March 7, 2023 8:00 AM
Major improvements planned for Lake Sammamish State Park’s Sunset Beach
Major improvements to Lake Sammamish State Park’s Sunset Beach are going out to bid in March. New picnic shelters and access trails to revitalize popular community gathering place.
Lake Sammamish State Park is one of the most popular parks in the Seattle area for families and communities to come together and enjoy a dose of nature near the city. That’s why, in just a few weeks, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission plans to begin work on several improvements and upgrades that will revitalize the Sunset Beach area.
The project is out for bid and a contract is anticipated for award in April. Depending on the results of the bid process, Parks plans to replace old structures, provide improved ADA access to picnic shelters, upgrade event infrastructure, and pave the way for future playground renovations at the playground between Sunset and Tibbetts beaches.
Planned improvements include: Replacement of the Sunset Beach “Creek Shelter” with a new shelter, A concrete pathway to the Creek Shelter and Sunset Beach, Extend the concrete path from “Creek Shelter” to a new ADA accessible picnic area, A new shelter near the existing wooden playground between Sunset Beach and Tibbetts Beach, A new medium-sized shelter next to the playground (perfect for birthday parties!), Construct two small, covered areas inside the playground’s fenced area, Electrical connections for event infrastructure , Improved landscaping
Construction is anticipated to begin in the spring and, weather dependent, will be completed in October. Work will occur Monday through Friday during daylight hours.
The park will remain open through construction, but there will be impacts to the Sunset and Tibbetts Beach areas. The construction schedule is weather dependent and subject to change.
Visitors are encouraged to sign up for alerts and check the Lake Sammamish webpage for the latest project updates.
What to expect
Visitors can still enjoy Lake Sammamish during construction, but there are a few things to consider.
All concessions will remain open. This includes the Sunset Beach Café and its offerings of Zeek’s Pizza and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream as well as Issaquah Paddle Sports which will continue to provide watersport rentals and snack items at Tibbetts Beach.
The beaches, bath house and esplanade will remain open for use. There will be designated beach access paths and the area will be bordered by construction safety fencing.
There will also be fencing along Issaquah Creek that will restrict access near the existing Creek Shelter.
Picnic areas, playgrounds, ballfields
There will be less space for picnicking near Sunset Beach. The grassy picnic area will still be available for use but be aware that it will be bordered by construction fencing.
The main playground will remain open but may be periodically fenced off for safety during construction.
The ballfields near Tibbetts Creek will also be open for use.
Roads and parking
Construction crews will use a portion of the Sunset Beach parking lot for their equipment. Parking in this area will be limited and may cause increased overflow parking in other areas of the park.
The Tibbetts Beach parking lot will remain fully open.
General traffic congestion in the Sunset Beach area is anticipated to be worse than usual due to limited parking.