Very quiet the time of year we went (Dec 30th, 2020 - Jan 2nd, 2021. We had our pick of sites and decided to live in the lap of luxury in the camp host’s spot…. close to water and vault toilet and every spot, except for #3 (which has room for multiple tents) and #4 which was a single tent site, were on the river’s edge. Some steelhead fishers came through too. We had a blast. And, DNR reps came through to check for our Discover Pass almost every day, which was nice to see our campsites are being well looked after.
We camped here by chance over New Years. Beauty, Lush, Evergreens, Moss, Eagles, the mighty Lyre River, Steelhead Trout, a hike to through Aspen forests to view the San Juan. It rained the entire time, with mini breaks, but we camped with a 20’ travel trailer and boondocked with a generator and full tank of water at the host campsite (#6). The water was on and bathrooms open but only at the pavilion. DNR was by daily, felt safe and secure. Joyce General Store nearby - been there since 1911 and owners bought it from original owners in the 60’s - a nostalgic place to get randoms, say hi to some locals, and get gas if needed.
Stayed at this campground at the beginning of our trip down the 101. Took a ferry from Seattle and pulled in late at night. It was empty (winter) and free with a discovery pass. About $10/day or $35/year. If we had more time we would have gotten the yearly pass. The campsites were great. Beautiful spots right on the river. Settled 13,000 years ago. Fire pits, bathrooms, limited cell service. The sound of the river was peaceful. 10/10 would recommend.
This was our first trip to a DNR campground and it was lovely. Only 11 sites some spread out some close together all along the lyre river. It’s beautifully shaded but that adds to some dampness feeling in some of the sites with more growth.
We stayed in site 4, great for a single family tent, probably could squeeze in another, had room for our hammock.
2 vault toilets with 3 points for water access (1 next to #3, 1 by the shelter across from #6, and by the #9). There is a dumpster for garbage next to the shelter.
All that’s required for camping here is a Discover Pass. The recreation warden does come by to check at least once a day.
Cons: toilet was a little bit gross there’s a sign that it doesn’t get maintained on a daily basis. No TP after 12hrs, make sure to bring your own. -there appears to be some transient people that wander through, just keep an open eye. -there is private property adjacent to the camp ground, mostly feel marked and there are video cameras
We love this spot! We’ve had trouble finding quiet campgrounds but this one is perfect for us. We got a spot on a Sunday morning, about half the campground was available. I imagine it might be harder getting a spot on a Friday or Saturday, but haven’t tested it out yet. Our spot was right on the river. There are a few water spigots and a couple vault toilets. We enjoyed the trail from the campground to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We’ll be back!
Lyre River is private and has a couple bathrooms. Picnic tables.
Not very well maintained
Lyre River is a bit of a hidden gem for car campers on a crowded and often expensive Olympic Peninsula. Tucked away from Highway 101 west of Joyce; it's a great place to settle down for a night or two, enjoy some fishing and visit some often overlooked locations on the OP.
As Washington Department of Natural Resources land the campground is free with a Discover Pass (purchased at any outdoor oriented location) and allows for a maximum stay of 7 days at the site. Because it is free and operates on a first come, first serve basis it's pretty full every night in the summertime. I would suggest arriving early (around 9 AM) and trying to swipe a spot when someone leaves, you may have to wait a bit but it's totally worth it. All spots are usually occupied around 11 AM and people are constantly driving through looking for openings.
As far as things to do in the area the main draw is fishing. There's a fishing platform at the southern end of the campground and a number of beaches with deeper pools that trout and salmon like to hang around in. One crusty old-timer said that during runs the river is overflowing with fish, including the highly coveted Steelhead. Around the area places like Murdock Beach gives great views of Canada and the Salish Sea. Joyce has a great museum and general store with a bit of everything. South lies Lake Crescent which has untold number of hiking trails, beaches and amazing views of the Olympic Mountains. The area serves as a great jump-off point for heading west on Highway 101 towards the rainforest or west on Highway 112 to Sekiu and Neah Bay.
Other points to note: Bathrooms (privies) are on site and there's a smaller privy in the southern end of the campground. There's a covered area to gather and a handicapped accessible campsite there as well. Although there are no showers you have the option of taking a bath in the beautiful Lyre River or driving to Salt Creek State Park to use their coin-operated showers.
This is my go-to spot while working out in the area and is great for families, friends or just weary travelers passing through.
About 45mins- 1 hour from Port Angeles, this is one of my favorite places to camp. Campsites are limited and you'll need a discovery pass. Each site backs up to the river which flows right out of lake angeles, which gives the river some pretty beautifully colored/clear waters. stay on the look out for eagles!