North Lake Tapps County Park

alert

Limitations in effect due to overcrowding beginning August 20

It is no secret that our area beaches and trails have been experiencing unprecedented overcrowding throughout the summer.  As a result, many parks have had to close or significantly modify services to keep visitors safe and healthy.

 

Over the past week we have received a large number of complaints about overcrowding, hazardous parking, and an extreme lack of social distancing at North Lake Tapps County Park.  The parking lot is filling on weekdays and weekends by 9:30 a.m., and large number of visitors are parking along 198th Ave. as well as 9th St./12th St. and walking into the park.  This is creating significant traffic hazards and pedestrian safety issues in the roadways and neighborhoods surrounding the park.

 

Effective Thursday August 20, 2020, entrance to North Lake Tapps County Park will be restricted once the parking lot has reached capacity.  Walk-ups will not be allowed to access the park and will be turned away at the entrance on 9th St.  Additional visitors will only be allowed to access the park once there is available space in the parking lot.


We are asking visitors to be patient and to work with the park staff and our deputies to ensure that the park can remain open and safe.  Several popular parks in South King County have closed completely due to overcrowding.  Pierce County knows its citizens value their parks and want to keep them open, accessible and safe for residents to enjoy.  Pierce County Parks Department and the Pierce County Sheriff are implementing these limitations so North Lake Tapps County Park can remain open to visitors throughout the summer.

North Lake Tapps Park
2022 - 198th Ave. E.
Bonney Lake, WA 98391 

(map)


About the Park

This popular swimming and boat launch area is located on the north side of Lake Tapps. A largely undeveloped 135 acre site with approximately 10,000 feet of waterfront access including a sandy swimming area. North Lake Tapps County Park offers spectacular views of Mount Rainier to the south and is a great place for kids and adults to swim. 


After six months of construction, shoreline access and parking improvements were completed in July of 2020. The list of improvements include:

  • New bulkhead which allows for easier water access, and a new pocket beach that gives park visitors an additional way to access the water. 
  • New extended boat ramp for easier water access. This improvement also makes it easier for Pierce County Sheriff deputies to conduct low-water rescues, enhancing visitor safety. 
  • Newly added restroom building, picnic tables, BBQ grills, and coal dumps.
  • New peninsula walking path which ends at a Mt. Rainier viewpoint. 
  • Addition of a rocky shoreline along the pocket beach and the replacement of invasive weeds with native plants along the new walking path.  

Many of the improvements earn high marks for sustainability. The improved bulkhead and boat ramps will reduce maintenance time for backfilling and repairs. Water-efficient irrigation will reduce the amount of water used and will decrease personnel time to hand water. A goose management control device has been added that will reduce personnel time cleaning up goose droppings, which will improve visitor experiences. 


Park Amenities:

  • Barbecue grills and coal dumps 
  • Beach access
  • Boat ramp
  • Seasonal concession stand
  • Picnic tables
  • Restrooms
  • Trails
  • Peninsula walking path which ends at a Mt. Rainier viewpoint 

Reservations are NOT accepted at North Lake Tapps County Park. All accessible picnic/park areas are first-come, first-served.


Park Hours

During the summer months, come early on hot days and weekends. Parking is limited and the gates are closed to vehicles and boats when parking is full.


  • Beginning July 13, 2020 park hours extended from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily; Entry to park ends at 7:00 p.m.

Boat Launch Ramp Availability

Normally the lake is not at full capacity until late May. Mid to late September the lake level will begin to lower a foot per day.


  • Beginning July 13, 2020, boat launch operates from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • The boat launch will close again November 2020 - March 2021.

Cascade Water Alliance controls the draining and refilling of the water level at Lake Tapps. View current water levels from Cascade Water Alliance’s website.


Park Fees

Before heading up to the park it is important to know what is available to you and your family.  The boat launch and trailer parking are open for public use.  Launch parking is $15.00 and we are asking boaters to limit their stay to 4 hours to allow others to use the launch and enjoy the lake. Restrooms throughout the park will be open and available for use. Vehicle parking is $7.00 and $3.50 for seniors, however due to the limited space available, we are asking visitors to limit their stay to 2 hours.  


Thank you for your support and patience through this phased reopening period, we hope that you continue to stay safe, follow proper social distancing, and keep yourself and others healthy.



Directions

The park is located at 2002 198th Avenue East, off of 12th Street East in Sumner. (map)


Directions From I-5 

  • Take exit 127 (Puyallup / Mt. Rainier) and head east to Highway 512
  • Merge onto WA-167 North towards Seattle
  • Take the Stewart Road / 8th Street East exit toward Pacific / Milton
  • Turn east (right) onto 8th Street East / Stweart Road SW
  • 8th Street East / Stewart Road SW becomes Lake Tapps Parkway East
  • Lake Tapps Parkway East becomes 9th Street East
  • Go approximately one block to entrance of park

From SR 410 in Sumner

  • Take the 166th Avenue East exit and head north (left) on 166th
  • Stay on Sumner Tapps Highway as it bends east (right) and turns into 16th Street East. Then it will bend north and turn into 182nd Avenue East
  • Turn right on 9th Street East which bends gradually and turns into 12th Street East
  • Turn right on 198th Avenue East and go approximately one block to park entrance