(NOTE: This has been changed to avoid the private beaches that the Seahurst Park to Lincoln Park walk would have crossed, since we don't know if they are public to the mean low tide line, or to the extreme low tide line. The start time is 15 minutes earlier from downtown, and 30 minutes earlier at Lincoln Park. Another change is that, depending on group preferences, we're going to a restaurant in Vashon rather than bringing lunch to eat on the beach.)
We have several extreme minus tides in June, which give us the opportunity to see normally covered tide pools. Even a small minus tide is good, but these are near or better than *three feet* below the normal water level. We have a window of about 2 hours before and after the low tide time that there's good access below the normal tide line.
On Saturday June 4, just before 11am, there is a -2.7ft low tide (!!). Let's use this to explore the tide pools at Lincoln Park, then catch a ferry to Vashon Island, and continue beach exploration there. We'll finish up by heading into Vashon town center for a late lunch, then catch the ferry back to Seattle.
We'll meet in downtown Seattle at 9:00am, at the 3rd Ave & Pike St southbound bus stop, to catch the C line at 9:06am. Folks coming from further south can catch the C Line along the way, or meet us at the southbound bus stop at Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Webster St, which is near the north end of Lincoln Park, at about 9:30am. Please post a comment if you're meeting us south of downtown.
First, we'll walk the length of the Lincoln Park beach. There will be naturalists from the Seattle Aquarium, there to answer questions about the sea life exposed by the low tide. We'll stop for tide pool exploration and photography, as folks want.
We'll aim to catch the 10:45am or 11:15am ferry to Vashon. The fare is $5.30 for the trip out, and the return trip is free. The tide will be coming in when we arrive 20 minutes after departure, but we should still have about an hour and a half of good low tide zone access.
You've likely seen the posts in the comments about whether the beaches north or south of the ferry dock are accessible to the public. Given that there's a gap in time between the ferry arrival and the bus departure, we may as well have a look at the beaches near the ferry dock. The beach to the west is the one that's marked public on the WA GIS site.
We'll then turn inland back to Vashon Hwy, and catch the #118 into Vashon town center. (Note that on Vashon Island, we can flag down the bus along its route, so long as we're at a place where it's safe for the bus to stop.) We'll have lunch in Vashon, then take the #118 back to the ferry dock. We'll try for either the 2:45pm or 3:35pm ferry -- there are ferries at roughly 30-50 minute intervals. Finally, folks headed downtown can catch the C line.
If people still want more actual hiking, we could add a side-trip to Wingehaven, a former estate that's now an undeveloped park (history is linked below). It's got beach *and* a the ruins of a Spooky Abandoned Mansion. Let's see what we find out and talk about it. There might be some tricky bus timing needed. ;-)
If you have an Orcacard, it works for all the buses -- they're Metro. You can use e-purse funds for the ferry, but an ordinary bus pass doesn't include the ferry.
A note about what to wear: Expect to get your feet wet -- wear shoes that you don't mind getting wet. Closed shoes will help protect against abrasive barnacles. Caution: Do not wear flip-flops or other light sandals (srsly). If you do wear (sturdy) sandals, consider bringing along a pair of closed shoes in case the sandals aren't sufficient protection. You might want to bring a change of shoes / socks for the return trip. (Note: I just wear regular running shoes, and afterward wash them out and dry them. -- Pat)
Seattle Aquarium beach naturalists:
Vashon beach walk:
More info on Puget Sound tide pools and tides: