The Powder Docks a.k.a. The Cheese Factory

 Entrance to Powder Dock road


Latest Update!!!  The land has now been developed into the Target Stores west coast distribution warehouse, bigger than the pentagon.  The Olympia Cheese factory also mentioned in this article is now closed.

This area is located on the northeastern part of Thurston County. This area is actually a vast chunk of land running from Hogum Bay Road all the way to the shore of the Puget Sound. This property was the location for the horse racing track that was proposed but turned down for the site in Auburn. What I believe to be a major loss to the Thurston County community as this property is now slated to be turned into a planned community.

It gets it’s name because of where one of the entrances is and the main feature of this area. The main entrance is located right next to the Cheese Factory off of the turn where Hogum Bay Road and 31st Ave meet. The entrance is usually blocked off with a metal gate, but there usually is a way around it. There are several other entrance points surrounding the massive acreage, you’ll have to drive around, or bring in the 4×4 to find the best entrances. The Powder Dock name comes from the prime party location about 3 miles down the dirt road. It is an old abandoned pier stretching out into the Puget Sound, once used for shipping gun powder during World War II.

Second entrance to area (bypasses gate)


The property is about 400 to 500 acres, and can sure pack them in. There are prime spots for full fledged get downs and in some areas you can be as loud as you want to be, though the coyote’s will probably join in as well. The best area to have the most fun though is at the ridge just before the Powder Dock. It’s the farthest that you can drive and is up on a cliff about 100ft from the shore over looking Anderson Island and the Nisqually delta. This area is populated by the Beach Crest residential area and the sound travels across the valley so the noise levels should be kept down during the night time. This is got to be another one of the best places to go for a relaxing and a fun time. Camp fires can be built along the out look area, but fire wood is scarce. Camping spots are readily abundant throughout the whole area, though I suggest one farthest away from the residential areas. Access to the beach is just a walk down the washed out road. It’s possible with a ladder to get up onto the pier but I’d suggest being extremely careful. When the tide is out there is an old sunken fishing vessel that can be walked around. Your head will be overwhelmed with the sights here so be prepared!

I had many fun nights with friends here at this place. This was also a popular place. It was so large that even though it was popular we had only run into campers once in the many years we would hang out here.  In the north east corner you could park your car and watch as people came and went into the area. Also had many fun nights taking a friends small Ford Fiesta where you would have thought only 4×4 trucks could get into. And a most memorable story of a friend nearly falling off a cliff into the Puget Sound. This place was truly a good time for us all. Unfortunately, these are the only two photos I have of this place.