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.
This campground is located on Baker Lake Road. It is on the opposite side of the road as the lake, across from Swift Creek campground.
Park Creek campground takes reservations. We tried our luck with no reservations- on the Thursday before Labor Day Weekend- and we were able to score a spot for one night. There were several sites available when we stayed there, but it was full for the weekend.
We chose a spot that seemed a little more secluded than others, and it turned out to be a sweet little spot.. There was a place to park our car, a picnic area, a spot for two tents(sort of…we got pretty close to each other) and river access.
The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There were two separate toilets close to us.
We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire.
The great thing about this campground is its location. It’s right across the street from Baker Lake, and near some amazing hikes.
We absolutely loved our stay here (9/5-9/7)! We arrived on a weekday and the campground was fairly empty, so we were able to grab a great spot in the A loop with easy access to the restrooms and the trails to the visitor center. The campground is first come, first serve, dry camping, and the dump station was out of service while we were there.
There are both back-in and pull- through sites with concrete pads, fire rings, and picnic tables. Some tight turns and low-hanging trees but our 32’ fifth wheel managed just fine. Plenty of wildlife, including deer, rabbits, birds, squirrels, and numerous banana slugs.
The visitor is an easy walk from the campground. The hiking trails were simply gorgeous and we definitely did not stay long enough to thoroughly enjoy this area of Olympic National Park.
Nearby Forks, WA is a 45 minute drive from the campground.
Two bars of Verizon LTE but it varied throughout the park.
A note about the drive in: We are very glad we arrived on a weekday! The road into this campground is narrow, and there were times we were driving over the centerline to keep our rig on the road. There is no shoulder for most of the drive and we did not want to meet any oncoming traffic with a rig as long as ours. It’s doable but take it slow!
We made reservations here 9/3-9/5. We had a dry camping, asphalt parking site next to the restrooms at the end of the loop (near the camp hosts). It was very quiet here and the area is just beautiful.
The roads through this campground are a bit tight and have a few low-hanging trees, so be aware if you have a larger rig. Our 32’ fifth wheel was fine but I wouldn’t want to go much longer than that.
There are plenty of hiking, fishing, and sight-seeing available in the area. This campground was a great jumping-off point for visiting nearby Mount Rainier National Park.
The campground has both dry camping and water/electric hookups, but no dump station. Flush toilets and pit toilets were located in the campground; the flush toilets we were next to were clean. There are several water spigots scattered throughout the dry camping loop, although they weren’t threaded so we couldn’t run a hose to them. Washing dishes at the spigots and in the restrooms was discouraged.
Nearby Enumclaw had everything we needed. The drive through the forest to get there was nice and we spotted several moose in the trees.
Verizon signal was spotty.
We went there first of October. $30 to get inside the park but if you have a America beautiful pass for $80 it’s good for a year. In the RV area with electric hook ups is more like a parking lot Loop b is pretty much tents only. Loop a there are a few decent size sites 14-19 but you better have reservations. It’s $25 a night for the campground. The hike to the falls is nice and not too bad or long.
We were able to find several options at this first-come, first-serve campground on July 4 this summer. The sites are fairly close together but our neighbors were quiet. It was a short walk between sites to reach the bathhouse and water spigots. Overall very clean and nice campground.
This campground is off Cascade River Road near-ish Marblemount.
Marble Creek campground takes reservations. We tried our luck with no reservations and we were able to score a spot for three nights. There were several sites available when we stayed there, but it was during the week.
We stayed in site 3, which was great because it was along the river and the camp host told us it was the only spot with direct river access. There was a place to park our car, a picnic area, a slightly elevated platform for our tent, river access down an embankment, and trees where we set up our hammock. It was a fantastic site.
The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There were two separate toilets close to us. The closest looked more run down but I found it to be clean and not smelly.
There is also public river access, so we went for a cold dip both at our site and in the public area.
We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire.
There are a couple of hikes nearby. We did Hidden Lake, which is a short drive to the 4 mile gravel road to the trailhead. The hike is incredible and you can actually see the whole mountainside you hike from the public access beach in the campground, which was pretty cool.
I really liked the campground. The camp host was super nice and the spot was one of my favorites. I will definitely be returning.
(This review written by a 10 and 12 year old). When we stopped by for a quick visit in October (end of the season), we first saw the picnic area. It had a lot of benches that were wood with scratches and pieces missing. The picnic area had bathrooms. In the center were sinks and metal BBQs. The BBQ hinges were broken and swung out awkwardly. Nearby the sinks did not have running water, and looked pretty gunky.
Across the field from the picnic area, was a closed gate that had blackberry brambles covering it. Beyond the gate was a bridge that looked like it hadn't been walked on for a bit. There were plants growing on it and the gate was locked.
Further down the road from the picnic area was the campground. Each spot had an electric hookup, water spigot, and an ok picnic table. Near the campground host and just beyond the bathrooms was a dump station ($3).
The women's bathroom had chipping paint and floor, older stalls with unflushed things, the showers had musty curtains that weren't clean. When you turned on the sink just slightly, nothing came out. When you turned it all the way on, it splurts out spraying everything in a two foot parameter around you.
The men's bathroom had the same chipping walls and floor. There were two open urnials with pink urinal cakes, two stalls, and some similar showers to the women's restroom. Except no tampon machine.
Up the road from the RV park was a river, but there were signs saying the banks were hazardous. Now your hopes of swimming in the river is annihilated.
There are many spaces, but they are very close together. If it were full, you would feel quite packed in.
If you are driving on I-5 and need a safe, quiet place to spend the night, this would do just fine in a pinch.
There are nice sports fields and a small playground if you need to stretch your legs.
I strongly think that Washington State has the best places to camp and hike. The Pacific Northwest has a large array of amazing camp grounds and hikes, and I love it!! I recently wanted to hike within the Goat Rock area, and decided to stay at the Walupt Lake Campground so I could be closer to the trailhead. I left Friday evening after work and headed to the campground. There wasn't as many people as I expected, but the weather forecast was calling for some rain. I went in the beginning of September, so was bummed that I wasn't going to see the fall colors (usually the end of September-beginning of October is when this happens). The campground was great, and I was glad that I stayed here. Because we got here around 7:00pm, we really only pitched our tent and grabbed a quick bite to eat. I didn't tour the campground because it was already getting dark. We woke up early in the morning and headed to the Goat Rock Wilderness. We spent the entire day hiking (13 miles to be exact!). From the top of the hike we were able to see Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Rainier. It doesn't get any better than that!! I would highly recommend this campground if you are just looking to camp, but also if you have a hike you want to do in the area early in the morning.
PRODUCT REVIEW: Amber 28 Gregory Pack
As a DYRT Ranger, I was able to test the Amber 28 Gregory Pack. I was pretty excited to get to test this pack, because I have a few other Gregory Packs and have been eyeing this pack for awhile. During my 13 mile hike I was able to test this pack.
3 reasons why I love the Amber 28 Gregory Pack:
1. Comfortable- I love how comfortable and form fitting this pack is. I love packs that don't sit right on my shoulders. This pack gave a little room between by shoulder and the pack which is great! I like being able to carry the weight of the pack by my hips, and this pack allowed that.
2. The space and pockets- I appreciate a pack that allows me to pack multiple items (10 essentials!). The pack had plenty of room, and extra zipper pockets. I was able to utilize all the space in this pack, and it still didn't feel heavy.
3. Breath-ability- The back of this pack has a wire meshing and pads to help with the breath-ability. I do sweat a lot when I hike, so I like this component of the pack.
Overall, I would highly recommend this pack. It comes in a few colors as well which is always nice :) You can find the Amber 28 pack here:
I went to Leavenworth for the Oktoberfest event with friends. We stayed there for two nights. We checked in and out very easily and it was very perfect. There are something that I like about KOA. It is perfect for large group to stay there for a weekend for an event in Leavenworth because it has excellent shuttle transportation to Leavenworth. Not only that the campground gives many options that they have such as hot tub, breakfast, coffee, fire pit, games and etc. And it has awesome the views of mountains and even better the view of river which it is right next to the campground! And we had a great weekend there during the weekend of October!
This campground boarders both sides of the Lost Creek (Dried up most of the time). The sites are fairly large, but very open with little to no privacy. I was in spot 10 and the entire spot was open up to the road, which is not my favorite. Many of the other sites were open due to no small trees/brush. There was also a very fine dust in the entire spot that can drive certain people nuts, especially ones with small dogs who turn into little clouds of dust!
There were a couple deer that roamed the campground and wondered in and out of campsites. I had to shoo away 1 so he wouldn't stomp on my little dog while walking through my site. It was cool seeing them up close though. Also it was the start of a very good huckleberry season and the entire campground was full of huckleberry bushes. I was able to gather several cups just from my camp spot alone.
While this isn't my favorite campsite, it was overall a good campground and if you are in the area I would recommend it.
The place is falling apart and they don't seem to care. If you like being watched while in the bathroom then by all means camp there two way mirrors in both bathrooms. Paint chipping off dirty bathroom and shower only 1 shower. Fish cleaning station overgrown by weeds. When we first got there I was told in a hostile voice that there was no storing anything outside. It was always ok for everyone else to have a bonfire but us. We were on constant alert the entire 6 months there. I asked before bringing a truck to the park if it was alright and she said yes for a week. Then on the fourth night she met us with a pen and paper screaming at me that she was going to have it towed. Oh and our small dog had a small cable leash around the the tree that wasn't ok either. Nothing we did was ok ever! One week doesn't doesn't have 4 days last time I checked. I had bought a truck to replace the other truck we owned after all we lived there for 6 months. I became very sick while there and had to go back and fourth to the hospital never once did they ask how everything was going. Hostile environment even complaining about 5 potted plants. Really why others had them. Long story short if you like to camping in the middle of a subdivision by all means check it out. Be careful not to trip on all the nails sticking up on the docks as they need repair as well then go ahead and see for yourself. I will never go back ever!! Not that they care I think they should sell the place because they don't care.
We were looking for a place between Portland and Seattle for one last night of camping. We were able to get site 12 the day we arrived at Seaquest without an advance reservation. It’s near a water spigot and not too far from the bathhouse.
One bathhouse included in my pictures was part of another loop that was on the walking path to the Mount Saint Helens Visitor Center, located across the street. A short tunnel goes under the road for safe access to the visitor center.
Seaquest State Park has a small playground and picnic area. There’s not much else to the park. It’s proximity to Mount Saint Helens probably makes it popular. The facilities were clean and the campground was quiet. Nice place for a quiet, relaxing camping experience.
This campground is located about a mile off Highway 20 and it is one of the larger campgrounds I have stayed in.
Klipchuck campground does not take reservations, which was great for us, though we did see several people come by in the evening when it was full.
We stayed in the last site, which was great because we didn’t have anyone on one side of us. The site itself was fairly standard. There was a place to park our car, then a few steps up to the picnic and tent area.
The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. Given that this is a larger campground, both the toilets and dumpsters got a lot of use. The toilets were standard, but the amount of use meant that there was a significant smell. The dumpsters have are the type that are for the protection of bears. But there was garbage overflowing on one side. I was easily able to open the other side, which was half empty. An encouragement– read the instructions and safely dispose of your garbage.
We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so we had a nice fire.
There is a hike right off the campground, which we did. It was strenuous and a little sketchy(steep hillside slopes with a narrow, slippery path to follow) but the views were pretty amazing.
This campground is close(driving) to Mazama, and some beautiful hikes– Goat Peak Lookout, hikes in Winthrop, and more.
This campground is located directly off Highway 20. As in, close enough that you will hear road noise anytime a car goes by. But aside from that one downside, this campground is pretty great. Lone Fir campground does not take reservations, and as a last minute adventurer, I really appreciate that. There were a few sites open when we came on a Thursday and we chose the last site on the loop. But by Friday night, it was full. I was very pleased with the size of each site. There was a place dedicated to parking our car, a space for fires/ picnic table and a separate space down a little hill, surrounded by trees, for our tent and our hammock. For an off the highway site, we also had a fair amount of distance between sites. Our site had the water spigot for a few sites, so we had visitors on the edge of our site. The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There is an interpretive trail right off the campground, and while advertised as wheelchair accessible, the trail had been washed out, bridges were down and many logs were on the trail. It was still very pretty. We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire. This campground is close(driving) to Mazama, and several beautiful hikes– Blue Lake, Maple Pass, Cutthroat Pass, and Cutthroat Lake– and more. We also got beautiful sunsets. All in all, a good campground. I would definitely stay there again.
I really like camping here, but it's a specific kind of camping. I give it 4 stars since it has a lot of fond memories and we come here often. We have a ton of fun on the water and with our friends. If you don't like zero amenities, heavy day use, or the possibility of folks having a noisy party, it's probably not for you. It's free, you can camp in the woods right on the water. Do not expect privacy or peace and quiet. There are also no facilities of any kind so come prepared and use leave no trace principals please!
We have camped with groups of friends here for many summers. The day use is very heavy. People even launch their gas powered boats from shore. We like to bring our kayaks and do some early morning or late night paddling and fishing. We also bring our river inner-tubes and a little boat anchor to do some beat the heat floating.
Access can be tough as the water level of the lake can vary. From the Lake Easton/Sparks exit, head down Sparks Road and turn on NF 4818 which is a dusty, narrow, gravel road. If the water is high most of the sites you will have to park on the side of the road and walk down to. If the water is low, keep an eye out for a lake access pull off on the left. It's rough but all sorts of cars and boats on trailers can be found making there way down. You can drive along the lake in both directions until you find your perfect spot.
Get there early if you want to camp. Lots of families but lots of loud parties too. Great fishing for white fish and Kokanee.
The property itself is great. There’s a playground and a couple large open fields for kids to play. Also really close to the water which is cool. The spots with hookups are REALLY close together though. This was our first time in a hookup spot so we were a bit surprised how close we were to our neighbors, but this could be typical, we’re not sure. We were in spot #4.
This campground is amazing! Our group stayed in loop C and we had a blast. The campground was very clean, even the bathroom :) So many trails all over the campground to enjoy while your here, it was a very quiet aswell. You can hear the shooting at gravel pit but it’s not very loud at all. Also the host is super nice and willing to answer any questions.
Unfortunately, I only got to stay here one night, but I would definitely have liked to stay longer. I arrived pretty late the Friday before Labor Day, and had no problems finding a site. The atmosphere was beautiful, the bathrooms were clean, and it has a great location for seeing the sites of Port Angeles and Hurricane Ridge.
I kayaked in to this campground and though it's an awesome location it was a bit disappointing. WA State Parks did designate one of the campsites as a marine trails site (only for those coming in from the water), but the site wasn't clearly posted and was a tough hike from the beach with gear. I actually selected another site more accessible from the beach. All the other marine trails locations are clearly marked. The sites were also just filthy. Trash everywhere, fire pits full of trash and cigarette butts and I had to do significant cleaning of my entire site before I could even start to set up my tent. There were WA State employees there at the time so I mentioned it, but they said they didn't have the time to bother with trash pickup. Really? Isn't that sort of your job? On the plus side the composting toilet was great and the overall location couldn't have been better.