Sunrise Beach Park

Sunrise Beach Park

This park is a must-visit for a picnic or family outing. The 6.0 acre beachfront portion of the park includes designated parking areas, six picnic tables, day-use areas, 2.0 miles of walking trails and forest paths with views of Mount Rainier and Puget Sound, and beach access to the 2,400 linear foot shoreline on Colvos Passage.

Park Description

Developed areas: Sunrise Beach Park is an over 71-acre scenic site with 2,135 linear feet of shoreline. The beach provides access to a popular scuba diving destination. With a breathtaking meadow and some of the best low-tide viewing in the area.

Undeveloped Areas: There are five separate land parcels separated by public roads. Most of the property is located on the plateau between Sunrise Beach Drive and Moller Road. The plateau property consists of meadow with views of the Puget Sound and dense woodland stands with a wetland swamp.

Unless in an off-leash area, all dogs must be leashed within our parks. Report an off-leash dog or other animal issues by contacting Pierce County Animal Control.   Animal control officers are responsible for enforcing the laws and codes involving animals within our parks.

Part of the Cascadia Marine Trail System

This park is one of PenMet Parks’ waterfront sites for use with non-motorized watercraft by the Washington Water Trails Association (WWTA). Specifically, Tacoma DeMolay Sandspit is one of three of the PenMet Parks within the Cascadia Marine Trail, also including Tacoma DeMolay Sandspit Nature Preserve and Narrows Park.

Walk the Beach with Harbor WildWatch

Summer Beach Walks

Participants will leave with greater awareness and respect for the natural world and tips on how to be a good steward for the Salish Sea in and around Gig Harbor’s waterways. Join Harbor WildWatch for beach walks at Sunrise Beach Park, scheduled for July.

Park Features


Dogs on leash, trails, unmarked forest pathways


Picnic areas with tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis.


Swimming, scuba diving, fishing

Buildings & Venues

Portable restrooms on site

Natural Features

Views of Puget Sound, Vashon Island, and Mt. Rainier, waterfront beach access, wetlands/temperate swamp, wildlife


Unpaved parking


Most of what is now Sunrise Beach Park was homesteaded and purchased by the Moller brothers, Rudolph and Henry in the 1890s. The original homestead was gradually divided up among the many members of the Moller family. In the early 1970s, the idea of setting aside portions of the spectacular waterfront for public use was discussed. The Moller family felt strongly that the public should have access to the water and areas of scenic beauty.

In 1974, the park’s establishment began with Gerhard Moller’s donation of 12 acres and 724 feet of
Waterfront property to Pierce County Parks. The county also agreed to purchase the adjoining 17 acres and 360 feet of waterfront owned by Hubert and Julia Moller. In 1982 Rudolph Jr. (Rudy) and Ruth Moller donated 13 acres above the beach parcel to Pierce County Parks, with 2 acres reserved for a life estate. Rudy and Ruth Moller exchanged the 7-acre wetland parcel in 1985 to Pierce County Parks in exchange for property of equal value.

In 1986-87 Doc Weathers died and willed 33 acres of adjacent property to Pierce County Parks. His wife, Lucille, subsequently signed the community property agreement allowing the land to be donated using Doc Weathers’ name, thereby further enlarging the park.

In January of 2011, Pierce County Parks transferred the entire site known as Sunrise Beach Park to the Peninsula Metropolitan Park District. PenMet Parks continues to operate and maintain the park consistent with the wishes of the Mollers and Weathers for all the public to enjoy.

The property is one of PenMet Parks’ waterfront sites for use with non-motorized watercraft that have been adopted into the state’s Cascadia Marine Trail and supported by the Washington Water Trails Association (WWTA). Please see the WWTA’s website for more information here.

Park Rules

Download Park Use Regulations (PDF)
Download Leash Regulations (PDF)

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