Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island, Washington. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald)

Cama Beach State Park on Camano Island, Washington. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald)

Cabins at Cama Beach State Park to close indefinitely

A septic system failure forced the popular cabins to close starting Feb. 26. Visitors who had planned a trip will get refunds.

CAMANO ISLAND — Cabins and restrooms in the lower beach area of Cama Beach State Park will close indefinitely later this month.

Septic issues are to blame for the impending Feb. 26 closure at the park on Camano Island’s southwest side, Washington State Parks announced Tuesday. The park is home to 34 cabins and two bungalows.

“Significant parts of the septic system recently failed in the impacted area, and the repairs will require extensive disturbance of the ground, which has known environmental and cultural complexities,” state parks wrote in a press release.

There were “failures on multiple fronts” with the electrical system and pumps, state parks spokesperson Clare DeLong wrote in an email. Issues began to be noticed late in the summer last year. Attempted fixes “were not found to be sustainable,” DeLong added.

The parks department stopped taking reservations in October.

“This is not a decision we take lightly, especially in light of the site’s cultural significance and the park’s popularity,” the release said.

The state is looking at installing portable toilets, but water and sewer will not be available. Cama Center and other parts of the park are not affected and remain open.

The Center for Wooden Boats at the park is also closed.

The park will remain open for day use. Restrooms will be available in other parts of the park.

The site is believed to have been a seasonal Coast Salish village with access to the areas rich fishing offerings. Some estimates believe the village could date back 1,600 years.

The Treaty of Point Elliott in 1855 removed Indigenous people from the land. It then became a logging camp before a resort was built there in 1934. The state bought it in 1993.

Human remains and artifacts, believed to be those of Indigenous people, were found in 2002. Work on the park stopped in 2005 and it opened three years later after a legal battle between the state and the Tulalip Tribes.

The state park will give full refunds for patrons who already reserved cabins. Over 19,000 people stayed in cabins in 2023, about 7% of the roughly 273,000 people who visited the park last year.

Jordan Hansen: 425-339-3046;; Twitter: @jordyhansen.

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