This blog covers trips from the book and other favorites. Contact Rob in Seattle: or 206-465-7167


Paddling Solo Point / Fort Lewis, WA

Last Monday I taught a SUP basic class to a woman who lives near Fort Lewis in South Puget Sound.  Not knowing her area, she suggested Solo Point which is a little nub of land sticking out from the shore south of the town of Steilacoom.  Right across from the point is tiny Ketron Island, a 10 minute paddle on a calm day.  Views to the south include Anderson Island and the mainland near Luhr Beach on the south side of Nisqually Reach.  To the north I spotted Fox Island and the Narrows Bridge.  I was in awe of views from this easily accessed beach only a ten minute drive from I-5 (Exit 119).

Soon after my student arrived, a MP (Military Police) SUV pulled up blocking our access.  Out pops a serious 20 something guy in full camo, a bullet proofed vest, and a two gun holster.  He immediately asked for our IDs.  I asked my student and she pointed out that military IDs are required to access the beach.  On my way in, there were no visible signs from the freeway to the beach stating this, only a tank crossing side by the road.  I later mentioned our encounter to Corey Dolan of Dolan's Board Sports in Tacoma. As a native Tacoma resident, he said the beach is used for combat exercises so they tend to be tight on security.

Aside from our MP encounter, the beach is along the main railway line for Burlington Northern and Amtrak.  Trains roared by every ten minutes or so.  Before launching or landing there, do your research or even contact Fort Lewis to inquire about using the beach.

Solo Point did make for a great point break on a strong southerly.  Winds seemed to funnel between Ketron Island and the mainland which like many in Puget Sound are fiord like with steep tree lined hillsides.  I surfed a few waist high waves in about 25kts of wind before heading home.


Learn more
 about my book Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juans, 60 Trips. I also offer SUP and Kayak lessons available throughout the year at Salmon Bay Paddle. Questions about paddling on the Salish Sea, give me a holler anytime at or 206-465-7167

Support the Washington Water Trails Association and the Cascadia Marine Trail. The wwta works to create and protect access for paddlers on Puget Sound as well as provide an extensive network of over 60 paddle-in camping sites -

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