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.
The #1 Camping App
Camp with confidence with the highest-ranked camping app for both iOS and Android. Search more than 500,000 listings, reviews, and tips for campsites across the U.S.
Enter your phone number to get the app.
Very nice campground, right on the beach, but each campsite is nicely separated by trees and well kept forest growth. After a little climb over some driftwood there was a lot of beach to explore at low tide. Also an excellent place to watch the sunset.
Has been closed for many years. Will likely be closed until further notice
This is a primitive site on an island in Bonnie Lake in Eastern Washington. Bonnie lake is a canyon lake, about 4 miles long and narrow. The island and surrounding sq. mile of land is owned by the BLM. Access is by paddling up Rock Creek about a mile and another 1/2 mile paddle up the lake. The creek can be seasonally shallow and you'll have to portage across at least one beaver dam. The island is rocky and brushy with enough flat spaces for a tent or two and trees for hammocks. The steep canyon walls provide a stage for coyotes to sing back and forth. Please use sanitary bags to pack out your waste (poop). The island's soil isn't deep enough for proper burial.
There is a spit of land on shore where you can camp too, but I've not done that.
30 minutes from Spokane and just a few miles off I-90 this is a great area for winter and spring camping and hiking. The lake is open for winter season fishing but closes March 31. There is usually lots of day hike activity, but not much overnight camping.
There are no real amenities except an outhouse near the boat launch and dam. I believe this is part of the Fishtrap Recreation area and there are lots of trails that connect the lakes.
Happy Four is an under-utilized campground in the backcountry of the Hoh River Trail. It's confusingly more like 6 miles from the trailhead, past the wildly popular 5-mile Island campground. This is a good option for people who make it to the trailhead by early afternoon and can rack up the miles along the flat Hoh River trail. It's far enough in the backcountry that you aren't competing with day hikers for trail space.
I couldn't find the privy here but they are mapped to exist, the bear wires are somewhat hard to find because there's no sign pointing you there and there's so many trails crisscrossing the campground. The trail is a little hard to find from the main Hoh River Trail but if you see the shelter you know you're close!
The campground is far enough off the trailhead that you won't get much trail noise and there's enough vegetation between sites that you won't necessarily see your neighbor. It's still close enough to the trailhead that you won't be by yourself but most people tend to stop at 5-Mile Island so things are a little quieter here.