurehunter/newsletter
- Pilchuck Treasure Hunting Club was established in the early 1980s by an enthusiastic group of metal detectors and is still going strong today! Read more here https://myplace.frontier.com/~srschumacher/index.html
Metal Detecting Treasures Found in Washington State
While there is a lack of new articles pertaining to treasures found in Washington State while metal detecting, Jason Anderson owns a company based in Seattle called Ring Finders. They specialize in finding people’s lost items. Jason is an avid metal detectorist with a passion for reuniting people with their valuables.
His website has multiple blog entries detailing items he has uncovered in Washington State while metal detecting, and his success in reuniting them with the original owners. Read more about Jason and his incredible stories here https://theringfinders.com/Jason.Anderson/
Metal Detecting Resources in Washington State
- Metal Detecting Association of Washington is one of the best resources for information about metal detecting in Washington State. Visit their website here https://sites.google.com/site/metaldetectwa/resources
- MDHTALK is a great resource for Washington State metal detecting information https://www.mdhtalk.org/cf/city-regulation.cfm?st=WA
Metal Detector Stores in Washington State for Expert Advice
Black Jack’s Metal Detectors https://www.blackjacksmetaldetectors.com/
Wondering What Metal Detecting Equipment I Use? Check Out My Favorites Below
I’m frequently asked what machines I use and recommend. No doubt about it, for the beginner get the Nokta Makro Simplex + Kit it’s the best. 100% waterproof, wireless headphones and pinpointer. Check prices and reviews with quick links below.
The next thing you need is a great shovel, believe me when I say you’ll dig more knowing you can dig FASTER. Links below to the nearly bullet proof Lesche T- Handle Shovel
Metal Detecting and Beaches are a perfect match. Easy digging and lots of people dropping coins and jewelry. To search a beach you’ve GOT TO HAVE A SAND SCOOP. CKG Sand Scoops are heavy duty and able to be used as a shovel.
If it’s time up UP YOUR GAME and get the industry standard metal detector. The Minelab Equinox 800 IS THE BEST. Okay it’s not cheap, but your finds are going to increase with this machine. Shortcut links for reviews and current prices.