Anderson Island

Enjoy camping on a spit that shelters a tidal lagoon. At night you may hear the trains running north and south on the mainland. Sunsets here are often remarkable. Don’t look west but watch the madrona as they redden as the sun drops to the horizon. Reserved camping for WWTA members & guests.

Please see our reservation page.

Please note:

  1. 8 people max. (as in book)
  2. Camping is on the spit, which is part of the public park, so 3 tents max.
  3. No trees on the spit so hammocks are not possible.
  4. There is other camping on the island but it is at an HOA member invite only – so basically no.
  5. Campers other then WWTA members can contact Anderson Island Park & Recreation District at 253-884-7976 (this information should also be clarified in the Guide Book).
  6. There is no flush toilet at the top of the hill – Guide Book should read Porta-Potty.
  7. Porta-Potty for folks down on the spit is usually at the top of the short trail up to the old cabins (tear down piles of wood) once they can navigate down the access road – usually done in June. 


One launch point is Luhr’s Landing: 

Images thanks to Art Nicklaus and others who have submitted images from their trips.

Approach: Gravel; exposed to the SW
Location: Anderson Island is about 10 miles southwest of Tacoma. The campsite is situated on a gravel spit on the southwest side of the island, in Carlson Bay.
Hazards: Getting to the mainland and toilets at high tide may be a challenge through thigh-high water. Best to check the floating bridge and uphill trail on a low tide in daylight.
Sites: 8
Water: None
Sanitation: Pit toilet located 200' up, off the hiking trail to the S; another at the top end of the trail - about 3/4 mile hike from the beach
Overflow: None
Fires: Fires are allowed only on the spit, when a burn ban is not in effect
Extras: A reservation calendar is posted for members at
Fees: Free for WWTA members
Special Considerations: Camping by reservation only on WWTA site. Reservations subject to cancellation by the Park District.
Natural History: The Christensens, the island's first settlers, were descendents of a German baron whose daughter eloped with a Danish footman. They settled on Amsterdam Bay in the 1870's. In 1882, Falk and Clara Carlson moved to Anderson from Kansas with their six children and became one of the island's first families. Carlson Bay is said to be named after this family.
Max People: 8
Max Nights: 1
Reservations: WWTA members only may reserve here.
Latitude: 47.14645
Longitude: -122.73275

One thought on “Anderson Island

  1. Was lovely! Circumnavigated Anderson Island to stretch the paddle out a bit. Saw lots of live sand dollars on the southwest side!
    When we arrived at Anderson Island there were just a few day users and hikers milling about. No other campers.
    Obvious from the water. Great signage.
    LOTS of poison oak and stinging nettles!
    The sanican is a LONG walk uphill. I realize there are really no other options but it was NASTY inside!
    Campsite was clean, easy access, nice big picnic table, no garbage, folks roaming around left at dusk.
    Nice quiet lagoon, water lapping close to tent

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