A Note About The Department Of Natural Resources Campgrounds In Washington
Washingtons Department of Natural Resources manages 80 campgrounds through the state that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Though these campgrounds are free to use and are listed as such Campendium, a Discover Pass is required.
A Discover Pass gains you access to DNR properties for recreation and camping alike. The annual pass costs $35 and can be purchased online. On Campendium, these campsites have a permit required icon at the top of the page.
Why Youll Love Midway Rv Park
Midway provides anything you could possibly need during your stay. The beauty of Washington surrounds the paved camping sites, which are big-rig friendly and offer full hookups. An on-site convenience store sells anything you may need, from groceries to RV parts. Theres a country-style restaurant that serves delicious food each day. The restrooms and showers are well cared for, as are the campground roads and the laundry facilities. Last but not least, theres a rec room complete with a full kitchen, big screen TV, and plenty of games.
Artist Point Backcountry Camping
Also Best For Experienced Backcountry Snow Campers
Location: Mount Baker, about 55 miles east of BellinghamFall/Winter Season: October through MarchDogs: Not AllowedAccess: Walk-inAccessible Sites Available: No
Park at the upper parking lot at Mt. Baker Ski Area, and then make your way up to Artist Point, a well known snowshoeing route that offers unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains on clear days. The best backcountry camping on Baker is located past Artist Point at Huntoon Point, which is about 3 miles one way from where you parked. .
A mid-winter Mt. Baker sunset as seen from Artist Point.
If youre lucky, youll be able to set up camp at Huntoon Point and catch an epic sunset and sunrise between Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. Again, there are no amenities up hereits just you, the snow and the sky. Artists Point can get a bit busy, but once the sun starts to go down, youll likely be all alone with the views. Round trip, youre looking at about 3 miles up and 3 miles down, with 1,200 feet of elevation gain. The lodge at the ski resort has food, hot drinks and restrooms. Again, if youve never backcountry camped, especially during the winter months, consider joining a guided group.
Recommended Reading: Rv Camping Near Olympia Wa
Free Camping On The Olympic Peninsula
At the borders of Olympic National Park, along the coastlines, and in various parking lots the peninsula over, free camping is rather prolific.
Though youll need a Northwest Passa ticket you hang in your vehicles windshield which costs $30 and can be purchased at a variety of gas stations, forest service headquarters or onlineWashingtons Department of Natural Resources offers the best free parking in the Olympics. Free dry camping, with vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings, can be had just outside of the national park at Minnie Peterson, Bear Creek, and Lyre River Campgrounds. In addition to free, all of those spots also pick up a decent cell signal as well, should you wish to extend your stay into the work away lifestyle.
The Olympic National Forest also has free camping, such as that found along Forest Road 29. Its bare-bones, so bring your shovel, trash bags and be ready to boondock.
If you just love the sound of free but dont necessarily want to get lost in the great outdoors, 7 Cedars Casino is dry camping in a parking lot, but the usual amenities of being within walking distance to a casinos bathrooms, restaurant and gambling, apply. Nearby Walmarts in Sequim and Port Angeles also get surprisingly rave reviews for the free camping they offer.
Best Camping In Northwest Washington
Northwest Washington is known for rain yet its exactly this rain that makes it such a beautiful area to explore outdoors.
Pair the rich green forests with miles of shoreline and rugged mountains, and its easy to see why the Northwest offers some of the best camping in Washington. Summer is beautiful in the Northwest but making your camping reservations early as campgrounds fill up fast.
Here are 5 of the best places to go camping in Northwest Washington.
Read Also: Free Camping Near Coos Bay Oregon
After Beach Camping In Washington Set Your Tent Out To Dry
After your epic beach camping experience, it is essential to completely dry out your gear if you ever want to use it again.
Stuffing a wet tent back in its bag is a quick way for mold and mildew to grow, which can be toxic on your next use! We suggest taking your gear home and setting it back up in a backyard or safe area so it can completely dry.
Curlew Lake State Park Colville
The 5.5-mile Curlew Lake is set in a dry lodgepole pine forest near the town of Republic. Both Great Blue Herons and Bald Eagles nest here, and Ive seen a number of other bird species as well Curlew Lake State Park is known for wildlife watching. Another feature unique to this park is its seaplane dock. The best camping spots are walk-in tent sites on the lake.
Details: 57 tent spaces, 25 utility spaces, 2 primitive sites. $12-$37 a night. Reserve here.
Lake activities: Go swimming. Fish for your dinner this lake has a nice population of rainbow trout. They used to pan for gold here maybe its worth a try!
What to bring: Your fishing pole and a pan to fry those trout in. Bring binoculars to get a good look at the birds.
Also Check: Camping In Arkansas In November
Camping On The Olympic Peninsula
Forested campsites tucked into river bends, volcanic mountains casting shadows over soaring kingfishers, Washington is archetype camping.
For all of the Pacific Northwests dramatic landscapes, the Olympic Peninsula is perhaps the wildest. A massive Mount Olympus rises from sea level to nearly 8000, its western slope considered the wettest place in the continental US. Titans live here, some in the form of ancient trees, others as waterfalls, all in submission to their volcano overlords. Salmon live and die in their uphill battle to revisit their original delivery room so their own spawn can one day carry on the same tradition, while eagles perch pristine from branches larger than most trees found elsewhere in the world, when not choosing to become soaring silhouettes above.
Though the coast is peppered with Washington state park camping, its Olympic National Park that steals the show in this temperate rainforest.
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!
You May Like: Camping In Yellowstone In November
Salt Creek Recreation Area
Salt Creek Recreation Area
Fifteen miles west of Port Angeles on the Olympic Peninsula, Salt Creek is a county park that nearly outshines its national park neighbor. Encompassing almost 200 acres, including the eastern edge of Crescent Bay, Salt Creek offers constant views overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The campground is located near the Tongue Point Marine Sanctuary at the tip of the county park, where visitors can find some of the most diverse tide pools in the nation.
Over 90 sites comprise the two campground loops at Salt Creek, with year-round availability for most, including access to running water and flushing toilets. A must-do for any visit to Salt Creek Recreation Area, the Crescent Bay Beach is a stunning example of rugged Pacific Northwest shoreline and can be easily accessed with a short walk from the campground. For extra add-on adventure, the city of Port Angeles is a short drive away and easily earns its status as one of the best small towns in Washington.
Takhlakh Lake Sw Washington Near Mt Adams
Pronounced tac-a-lack, this beautiful lake is the only thing sitting between your campsite and Mt. Adams. Its one of the most stunning campsites in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and the season is short, so dont dally.
Details: 62 sites. $16 a night. Small RVs ok. Vault toilets, but bring your own drinking water or a filter. Ten walk-in only sites. Elevation is 4,500 feet. Reserve here for summer camping or call 1-877-444-6777.
Lake activities: No motors are permitted here, just canoes and kayaks and tranquility. A 1.5-mile hiking trail runs around the lake.
What to bring: Mosquito repellent , your trout fishing pole, and a car that can handle a few miles of washboard road.
Recommended Reading: Rv Camping Near Corpus Christi
More Related Articles On Planetwarecom
More Campgrounds in Washington: Nearly all of Washington’s state and national parks feature great campgrounds. The campgrounds of Olympic National Park match the different ecosystems found throughout the area, and Mount Rainier National Park campgrounds give access to a surplus of alpine splendor. Campgrounds in the North Cascades feature plenty of vertical terrain, and the campgrounds close to Seattle provide a quick escape from the city. If Spokane is your base for travel, our Best Campgrounds close to Spokane article is right for you.
Adventure in Washington: Alongside great campgrounds, the national parks of Washington also provide great hiking trails. Mount Rainier hiking trails and North Cascades hiking trails will both test your legs, and the hiking trails of Olympic National Park tour a wide variety of worlds, including rainforests, rugged coasts, and high-alpine environs. Many of the best hiking trails in Washington can be found in all corners of the state, as can some of the best waterfalls and best hot springs.
For white-water enthusiasts, the top-rated rafting and kayaking adventures in Washington might be right for you, and for powder hounds, the state’s best ski resorts deliver on fresh snow every winter.
Ohanapecosh Mount Rainier National Park
There are three stunning campgrounds in Mount Rainier National Park, and each is wonderful, beautiful and popular. Ohanapecosh is usually the least crowded of the three, away from the hustle and bustle of the summer crowds at Paradise and Sunrise. The main reason it tops my list is for its magical old-growth forests and the wild river that runs right through the middle of the campground. Hike the little .5 mile nature loop trail out of the campground through enormous Doug firs and hemlocks to the bubbling waters of the Ohanapecosh Hot Springs. Up the road a bit is the famed Grove of the Patriarchs trail, also an easy, flat loop to see some of the biggest trees on earth.
Details: 188 sites, 2 groups sites. $15 a night for single site. Late May early October. RVs up to 32 feet. Some tent-only sites, including several walk-ins for additional privacy. Water and flush toilets. About half the sites can be reserved in advance and half are first-come, first-serve. Reserve here.
Need a hiking guide to Mt. Rainier for your camping trips? Try Day Hiking: Mount Rainier by Dan Nelson, published by The Mountaineers Books.
Read Also: Rv Camping Near North Cascades National Park
Best Lake + River Camping In Washington
Though its hard to be exact, its estimated that theres over 70,439 miles of river that winds, tumbles, and careens its way though the state of Washington. Couple that with over 8,000 lakes, and the highest rainfall in the contiguous Unites States and youve got yourself an impressive number of waterside camping options to explore.
Washington is renowned for high alpine lakes tucked away in the North Cascades, lush, loamy placid campsites adjacent to surging rapids, and abundant opportunities to wake up next to fishing thats second-to-none. Even the most dedicated explorer could spend her whole life discovering new waterside camping. Weve assembled a starter list below you’ll find a sampling of sites in each region :
Sequim Bay State Park
Tucked away in Sequim Bay, Washington coast camping at Sequim Bay State Park offers respite from the gale winds that often batter the Pacific coastline while still giving campers the sound of saltwater lapping the shore, tidepools, and local sea life. The sites are also large enough for big rigs to pull through, and the token showers are only .50 per 3 minutes. If youre interested in boat camping this is the place! Moorage spots are available nearby in Sequim Bay.
We stopped for lunch and decided to stay the night because it was so nice. The Dyrt camper Angela A.
Read Also: Best Camping Spots Near San Antonio
Ocean City State Park
Image from The Dyrt camper Craig H.
With over 150 sites, Ocean City State Park offers campers a higher chance of snagging a spot during the high-season. Trees line most of the sites, offering shade on hot days and better protection from rain on traditional Pacific Coast days. Loop one borders a large field, making it a great option for groups or families traveling together. While there arent as many hiking trails available here, there is easy beach access to play around in the surf.
Lots of things to do in nearby Ocean Shores. There is shopping, dining, go-carts and other beaches within about a 10-15 minute drive. The Dyrt camper Allisha M.
Set Your Tent Above High Tide When Camping On The Beach In Washington
Its important to set up your tent above high tide to keep you and your gear from being swept away by the rising ocean waters. The higher the setup the better to be extra certain that a rogue wave doesnt get you in the middle of the night.
Its best if you can find some large driftwood to put up in front of your tent as an extra barrier.
Don’t Miss: Camping Niagara Falls Ny State Parks
The Columbia River Gorge And Mount Rainier
Merrill Lake: Campers seeking a quiet setting will enjoy this site, which has a reputation as the top fly-fishing area of western Washington. Due to its popularity, there is a three-day stay limit. The campground is nestled in old-growth Douglas fir on the shore of Lake Merrill, very near Mount St. Helens. Its free and provides an alternative to the more developed parks in the area, especially those along the main access roads to viewing areas of the volcano. The lake provides fishing for brown trout and cutthroat trout but is restricted to fly-fishing only, with no gas motors permitted. These restrictions make it ideal for fly fishers with prams or float tubes.
Tillicum: This pretty camp is primitive but well forested, and within walking distance of several recreation options. A 4.5-mile trail from the camp leads southwest past little Meadow Lake to Squaw Butte, then over to Big Creek. Its a nice hike, as well as an excellent ride for mountain bikers. This is a premium area for picking huckleberries in August and early September. The Lone Butte area about five miles to the south provides a side trip. There are two lakes nearby, Big and Little Mosquito Lakes, which are fed by Mosquito Creek.
Hood Canal + Eastern Olympic Peninsula
- Lake Cushman, Skokomish Park North Camp A well-equipped hike-in campground on one of Eastern Olympic Peninsulas prettiest lakes.
- Lake Cushman Resort + Campgound Ice cream, watercraft rental, beach volleyball, and a protected swimming cove elevates this campground’s popularity and makes it popular with families.
- Skokomish River, Staircase Campground Heavily shaded campsites situated close to Lake Cushman and a network of trails are popular with those looking to venture up into the eastern Olympic National Park.
You May Like: Camping World Draper Utah Reviews
Making A Reservation In National Parks And National Forests Using Recreationgov
Washington’s three national parks have varying reservation policies.
- Mount Rainier National Park has two campgrounds on the reservation system. Cougar Rock and Ohanapecosh accept reservations up to six months in advance White River and Mowich Lake are on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Only the Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park accepts reservations for the peak summer season. The rest are first-come, first-served.
- North Cascades National Park accepts reservations at Loop “C” of Newhalem Creek Campground up to six months in advance as well as at their group campgrounds a year in advance. Other campgrounds are not reservable.
National forests also having varying campground reservation policies. The cheat sheet below is only for car campgrounds, not group sites. If you are not familiar with the forests, it helps to pull out a map or to browse the Recreation.govreservation map.
- Most campgrounds in Olympic National Forest do not accept reservations. You can make reservations in Coho Campground.
Elwha Dam Rv Park: Port Angeles
Elwha Dam RV Park jokingly refers to itself as the Best RV Park next to a Dam Site, but this is a great park for local access to Washingtons best attractions. RV sites come with full utility hookups along with free Wi-Fi throughout the park. The restrooms, showers and laundry facilities are kept clean and sparkling for your enjoyment. A camp store supplies you with firewood, propane, and some RV parts. The whole campground is shaded by massive trees and patrolled by security 24/7.
The Port Angeles area is home to some spectacular sights and sounds. Olympic National Park is nearby and open for hiking, biking, or scenic drives with its coastal areas and dense old growth forests. Some of the best attractions in Olympic include Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, the Sol Duc region, Madison Falls, and the Elwha River. Itll be difficult to run out things to do at Olympic National Park.
Washington is filled with beautiful peaks, mountain ranges and waterfront destinations to find everything youd want to visit during an RVers adventures.
Read Also: Camping Near Ouachita National Forest