Why Not Try Camping In Olympic National Park
Camping in Olympic National Park itself is honestly amazing.
Sure, its not free, but a night or two spent in the park is well worth it, especially on your first trip to the Olympic Peninsula.
There are 14 campgrounds managed by the National Park Service. Hands down, my favorite campground in Olympic National Park is Kalaloch Campground.
Not only is it just one of three that offers reservations in the summer , but Kalaloch Campground is also steps from the beach. Several campsites actually overlook the ocean .
Developed campgrounds in Olympic National Park range from $14 to $24 per night. However, there is one campground in the park thats actually free.
Another option is to camp on the beach. Several places on the Olympic Peninsula welcome backcountry beach camping.
This requires a hike in and youll be camping right on the beach, not in developed campground. Youll need wilderness camping permits. Bear-proof canisters are also required.
Know Where To Poop And Pee
Camping on the Washington coast brings special importance of disposing of human wastes properly!
Many established campsites along the Washington coast will have pre-made outhouses. Ask around to your fellow campers if youre having a hard time locating one.
No outhouse in sight? for #2, dig a cathole about 6-inches deep, do your business, and then put the dirt back on your hole. This will help it decompose faster. Make sure to pick a spot at least 200 feet from any water source, and yes, this includes the Pacific Ocean.
Click here to read more about how to do your business on the coast, and how to make as little impact as possible!
A Complete Guide To Camping In Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is one of the west coast’s most popular destinations, drawing visitors from around the globe. And despite its international appeal, there is still plenty of room to roam without fear of overcrowded trails and campgrounds.
All of the campgrounds within the park’s boundaries, with the exceptions of Kalaloch and Sold Duc Campgrounds, are operated on a first-come, first-served basis. However, due to the crowds at some of these campgrounds, they can be overrated. And with so many nearby “overflow” campgrounds that are often overlooked by tourists and are in equal proximity to the park’s natural wonders, it’s worth taking a broader view of the camping options in and around Olympic National Park.
To get you ready for the summer camping season, we’ve assembled a complete guide to all of the established campground options on the peninsula. The list includes our favorite campgrounds, other campgrounds within the park, overflow camping options, and even the lodging options for those of you who may not want to sleep quite so close to the ground. And if you’re planning to avoid car camping and would prefer to hike-in to a more serene backcountry campsite, we have you covered.
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Free Dispersed Camping Near Olympic National Park
If you dont want to stay in the park, there are multiple free dispersed camping sites located in the Olympic National Forest. This is a great place to stay if you have pets, want to save money, or if youre looking for less rigid campground regulations.
Camping in the National Forest requires that you follow leave no trace principles such as packing out all of your trash. These campgrounds within the national forest are free and come equipped with vault toilets:
What To Know About Free Camping
When looking for a free camping spot, there are a few important things to keep in mind. Above all else, youll want to verify that the area is legal for public camping. Often ranger stations will have Bureau of Land Management maps indicating allowed access areas.
Then scout out your desired location to ensure you and your equipment can safely navigate the terrain. Finally, if you choose to stay, obey all posted rules and follow leave no trace principles.
The Best Free Camping Near Olympic National Park
Are you heading out to Olympic National Park for some exceptional camping and hiking?
The only thing better than visiting a beautiful National Park is scoring a great camping spot nearby. Finding a free camping spot allows you to save some money while still enjoying the nature you came for.
Weve got some great suggestions for you. Lets explore!
Other Places To Camp For Free On The Olympic Peninsula
The Olympic National Forest and DNR-managed land are far from the only places to camp for free on the Olympic Peninsula.
The Hoh River Trust is another excellent option, although its a trek to reach. Its a beautiful area though . Its best for tent camping as the unpaved road into the campsites is quite rough.
Additional options for RV boondocking can be had at the Walmart in Port Angeles as well as the Walmart in Sequim. As far as Im aware, overnight parking is still allowed at both locations, although its always wise to call ahead to double check.
Although its not completely free, boondocking at Quinault Beach Resort & Casino costs just $10 Sunday through Thursday .
Its located at the far southwest end of the Olympic Peninsula near Ocean Shores. The beach is just a short walk away from the overnight RV parking lot.
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Pick Your Campsite Wisely
Know your comfort level in the wilderness and choose wisely. The best campsites Ive ever stayed at have ALL been on primitive/BLM land. At the same time, for brand new outdoorsmen and women with families, this may not be the best option. If you decide to go and youre new to this, read and have a copy of the instructions below.
Remember to LEAVE NO TRACEbe respectful of the land, and only bring in what youre able to pack out.
First Second And Third Beach In La Push
Region: Olympic Peninsula
Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bainbridge Island Ferry, then the Clallam Transit Strait Shot to the Gateway Transit Center in Port Angeles. From there, take the 14 to Forks, then the 15 to the end of the line in La Push.
Travel time from downtown Seattle: Six or seven hours, based on catching the 9:35 a.m. ferry to Bainbridge Island from Colman Dock. Add an hour for Saturday trips. If you hurry, you can use your transfer time in Port Angeles to catch the 20 to the Olympic National Park visitor center for your wilderness camping permit .
Transit-accessible on weekends: Saturdays only.
Total transit fare: $34.50 round-trip .
Accommodations: While these beaches are technically backpacking trips, youre probably already packed for itand beach camping on First Beach is just a short walk away. To get a little farther out, hike an hour or two to Second or Third Beach. While it assumes driving, this rundown from REI has more information on the trip.
Region: Kitsap County
Transit route from downtown Seattle: Take the Bainbridge Island Ferry from Colman Dock, then take Kitsap Transit route 96 to the park. Its about 20-minute walk to the park.
Travel time from downtown Seattle: Roughly an hour and a half.
Transit-accessible on weekends: No, but if you dont mind a longer walk, Kitsap Transit Route 90 runs on Saturdays and stops an hour-long walk away, or its a 45-minute bike ride from the ferry terminal.
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Free Dispersed Camping In Olympic National Forest
Olympic National Forest is broken up into several non-contiguous districts surrounding Olympic National Park.
The two main districts are the Hood Canal Ranger District and the Pacific Ranger District .
Dispersed camping is available throughout Olympic National Forest. This is one of the best ways to camp for free on the Olympic Peninsula, especially if you prefer primitive camping outside of a developed campground.
Unfortunately, Olympic National Forests boundaries are a little more difficult to ascertain than other national forests. And, remember, you must be within the forests boundaries to legally dispersed camp dispersed camping is not allowed in the national park.
Personally, Ive had a lot of luck dispersed camping near Lake Wynoochee, Lake Cushman, and east of Forks. However, there are countless Olympic National Forest dispersed campsites Ive yet to explore.
Not interested in dispersed camping? You can still camp for free in Olympic National Forest.
Top 10 Campgrounds And Rv Parkslos Angeles Ca
Los Angeles is one of the most iconic cities in the world. There are dozens of different RV parks in the Los Angeles, CA area and these RV parking locations are close to popular tourist destinations like Disneyland and Hollywood. Youll find quite a few campgrounds in Los Angeles, CA if you venture out into the surrounding mountains in a rented RV or an RV that you own.
These Los Angeles campgrounds are close to the big city, but they also serve as great places to start on a wide-ranging California RV adventure in the beautiful, moderate, California weather. In the following list, weve compiled ten of the best RV parks in Los Angeles for exploring this famous city or for venturing further afield.
- 120 # of RV Sites: 177 Full Hookups: Yes 30/50 Amp: Both Back-in/Pull-through Sites: Both Pool/Hot tub: No Showers: Yes Pets Allowed: Yes Cell Reception: Strong signal on all carriers Playground Clubhouse
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Prepare For A Super Wet/windy Night When Beach Camping In Washington
Weve been to the Olympic Coast often enough to know that the weather can take a turn for the worse at any moment.
When you prepare for the worst, you are pleasantly surprised when things turn out not so bad! This was the case for Berty and I when we went beach camping at La Push Second Beach.
With only a little bit of rain, we had a mostly calm and comfortable night. To be safe, bring a sturdy rain jacket, extra socks, and warm layers!
Here Is The Best Camping In Olympic National Park
Camping in Olympic National Park is one of the best ways to explore the breathtaking Olympic Peninsula.
A wide range of campsites are available. You can stay inside or just outside of the park. Choose between developed campgrounds, backcountry campsites, and dispersed camping areas.
Now, lets dive right in and help you find the best campsite!
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Proximity To The Main Road
Is the site right on the highway or tucked behind trees or even further down the road? We personally never stayed on turns out directly on the highway for reasons I mentioned before. Whenever I saw free camping that had words like turnout or it actually did quite at night I knew it meant the site was near a lot of traffic and wasnt a good fit
Camping On Public Lands
BLM-managed lands offer numerous opportunities for camping under the stars ranging from staying in an RV at a highly developed campground to simply throwing a sleeping bag on the ground in the backcountry. No matter what type of experience you are looking for, you can find it on BLM-managed public lands.
At many locations the BLM provides developed facilities for camping. Campgrounds may include a variety of facilities, such as restrooms, potable water, electrical hookups, picnic areas, garbage cans, tent pads and group shelters. However, many campgrounds do not have all of these amenities and may only have a picnic table and fire ring. Make sure to check the campgrounds website or call the appropriate field office when planning your trip.
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But Set Up A Fire Below High Tide
Setting up a fire below high tide will naturally wash away any debris from the fire.
While visiting the station, the park rangers at Port Angeles gave us this helpful trick. She said fires built below high tide actually help keep the beach clean.
Making your fire below the high tide like actually keeps natural debris under control. Allowing the ashes wash away helps keep the sand and surrounding area clean. And plus, no one wants to step on fire pit leftovers!
Here are some tips for preparing a low-impact Washington beach camping fire:
- When gathering firewood, use the 4 Ds of Campfires from the LNT Blog: Dead, Down , Distant and Dinky .
- Make sure firewood in no bigger than your forearm and NEVER burn huge logs.
- Do not burn trash in your fire pit.
- Burn the fire all the way down, until only ash is left.
Dispersed Camping Near Olympic National Park
Dispersed camping is another option for camping near Olympic National Park.
Also known as wild camping, dispersed camping is camping outside of a designated campground.
This means you wont have any normal campground amenities such as running water or bathrooms. Remember to always follow the leave no trace principles .
Dont forget that camping is only allowed in certain areas. On the Olympic Peninsula, its generally restricted to the Olympic National Forest.
The best thing about dispersed camping? Its free!
Another option for free camping on the Olympic Peninsula is to stay at a DNR campground.
There are 12 DNR campgrounds on the Olympic Peninsula. Each requires a Discover Pass which costs just $30 per year. Other than that, they are free to use.
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Kolob Reservoir Dispersed Camping
Summary – BLM lakeside camping, roughly 20 minutes further up the road from Lava Point.
Pros – Beautiful area with TONS of privacy. Youll find beautiful aspen tree groves surrounding the far end of the lake, making this area exceptionally beautiful during a lush, green spring or early summer season. No reservations are ever needed, and theres literally no limit to where you can set up a tent, so its a great backup option for a beautiful, open campsite if your other options fall through.
Cons – No bathrooms or facilities whatsoever. Being quite a bit higher in elevation than the Zion valley floor, nights will be noticeably colder. Its also nearly a 45 min. drive each way from Hwy 9, adding quite a bit of extra time if you’re trying to access Zion National Park early the next day. You wont find a single gas station along the way, so fill up in town before you make the trek.
Directions – Continued from our last example, if you continue following Kolob Terrace Rd. all the way up , youll eventually run into Kolob Reservoir, where you can camp anywhere theres a dirt pull-out.
What To Bring With You
If you havent figured it out yet, wild camping means youlll be off the grid. You wont find ADA accessible ramps, dump stations, picnic tables or shiny bathrooms here. Some site may have fire rings but thats about it.
Youll need to pack in everything you need to use
- Wet wipes
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Where To Find Dispersed Camping In Washington
Public land, rest stops, parking lots, oh my! Washington has a wide variety of free campsites. Some are best suited for a quick nights sleep when youre passing through, but others are begging for you to settle in for a week or more and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
Washington earns its nickname of the Evergreen State honestlyit has a lot of trees! If you rely on solar, keep a close eye on our Campendium community reviews to ensure your chosen location has enough sun access to keep you charged up and ready to go.
Steiner Flat Primitive Campground
The Trinity River is the longest tributary of the Klamath, and Steiner Flat gets campers can literally pitch a tent on its banks for no fee. Visitors can hike in the nearby Trinity Alps Wilderness or take to the river to swim, paddle, or even pan for gold. Theres no water at this site, but the BLM does maintain vault toilets.
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Salt Creek Recreation Area
Salt Creek Recreation Area in Clallam County is another great place for camping near Olympic National Park. Located on a high bluff overlooking the Puget Sound, 73 of the campgrounds 92 campsites have a view of the water. Most sites accommodate RVs, although there are a few tent-only sites. Reservations are accepted during the peak season.
Learn more about Salt Creek Recreation Area.
Free Camping Weekend In Appreciation Of Our Koa Rewards Campers
We’ve got a special weekend offer just for KOA Rewards holders! KOA Rewards campers staying Friday, September 9, 2022 get Saturday, September 10 FREE* at participating KOA locations. Just a small token of our appreciation to you, our amazing campers, for sharing your adventures with us!
When: September 9-10, 2022
What: KOA Rewards holders stay as a paying guest on Friday, September 9 at any participating KOA campground and get Saturday, September 10 for FREE*
Why: KOA Rewards Weekend is designed exclusively for KOA Rewards campers to say thanks for your loyalty and for trusting your camping memories to us. On this late-summer weekend, we gather to celebrate friends, family and fun in the great outdoors we all adore.
*Only at participating KOA locations. Applies to one-site per a KOA Rewards account, for two consecutive nights at the same KOA. Sites may be limited. Not valid with other discounts.
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