Graves Creek Campground — Olympic National Park
Ann P.
Reviewed Aug. 11, 2021

Beautiful location but has some cons

Location: Beautiful. There's forest sites and creek sites with a few sites in between on the inner loop. You can hear the creek at all times and it's very calming. Huge trees everywhere and mountain views. The mist on the mountains at daybreak was gorgeous. We had a water facing site and drank our coffee on the creek. I can see why fishers come to the area, we spotted many large trout in the clear waters of the creek.

Getting there: Mostly flat, not particularly difficult road in dry conditions. However, do not be arrogant about this road. When you see signs that say "Unsuitable for RVs and trailers" they mean it. On day one of our visit, a tree fell in the middle of the road. Though it wasn't particularly big, we couldn't lift it and it still made the road impassible. Later that day, a fellow camper with an axe cleared a small path but the whole three days we were there, no one came to remove it or any of the debris. The road itself doesn't have proper gravel size variation, which forms miles worth of something that feels like rumble strips. On the last day, it rained lightly for a mere five or six hours and the road's otherwise manageable potholes became big ponds and there's also a spot that floods quickly (there's a sign to warn you). It was still fine, I have 4W drive and a high clearance car, but just be warned that conditions can change quickly there.

A word in regards to another poster who said it looked like they were building bathrooms. Quite the opposite, it seems. There had been two different bathroom buildings but they were obviously quite old and were boarded up. No big deal, right? At first I thought so too, but I've kind of changed my mind about it. This campground has way too many sites for there to be one vault toilet. The math just doesn't work out. There are too many people at this campground for that. Any time you need to use it, someone is in there. There was an ACTUAL line at one point. The vault itself was nearly full (puke). It wasn't until we'd set up our site and it was dark that we discovered poopy wipes close to our site. Yes, wipes that don't biodegrade.

Which leads me to another issue...trash. This campground is not pack in, pack out. But the bear proof dumpster was packed in so tightly, it looked like it hadn't been cleared in weeks. Fine, we kept our trash in the car, but it would've been nice to know that the campground is basically not being serviced at all. Why is there a ranger station at Graves Creek at all?

Lastly, our stay was during the fire ban. I can live without a campfire, but it does have its benefits. There were tons of mosquitoes and...other wildlife! In addition to the warnings about bears and cougars, there was a hand written sign warning campers that a bear was in the area and to watch your food. We were very diligent and kept everything locked away in the car (which yes, I know they can still smell). On our first night we had two coyotes sniffing our tent and peeing on the site! They were easy to scare off, but definitely gave us a bit of a scare.

I'll still go back to Graves Creek now that I know what to expect. It's a beautiful place and hopefully next time the fire ban will be lifted.

Month of VisitSeptember
  • Review photo of Graves Creek Campground — Olympic National Park by Ann P., August 11, 2021
  • Review photo of Graves Creek Campground — Olympic National Park by Ann P., August 11, 2021
  • Review photo of Graves Creek Campground — Olympic National Park by Ann P., August 11, 2021
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