By Wyatt Martin
Tucked in the Carr Inlet, about a mile and a half southwest of Rosedale is one of Washington’s smallest State Parks, Cutts Island. The park covers the entire two acre island, which is only accessible by water. But what this park may lack in size and availability, it makes up for in its unique beauty.
For visitors wanting to explore the island itself, low-tide provides a perfect time for beach combing and wildlife watching. During seal pup season, you can find hundreds of pups playing along the sandy beaches. A hike up to the top of the island’s clay cliffs provides a stunning panoramic view of the island and its surroundings.
Visitors should keep in mind there is no potable water, garbage or sanitation on the island. So anything you bring needs to be packed back out. Additionally, overnight camping and camp fires are not permitted within the park.
Cutts Island also features an underwater marine park just a half mile to its south, known to be one of the best places for scuba diving and snorkeling in the area. Divers will see an assortment of crabs, small fish and other marine life as they explore this secluded sanctuary.
If you’re traveling to the island under your own paddle-power, an ideal place to launch a kayak or standup paddle board is Rosedale Park in Rosedale. The public kayak launch is at the end of Rosedale Street, behind Rosedale Park and the Rosedale Reformed Church in Gig Harbor. Users get a perfect view of the larger Raft Island as they paddle the 1.7 miles to Cutts Island.
Cutts island has also gone by the name of “Deadman’s Island” as it was believed to be a location where Native American tribes would place their dead. It is thought that they would leave the deceased tribe member inside a canoe, which was then left in the fork of a tree. Whether this actually occurred at this specific location is still up for debate.
So whether you’re looking to get a close up encounter with some sea creatures or simply find a nice spot to have a mid-day picnic, Cutts Island State Park is a quite paradise where you can connect with nature and not have to deal with a crowd. Next sunny day in Puget Sound, paddle the gentle waters of Puget Sound for this easy kayak tour Cutts Island State Park.