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Washington Park is a nice clean park with 3 loops. 1 loop for non hookups. Most of these sites are on the outside of the campground and provide good privacy. The outer hookup loop A has some great spots. Most sites back up to the forest and have nice privacy. The park rangers come around several times a day to check reservations and bring wood. They have a great map so you can explore the many trails in the park. There is also a beach and boat ramp near the campground. We have stayed there several times during the covid19 shut downs. Will go again after we explore other campgrounds in the area.
This is a large campground on Orcas Island. It sits on Lake Moran which is a fun lake to kayak and cliff jump. If you follow the road up to Mt. Constitution, there is a lookout tower that resembles a castle. From here you get one of the most spectacular views of the San Juan Islands.
This is probably one of the coolest places to visit. It is an old army base with all sorts of bunkers to explorer. As I Boy Scout, this was one of our favorite places to camp each year. On top of the hill are bunkers that stretch probably a quarter-mile and are perfect for playing an ultimate game of capture the flag.
There is also beach access and plenty of historic buildings to check out. They have two campgrounds, one down by the beach and the other up top.
Loved this RV Park. The staff was very friendly and helpful as we were first timers with absolutely no experience. We also visited during the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic which made their efforts to ensure we enjoyed our time even more appreciated. Follow us @therv_gans on IG more more pics of this RV Park as well as our journey and transition to full time RV Living! #freedom
Seems like these sites are quite popular. However, I went during the middle of the week, on a slightly rainy day, at the end of August and was the only person there.
If you're like me and not from Washington, remember to get a discovery pass (~$10 per day) if you're parking at the Baker Lake Trailhead. The hike in to Maple Grove is approx. three and a half miles. Don't be surprised if you run into some folks on horseback.
The trail is relatively flat and goes through some beautiful old growth forest. We got a spot right by the lake that was flat and soft. All of the sites had fire pits and seemed pretty dispersed. There were also bear boxes. The vault toilets were some of the cleanest I'd seen.
As you can see from some of the photos, there's a dock that you could boat up to that doubles as a great place see Mt. baker.
There are only two downsides to this campground--bugs during the summer and prohibitions on fires at Watson Lakes. If you can overcome those issues, the views alone make the camping at the second of the Watson lakes well-worth it. You'll also need a discover pass (Day ~$10, Annual ~$30) to keep in the dash of your vehicle while its parked.
As the other reviewer stated, it's a slow drive up the pot-hole filled gravel road, but once you reach the parking lot it's approximately 2.5 miles down to Watson lakes. There were delicious berries along the trail leading up to the lakes and plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the view on the hike down. We stayed along the second Watson lake during the middle of the week and saw few people and even fewer campers. There are numerous rock outcroppings with flat ground for camping all along the lake. You'll have to treat all of your water (the lake is right there and there's a stream nearby) and there's a mountain toilet down by the lakes.
Have some close family friends that have stayed here multiple times in the past two years. They rave about how it’s a GREAT campground for kids and families. They have a mini train & train tracks set up that runs throughout the property. There’s also a disc golf course on site, a petting zoo, games, and even arts & crafts for the kids. It’s also directly across the street from a big park with 2 amazing off-leash areas for dogs, a skate park, basketball hoops, tennis courts, baseball fields, and more! The kids will never get bored with all these activities.
Accessible from only human powered or wind powered boats (or if you are really ambitious, at super low tide, you can wade over from Pearl Island). Reservations are required to camp in either of the two group sites. I was here with a group with a kayak outfitter on a multi-day trip. The island is really small- only one acre! There is no water here (ironic when you are surrounded by water), and you need to pack out your trash (there is a compost bin), but there is a vault toilet (pretty smelly, but better than nothing!). There are a few trees you can hang a hammock from, but not many. We had to paddle to Pearl Island to scrounge for driftwood for a fire. We were there just before the fourth of July, so we were able to see some local fireworks, and of course there was lots of sea plane noise during the day. Saw some harbor seals and lots of birds, and saw bald eagles on the paddle over.
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Once entering one of the most iconic areas of Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge, you are are welcomed with open arms to the Heart O’ The Hills Campground, a beautiful primitive camp nestled only a few short miles from the ridge itself.
The first taste of Olympic from this direction, the campground is the perfect retreat for a day or even a week for those wanting to explore the many trails and features within a short driving distance of the northern entrance.
I had the privilege of visiting this location on my lengthy trip to the Pacific Northwest and as a Ranger For the Dyrt was given the unique opportunity to share not only my experience but also a special product by Banner and Oak which made my adventures within the park even better.
Heart O’ The Hills is a quiet location just south of the Port Angeles area and a few miles within the entrance gate. There are no reservations available for this unique campground so early arrival is suggested on weekends, especially during peak season.
I visited on a weekday in late fall and noticed there were numerous spots available to choose from. Empty sites are easily located by visiting the pay kiosk near the main restrooms of camp, here there is a paper slip system of making occupied spaces, very similar to that of the ones they use by the National Seashores.
Pricing for this camp is very reasonable at only$20 per night, or for those with the Senior Interagency Pass only $10. Unlike many kiosks which accept only cash you can make payment at this location by check as well which allows you an additional option. However keep in mind there are no credit card payments accepted!!
When I explored the camp I noticed two main styles of camping were available, smaller sites which catered to single vehicles and tent campers and larger sites which could easily accommodate larger rigs or double occupancy car groups. While there is a limit of 8 people per site, these larger sites would not feel crowded with 8-12 people in most instances.
Sites are equipped with standard amenities of picnic tables and fire rings. Throughout camp there are bear boxes with shared access for many sites. Additionally, I found that while this is considered to be a primitive campground there are water spigots located every few sites for shared usage. There is no electrical hook ups and at the time of my visit the restrooms were closed temporarily, with port-a-pottys instead located at this area.
Unfortunately by the closure of the restrooms I was unable to determine if there were electrical outlets or even showers at the this campground which did weigh heavily on my mind when staying here. I really wish I would have known, because those two features could take the stay from a great one to an extraordinary stay.
Just beyond the C loop of camp the Heart O’ The Hills Forest Trail can be found. The first of many trails you will want to explore at the park, this trail allows you a glimpse at the beautiful forest around you. Though this trail is nor ADA for those able to walk on slightly uneven ground this trail is one you will not want to miss.
Taking a walk down this trail it was so peaceful and I easily could have lost track of time just discovering the larger than life mushrooms, the massive ferns and the trickling streams around me, a far different setting than my native Texas home.
- Firewood is available at this location only seasonably. Should you arrive at camp and wood not be available you can return to the community of Port Angeles and pick some up for a reasonable price point.
- If you are going to be staying in this area and are not prepared for bear country, stop at the visitor’s stop when you come into the park and ask about their bear cans.
- In an effort to conserve paper, the park is working toward going paperless when it comes to maps, if you happen to be visiting this area download the online maps to your smart phone before visiting or take a photo when stopping at one of the visitor centers.
As a Ranger for the Dyrt, I am often given the unique opportunity to try products in the field which might add value to the camping and exploring experience as a whole. I was very fortunate to be able to evaluate some of the many items from the Banner& Oak Company along this adventure.
For this adventure I took the Pike solid back panel construction hat for a trip around the campground. I personally love hats and find them to be a travel must for men and women for a variety of reasons. On cool days they allow you to keep your body heat from escaping through your head, which is the area of our bodies which allows the most to escape. On a sunny day, a hat can keep you from getting to much glare or help with sunburn on your sensitive scalp region. A hat is a must for all travel.
The Pike is a hat which was named from the infamous Pike’s Peak in Colorado. It’s sturdy construction allows for comfort and coverage while allowing adjustability through a snapback.
On a more personal level, I found the hat to have great overall feel to it. The material used was perfect for the slight chill in the air and being able to secure the hat through adjustments came in handy as I moved from the calm of camp to the winds of the Hurricane Ridge. The olive color fit my personal style well, and while they do have other color options in the Pink including charcoal and maroon, the green tone feels very outdoorsy.
- Do not be afraid to shop both the mens and women’s sections for different designs. When doing so make sure you check the sizing but keep in mind some styles might suit your style more from your not standard shopping section.
- Hats are one of the more essential travel items so finding a hat which is comfortable in all situations is important. I suggest solid back panels for cooler months and vented or mesh backs for summer.