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.
I'm not sure what the other reviewer is talking about regarding a lake, as this ridge is at 6000' above sea level and there's no lake there. Granted, it's been a few years since I've camped here, but there's no lake.
We camped here for a free a few times. The Forest Service added some improvements and tacked on an $8 per night fee - still a bargain. The campground is on a road, but the road gets very little use at night.
We've hiked in the area, and it's a real treat. There are springs, and there is nothing better on a hot day than the cold water coming out of a spring. During one visit, The Hubs brought his telescope & spent a chilly night stargazing. The southern end of the camping area has an unobstructed 240(ish) degree view of the sky, facing south. The nearest town is too far & too small to create any loom, so on a moonless night it's incredibly dark here.
Expect this campground to be very busy during hunting season.
Although it's named after Big Meadow Creek, this campground primarily lies on the Chiawawa River. There's no fee and from the looks of things, no services. If you're okay with roughing it and you either have the campground to yourself or the neighbors are good, it's not bad. There's a single outhouse that I imagine gets pretty ripe when it's warm. I'm not sure I'd use it. (If you're pooping in the wild, remember you need to be at least 200' from water & dig an appropriate hole for your poop. Pack out your TP.)
There's a site right on the river that's tiny; it looks like the river bank has eaten away at the site. One of the trees in this site is marked with a mining claim. In other words, DO NOT PAN FOR GOLD HERE. There's a good-sized site next to it. Both sites have trees that'll support a hammock. There are two other sites. The one closest to Big Meadow Creek has the most privacy.
This campground isn't on the gazetteer I keep in my truck, but there's a sign for it along Meadow Creek Road. From there, take FS Rd 6300 & follow the signs. Coordinates, according to my USGS 7 1/2 map: 47.86813 N, 120.69305 W
NOTE: The US Forest Service web page says this campground is closed. However, there is no gate across the road nor any indication they consider people accessing the campground to be trespassing. If you're considering a stay, it's probably best to contact the Rangers Station first.
This campground does not have public access. You must be a member or a guest of a member to enter. There is lake access and a boat ramp, camp office, seasonal restaurant, indoor pool (extra fee), bathhouses with showers, laundry facilities, and a dump station for RV’s.
There are so many options for campsites here. The description says 15 but I would guess there are hundreds of sites throughout this entire area, you just have to know where to find them. Granted, not all of them are as close to the bathrooms as one may hope.
Definitely bring some jugs of water with you. Most of the sites don't have quick access to water, however the Naches River makes for a good source. I believe recently they started charging per car for people staying at the sites, but it's worth it as they do have forest managers who devote their time to taking care of the area. Dirt bikers of the area tend to take over some sites, so if you are just going there to camp be prepared for the sound of dirt bikes throughout the day
It was the only place in the area we could find last minute. Never been to a KOA before, but they are definitely for a particular type of camper. This place was LOUD during the day with kids running around and walking through our small tent campsite. All the tent sites were right by the playground. Cabins were offered, RV sites and hookups, lots of amenities for kids. Not my thing but the staff was friendly upon check in.
I used to live in Bellingham years ago and had never camped here before. It's only a few miles from town, so you could head in there for a day away from the forest/beach, or you could hike one of the many trails leading to scenic views. Easy beach access, playground for kids, dog friendly. Bring earplugs if you're a light sleeper, the train tracks are right there.
Ranger Review: Aftershokz Trekz Air at Douglas Falls Grange Park
Wow! Wow! Wow!
First off, a bit about the campground itself. It is owned by the local grange, right next to the Colville National Forest. It is free with a Discover pass. The discover pass is $10 for a day or $30 for a year and needed for a lot of parks in Washington. It is also located just outside of Colville, where you can get anything you need. There is about 8-15 sites. Why don’t I know? Well the campground loop intercepts the day use area, and what is a site, compared to the day use area, we can’t tell. On the main campground loop there is 8 sites. In the day use area, site #9 appears to be the only marked ADA accessible site, though many of the others seem just as accessible. Site #10 and #11 are a slight downhill walk from the parking area. Site 10 does not have a clear parking spot, where all of the other sites do. Site #12 is basically in the parking lot. When we arrived we drove the main loop and there were a few other campers, then we came to the day use area and site #12 had a tent pitched there. There is a short car road that is a one way access with additional sites #13 #14 and #15, this road was closed, but may open in the future. There were black table cloths on the tables, indicating not to use. All sites have a fire ring, and picnic table. Some have a cute log bench right next to the fire.
There is no garbage service at this campground. Pack it in, pack it out, please, leave no trace. There are vault toilets supplied with plenty of toilet paper, they were very clean and have an air freshener that almost makes you forget you are in a vault toilet! There is a huge field with a backstop for baseball/softball, a covered picnic area, Horseshoes, hiking trails (with the main one being a 1.5 mile nature loop) and the highlight was a gorgeous 60 foot waterfall that you can see from the parking lot or take short walk to. There is also a pretty cool suspension bridge!
I had low expectations of this place, but I was very surprised! We took site #10 which is about 20 feet away from the upper portion of the falls. This site is a short walk from the parking lot, so you do have to walk your gear in. The only other site in this area is #11 and it is a good distance away. From our site there is a small trail that leads to the main trail which goes to the top of the falls. If you take the main trail from the look out to the right there is access to the bottom of the falls. I listened to the waterfall all night and it was so peaceful and soothing I slept peacefully. The moon light over the falls was amazing, I wish I had my good camera! Did I mention the wildlife? Hawks, deer, super squirrels, Eagles, Chipmunks, Robins, Magpie and more!
Over all, I hated it, you shouldn’t go there so I can have it ALL to myself! But really, this is a fantastic place to camp. It’s a beautiful piece of land, with so much to see and do. Go, have fun, and thank me later!
Aftershokz Trekz Air- Bone Conduction Headphones.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, sometimes I have the opportunity to review new products in exchange for an honest review. At this campground I tested Aftershokz Trekz Air- Bone Conduction Headphones. https://aftershokz.com/collections/all/products/trekz-air
These headphones are a wave of the future. Instead of sitting in your ear like most headphones, they sit on your jawbone. They are Bluetooth, so that means wireless! They are super easy to pair and connect with your phone. As with all technology, it is really best to charge them straight out of the box. The colored light on the side of the headphone is red if it is not charged or blue if it’s fully charged. The pads that sit on your jawbone sends vibrations through the bone to your year. They come in sleek colors, and they are so lightweight and comfortable you can forget they are there. The point of these headphones is to be able to hear the outside world around you and still listen to your tunes. This keeps you attentive to other people in the office or, in my case, able to hear your music over roaring waterfalls on the trail.
I had never heard of bone conduction technology before these headphones, and I certainly will remember now. These are funky and fresh. I love them, I love that they stay on my head while on the go, no cords to untangle and get in the way, or earbuds to pop out of my ear while walking. If you are not moving, the vibrations can be a little intense at higher volumes or songs with more bass, it makes it feel a little strange. They have a six hour battery life, and only takes about an hour and a half to charge. I also wish that there was a voice control in these as well so I could continue being hands free and answer the phone, skip songs or pause, at the same time. I hear that it’s in the works though, so I’m willing to wait. Plus, the button controls are easy to use, so it’s not a deal breaker. They come with a great carrying bag, ear plugs (if you don’t want to hear the world around you, you can use the earplugs to intensify to the volume of the Trekz Air.) and a charging cord. They also have a great warranty, return and exchange policy. There also arrived super quickly, I have been able to use them for a few weeks before the review, giving me the opportunity to get used to them and form an opinion.
These are by far the best headphones I have ever had and I don’t think I can go back to earbuds. I would definitely recommend these to anyone!
The campground is right by the lake and offers walk-in sites that are literally on the lake shore. The best site in my opinion is 72, which is not directly on the lake shore but has a great view and good tree coverage. All sites have a fire pit, tent pad, and picnic table. There are very clean bathrooms close to all sites and clean running water. The campsites are very close together and can be next to RVs. Walk-in sites are less likely to be next to RVs.
One of my new favorite campgrounds I found while researching for the Dyrt was Douglas Falls Grange Park. I must admit I was sceptical on my way up there as there isn't much on the net about it and it is less than 5 miles from Colville, a decent size town. I was more than pleasantly surprised to find a well kept oasis that gives the feeling of being far from civilization. I saw no sign of noise/light pollution from the town 5 min. away, on the other side of the mountain.
Probably the most notable feature of this campground is its namesake, Douglas Falls. There are views of it from the parking lot as well as trails to the top and base with access to other trails. Another nice thing about this place is the extensive day use facilities. There is a groomed field with backstop, next to a covered group of tables and bathrooms.
I saw around 15 sites total with 2 clearly marked for day use and one was ADA. They mostly offered good spacing and sometimes even seclusion. My favorite sites were 10 and 11 as they were closest to the waterfall, tho many of the others seemed great also. There were bathrooms and potable water centrally located in both sections of the park. Since it is a state run park, camping is free for up to 7 days if you have a Discover pass, which is $10 a day, $30 for the year, or free from a wa public library! Keep in mind all sites are first come first served with no reserving, so show up early.
If you find you need a change of pace while camping here there is the aforementioned town of Colville just 5 minutes away with a walmart, several grocery stores, and even a drive-in theatre! It also has many other little shops and eateries. About 15 minutes on the other side of Colville is the Columbia river which provides lots of opportunities for hiking, swimming, boating, and fishing plus more activities.
Overall this campground is great and I hope you are able to get the same wonderful experience I did from it.
Cape Disappointment is not disappointing at all. Each camp site has its own fire ring and picnic table. Restrooms are in close proximity to the campsites. It’s a beach campground so remember the weather is going to be beachy. It is rustic but the restrooms are always clean though old.
Potholes State Park is located in Central Washington, a bit south of Moses Lake. The climate is arid desert so expect hot days, cool nights, and occasional gusty winds. The park itself has some fun features and if you are into fishing or wildlife watching, I found it to be a great spot for both. The campground is divided into RV or hookup sites, a separate area for tent sites with some cabins mixed in, and a large day use section with a boat launch, restrooms with showers, a huge tree filled lawn with picnic tables, and a pretty fun little play ground. You can reserve ahead on the Washington State Parks reservation website. We did not make a reservation and there were a lot of open sites when we arrived on Saturday, even with the beautiful weather. I strongly doubt that will be the case as the summer continues. I would check ahead to see what you can get before heading out.
The RV sites have power, water, and sewer. They are arranged like a wheel, you drive around the small center and the other trailers are the spokes in the wheel. There is no barrier between you and your neighbor, but all the sites are grassy and the loops are surrounded by a ring of poplar trees. There is a bathroom with flush toilets and token operated showers centrally for all to share. There are 6 wheels like this, a total of 60 RV sites just opposite of the boat launch and day use area.
We stayed in the primitive or tent sites in the lower area of the campground. The sites along the water are in full sun most of the day, so be aware if that's not your thing. The sites along the inner part of the loop have a mix of poplars and other trees. That provides some shade and tress for a hammock. No designated tent pad, but plenty of flat spots. All have a picnic table and fire ring. Not a ton of privacy, but it's much more secluded than the RV sites. Also, the bathrooms down here are vaults. No hand washing or showers for us, at least without a walk. There is a loop towards the group tent site and another towards the boat launch, for a total of 61 sites. Mixed into the primitive sites are cute cabins with air conditioning, if you really want to get away from the heat!
When we arrived, the Ranger at the park office offered to let us drive down and choose what site we wanted. I was sure from looking online, that I wanted one by the water. Once we got to the site I chose, we realized that we would be baking in the hot sun all day with no relief. It was at the beginning of the loop so we got the traffic and dust from everyone driving by and we were right on top of neighbors on either side. My husband went up to see if we could move and the Ranger was so nice! It was no problem to move across the road to a shaded site with trees so we could hang out and put up our hammocks. We had no neighbors the entire time. It got a little noisy on Saturday night with the sounds of other campers having fun, but by Sunday night we were alone and when we left on Monday, there was one other camper in our end of the tent loop with us.
We encountered lots of animals in the park. The bird sounds are incredible. I wish I would have made a recording. Mourning doves, quail, robins, and red wing blackbirds among the many. Deer walked through the campground and beavers and otters were swimming in the reservoir while we did some fishing from the group camping area. We did not encounter too many bugs, but the season is still early. We did see two snakes. One swimming towards us while we were fishing on the boat, the other in our camp site. This was a baby rattlesnake, not a gopher snake. My husband noticed it as he walked by our picnic table because it hissed at him. It was curled up underneath. Very angry with us and ready for a fight when we got a stick to move him. It put up a good fight. I am just glad we noticed it before we stepped too close in shorts and sandals! I want to be clear, this is not anything against the park. You are in snake country and this is that animals home. Just be aware especially if you have little kids running around.
We went to Potholes to go fishing with some friends on the reservoir for Walleye and Bass. If fishing is your thing, this park is great. You don't need a boat either. There are plenty of shore fishing spots and hiking trails to pass the time. The businesses right beyond the park have good food, a bar, gas, a golf course, and really good ice cream! I love this area of Washington and I can't wait to go back.
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, from time to time I get awesome products to put to the test while camping. On this trip, I got to test the RovR RollR 60 Cooler. Check out the product website here: https://rovrproducts.com/product/505229344820/6841244385332
First, the basic stats on this RovR RollR 60. This is a 60 quart capacity, rotomolded body cooler. It has foam insulation and an airtight gasket. It has a fast flow drain plug and is certified bear resistant. It sports all terrain, puncture resistant tires and has an aluminum dual sided padded handle so you can pull it from either side and not clip your heels. The color offering is green, orange, white, or pink at least for this size. The fun features that really set it apart are the inside dry bin, the top mount soft wagon bin for extra gear hauling , and all the extra attachments you can purchase to make your RovR perfect for you. You can add on, for an extra cost, a fishing rod/umbrella holder, dual cup holder, cutting board, stash bag, or bike hitch. Yes, you can attach it to your bike and tow it around! You can also get the wagon bin in other colors /designs. This cooler according to the website promises to compare to the other “high end” pricey coolers out there, if not outperform. RovR even promises to keep ice for 11 days under proper use and conditions!
I was excited to take it to sunny, warm Eastern Washington and test it on a fishing trip with friends. I knew it would spend a full day out in the direct sun, be opened and closed countless times, get banged around at speed, and have to be drug to the boat and back by hand. Also, my friend is a fishing guide and a Yeti fan, so I was looking forward to his opinion.
RovR’s instructions are to pre-chill the cooler 24 hours prior to loading with a sacrifice bag of ice and only add cold items to the cooler when ready. When it was time to load, none of my “sacrifice” ice had melted at all from the prior day. We were able to fit most everything we needed for food into the cooler for the whole long weekend. It is large but fit in the back of the SUV without an issue. When we arrived at Potholes, we set it out in out campsite and got to work with dinner and beverages. Everything was icy cold with no melt. Our fishing guide friend came over and fully checked out the RovR. He was pretty impressed! He thought it was cool looking and loved the wheels and handle, a feature his large Yeti does not have. That and his Yeti is poo brown not beautiful green like my RovR. The next day, we drug the RovR across two campground loops over to the boat launch. The mini monster truck tires handled all the dirt and gravel with ease. It was easy to pull and maneuver. We loaded it on the boat and had a full 9 hour day of fishing for Walleye and Bass in full sun. Even at speed, the RovR did not bounce or wander around on the bow. Overall, it did a great job and I am very happy with its performance!
My favorite feature has to be the dry bin inside. It keeps items cold but dry. I can’t tell you how many wet egg cartons and soggy zip lock bags I’ve dealt with over the years. If you camp for any length of time, at some point you inevitably have a chilly swimming pool of food. Not with the dry bin! I was able to load my salsa, meat and cheese, eggs, but it will also hold liquor or wine upright and cold. The bin is held down with a screw in disk so it’s removable if you have a need for more room. While my ice was fairly melted by Monday, everything was still icy cold. I am also sure that if it was not left out in the 80 plus degree sun ALL day, it would have performed admirably. But again, all my food and drinks were still as cold as before the day of sun, so that’s really saying something about performance potential. Also, when we arrived home, the wagon bin was great for throwing the headlamps, shoes, hammocks, and all the other loose items into it and hauling them down to be put away in one trip. It never leaked or showed condensation. It was also easy to open and close, unlike some of the other fancy coolers, even though it has similar rubber gasket type latches.
The only issue I have with my RovR RollR 60 is that it’s heavy! Fully loaded, my husband and I had to team lift it into the back of the SUV. My kitchen is also downstairs so to load it and get it to the garage I have to maneuver it up and down our stairs. It’s not an easy task. The other super minor, picky complaints are the handle, which is really comfortable to pull and hold in your hand, hangs centimeters from the ground. In our dusty campsite, the handle got really dirty which makes your hands really dirty. If you are trying to prep food out of your cooler that might be an issue. Finally, the wagon bin that the RovR comes with is white in color, initially. I don’t know about you, but I get pretty dirty while camping. White is an unfortunate color choice for the outdoors. We left it behind completely for fishing even though when flat it makes a nice cushion to sit on. You can get other super cool prints, but you have to buy them separately. Once my white bin becomes super gross I will definitely upgrade.
It doesn’t matter if you have an RV or prefer the tent, a good cooler is an absolute must. And, if you are going to invest the money in a cooler, why not buy one that not only performs at an outstanding level but has some neat features and a little spunk as well?
One of the most beautiful places on this Earth. Be mindful of mountain Goats. They're mostly harmless but keep food sealed away and don't get between them and their babys or they might get pissed. Speaking of piss, they LOVE it, something about the salt, I don't know, but they will, no joke, fight each other over your pee spot.
Campground provides plenty of sites so you are not on top of each other. Great activities and some of the best scenery to hike, picture taking or just relax. Campground is clean secure for all ages.
The group site set apart from the rest of the camping, so you can really enjoy the space without feeling like you are bothering the other campers. There's lots of space for tents plus some wooden bunks in a wooden shelter, a nice option for people new to camping who don't have a tent, but I'd be afraid of spiders! :O Site is adjacent to a river access, which I did not get a chance to check out myself, but being near water is always a plus to me.
The campgrounds are about an our of of Seattle, so it's a really nice low-commitment option for those residing in the greater Seattle area. Despite being so close, it doesnt feel very populated or anything like that, nice and woodsy still! :)
The only drawback to the group site is occasionally you'll get a random person wandering through to access the water.
I wouldn't suggest going so late in the year unless you are prepared for rain, it poured on us most of the stay, but we still managed to have fun. Luckily there is a large covered dining area so it's survivable in rain
Windy Point Campground offers sites that accommodate both tent and RV camping. Drinking water, picnic tables, and vault toilets and firepits are also available in the campground.
Activities that campers can enjoy at this campground are hiking fishing, hunting, horseback riding and mountain biking
There is also white water paddling on the Tieton River Summer camping season is open May 10 through Sept 9 2019.
During the winter months Windy Point offers excellent skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling during the winter months. Hikers and backpackers are especially fortunate to have access to a variety of spectacular trails near the campground
You really do feel like you’re much further out of town. I travel a lot for work and I’ve started taking my travel trailer rather than staying in hotels. That’s how I found Tall Chief, but I’ve gone back since just because I enjoy it so much. Only drawback is not having dump hookups at each site, but that doesn’t effect me wanting to stay here in any way. This really is a gem!
We camped here in July 2018. It was hot but thankfully the Cispus River was a short hike away and we cooled off in that. It is close to the Ape Caves at Mount St. Helens. The sites are pretty secluded. My only complaint would be the bathrooms. We don’t use the bathroom in our tent trailer so we had to use the bathrooms at the campground. They had a pretty strong ammonia smell and people didn’t put the toilet lids back down so there were flies. Great place for kids.
Clean public house, power and water access on all sites
This campground is a great spot for families wanting to be near the Olympic National Forest. The grounds are on Sequim Bay, with a few sites butting up against the river edge. The Olympic Discovery Trail runs through the campgrounds and is well maintained. For those with boats, there is a lot of moorage space and even space for overnight moorage. This campground has tennis courts, a basketball hoop, and lots of wide open fields. The sites are relatively open, and this is a favorite of families, so if you are looking for a peaceful time you may want to skip this one. There are full hookups and decent showers and bathrooms. You must have a discover pass to get into this park in addition to camp fees. Down the 101 to Dabob bay, there are great spots to go clamming and oyster hunting. On Sequim Bay, the access for boating and kayaking is unbeatable!
I was offered the opportunity to test out the Wenzel Shenanigan 8 teepee tent.
Pros: This is a great front county beginner tent for a family. This tent is huge and very tall! My husband is 6'4" and is able to stand with no issues of hitting his head. There are a lot of vents so the tent does not overheat. In each of the corners, there is a small pocket for personal items. There are three windows for venting and the entire door is able to pull back for screen venting as well. This is a perfect tent for kids.
Cons: The center pole tent is the only pole on the tent. The stakes are the only thing holding the base outward. If you are not camping in an area that has softer ground to stake, this tent will not stay open. The upside down T, for the opening, is difficult to get in and out of. The center tent pole, while making the tent very tall, does not allow for queen size mats or air mattresses. The ground cover fabric does not reach up very high so a tarp is necessary for under.
I've lived in Spokane 3 years and just went up there to check it out. This is only about a 20 minute drive for me, so convenient. I go camping to avoid touristy locations. I was incredibly surprised to see how busy this place was! The tent sites are tucked in between cabins or on the outside loop of the Rv sites, leaving zero privacy! The rv sites were small and super close together. There is no dump station but it does have power and water. The bathrooms were clean with showers. The whole area was clean for the amount of people that were using the day use sites. The campground wasn't that busy though. Personally, I did not enjoy it and won't be back.
If you are a night sky photographer, this is the campground for you. The limited to no light pollution makes this perfect for any night sky event! If you are not a night sky photographer, I wouldn't waste my money. It's a very reasonable $12 a night. But it's hot, very hot. Limited to zero shade, a pit toilet that doesn't get maintained often enough with the amount of visitors. Don't get me wrong, the area is beautiful, gorgeous canyon, high cliffs, waterfall is amazing. There is a trail, on the other side of the protective fence, on the side of the cliff. That's a big nope for me! DON'T GO PAST THE FENCE. So yes, very hot, amazing waterfall, cool wildlife. Not much else. Great day place, not exactly where you want to spend a week.
This is a very beautiful state park. We stayed here over Easter weekend. It was pretty busy and there isn’t much privacy but everyone was very respectful. Love that there are large kitchen areas for groups and the hiking trails were nice. I would try to get a map if you really want to explore all of them- but you’re not really going to get lost. There is an amphitheater that all the kids put on a bike show while we were there. That was super cute to hear them organize it, spread the word and then have fun. Great family place! There were some groups that partied right up until quiet time. The “store” at the groups wasn’t open but it is close enough to civilization you can easily get anything you forgot. It was too cold to really do much at the lake, but definitely worth coming back when it’s warmer. Would definitely recommend!
GRAND PRIZE $100 to Stream2Sea
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