The Best Camping in Washington
Exploring the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest means choosing between beaches and deserts, forests and volcanos, lakes and prairies. Camping in Washington is a chance to greet nature up close and sleep in some of the most beautiful land in North America. The biggest challenge? Deciding where to start.
The Cascade Mountains run down the center of Washington like a spine. A handful of highways cross the crest in parallel lines, all running from the evergreens of the west side to the wide open grasslands of the east. Camping in Washington is available along every route, like the state parks that dot I-90 and North Cascades National Park that hugs Highway 20.
Take Highway 2 over Stevens Pass to find old-growth trees around each spot at Money Creek Campground, plus a view of a classic metal train trestle. Fill each day with hikes through the Cascade forest, perhaps on a stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail where it passes the Stevens Pass Mountain Resort ski area. Head east of Stevens Pass to verdant Lake Wenatchee State Park for wooded campsites near the shores of a placid mountain lake and a stable inside the park offering trail rides through the summer. BYO kayak or rent one here.
Sometimes camping in Washington means getting off the beaten track to explore the quiet corners of the state. Take a forest road in Olympic National Park to find a green haven of mossy logs and curious chipmunks, or head north around Mount Baker, the Cascades’ northernmost volcano, for boat-in campsites around Baker Lake. In winter, the snowy expanse of Artist Point near Mount Baker' offers killer views of rugged glaciers for intrepid snow campers and backcountry skiers.
There are spectacular overnights to be had in the Pacific Northwest’s national and state parks, not to mention the remote U.S. Forest Service lands that blanket this corner of the country. Stock up on s’mores and firewood (when and where rules allow) and pitch a tent under the stars and go camping in Washington for the trip of a lifetime.