Fourth of July weekend brings holiday schedule, extreme tide warning for Pierce County Ferry


The Pierce County Ferry will operate on its holiday schedule July 3 and 4.

The Pierce County Ferry will operate a one-boat service. Pierce County will extend the service day on July 3 and 4 by adding a triangle departing Steilacoom at 11 p.m. to accommodate travelers. Ketron Island passengers must make a reservation by calling (253) 588-1950 at least 20 minutes in advance.

Plan ahead for extreme tides

Pierce County ferry riders in large vehicles and vehicles with low ground clearance – such as an RV, commercial truck or a vehicle towing a trailer – traveling to or from Anderson and Ketron islands for the Fourth of July weekend should plan ahead to avoid extreme tides July 3-6.

Load restrictions will be in place on some sailings during extreme tides, and riders may be asked to go on a different sailing. Extreme tides are expected during the following timeframes:

  • July 3: 5-7 a.m., 12:15-2:15 p.m., 7:20-9:20 p.m.
  • July 4: 6-8 a.m., 1-3 p.m., 8-10 p.m.
  • July 5: 7-9 a.m., 1:45-3:45 p.m., 8:40-10:40 p.m.
  • July 6: 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Ticket agents and crew will be checking all large vehicles and vehicles towing trailers that arrive during sailings affected by the extreme tides. Riders can call Ted Allen, HMS Ferries, Inc. general manager, at (253) 588-5290 to discuss which run might work best for them.

“Ferry crew and staff will work with travelers to minimize inconveniences,” Allen said. “By being conservative during extreme tides, we can avoid damage to vehicles, ramps and the ferry.”

Extreme tides are expected regularly this summer. Ferry riders in large vehicles should consider calling ahead of time for more information and to discuss their preferred sailing through Sept. 7.

Holiday weekends for the Fourth of July and Labor Day typically see increased traffic and an increase in large vehicles.

Fireworks prohibited on the ferry

Fireworks are prohibited on the ferry. Only non-aerial, non-explosive fireworks – such as sparklers – in their original packaging may be transported aboard the ferry. No fireworks of any type are allowed to be ignited on the ferry at any time.

The Pierce County Ferry System provides service between Steilacoom, Anderson Island and Ketron Island. More information about the system is available at

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