Tolt MacDonald Park & Campground in King County, Washington
About the Park:
The 575-acre Tolt-MacDonald Park and Campground is located in Carnation at the confluence of the Snoqualmie and Tolt Rivers in the beautiful Snoqualmie Valley. Because this is high-quality salmon habit, during the fall, visitors can observe chinook salmon spawning in the river below while eagles and osprey soaring above.
Beyond a 500-foot suspension foot bridge over the Snoqualmie River are 12 miles of forested and riverside trails connecting to an extensive network of trails in the adjacent Ames Lake Forest; a favorite mountain biking destination. For a bicycle tour of local farms, head in the opposite direction to access the 27-mile-long gravel Snoqualmie Valley Trail.
The park also features six yurts overlooking the river and seasonal camping for RVs, tents, and two large-group campsites - all with fire pits. There are also two large picnic shelters and a beautifully restored barn available for company picnics, weddings, and other special events.
Contact the Parks' Regional Scheduling Office to reserve a camping spot, a ballfield, the barn, or the picnic shelter.
Park Activities: amphitheater, ballfield, boat launch, camp container, camping site, dog walking, hiking, nature observation, mountain biking, parking lot, park office, picnic shelter,play equipment, restrooms, volunteer
Location: 31020 NE 40th St, Carnation. Park entrance is at NE 40 St and SR-203 at the south end of Carnation.
Nearby Bus Stops: Tolt MacDonald Park is served by Snoqualmie Valley Transportation along SR-203 to Carnation.
Parking: Day-use and overnight parking is available on-site. No motorized vehicle access on west side of river other than service vehicles. Park opens at dawn. Gate locked nightly at 10:00 p.m. May thru Labor Day, and at dusk Sept thru April.
Trailheads: Trailheads for the upland forest trails are across the suspension bridge over Snoqualmie River.
Interested in becoming a camp host? Our current season is filled, but we are accepting requests for potential candidates. Visit our post for more details.
Prior to white settlement of the Snoqualmie Valley in the late 1850s, this area was home to several large permanent winter villages occupied by the ancestors of members of the Snoqualmie Tribe. Snoqualmie villages were along the Tolt, Snoqualmie, and Raging Riversand the Snoqualmie people utilized many seasonal camps, as well as resource procurement and processing areas, between villages and in the surrounding uplands.
The town of Carnation was originally known as Grand Rapids when it was established in the 1860s. Carnation was later called Tolt as it developed around settler James Entwhistle’s claim. Tolt's economy centered on logging and agricultural pursuits, including hop farming, hay production, and dairying, which expanded with arrival of the Great Northern and the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroads in the early twentieth century. The town's name was changed from Tolt to Carnation in 1917 after the Carnation Milk Company. Then the name changed back to Tolt in 1928. But the post office and the railroad continued to be called Carnation and eventually Tolt reverted to Carnation in 1951.
King County bought the first publicly-owned parcels at what was to become Tolt River-John McDonald Park in the 1970s and developed the area as envisioned by Boy Scout Council Chief John MacDonald who led local efforts in one of the nation's largest bicentennial projects where more than 20,000 Boy Scouts spent some five months constructing campsites, picnic tables, and shelters. The suspension bridge was also built at this time by the Army Reserves 409th Engineering Company and today it is a treasured historic property that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Tolt-MacDonald Park was dedicated upon completion of the project in June 1976.
- Figure 1: Tolt Natural Area vicinity map
- Figure 2: Tolt Natural Area natural resources
- Figure 3: Tolt Natural Area existing conditions