With hundreds of miles of coastline and the mountains to match, the Northwest has some of the most distinct landscapes and camping experiences in the world. Pitch a tent beachside and explore the magnificent meeting of land and sea that is the Olympic Peninsula. Get the ropes out and send some premier climbing routes at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon. Or forget dirtbagging it altogether and go glamping in a modern cabin where craft beer and s’more ingredients are delivered to your door. However you camp, there’s a lifetime of spots waiting for you to find in the Northwest. Here’s a list of The Dyrt campers’ 10 favorites to help you start planning a trip to this rain-soaked wonderland.

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1. Kalaloch Campground — Washington

Sunlight beaming over an oceanside campsite along the pacific coast.

Image from The Dyrt camper Melissa J.

The Kalaloch area of the Olympic Peninsula is an incredible coastal environment of sandy beaches and rocky headlands. Because these waters are protected as a marine sanctuary, a diversity of creatures call this section of Washington’s coastline home. Bring your binoculars and look for sea otters, dolphins, seals, and other marine mammals riding the waves just offshore. Back on land, the Tree of Life, not far from the campground, defies belief. Its bare roots straddle a gap in the cliffs, yet the tree manages to survive despite the lack of ground beneath it. The campground itself is located on a forested bluff in Olympic National Park, with good access down to the beach where tide pools wait to be explored. If you want to get away from camp, there are seven trailheads near Kalaloch up and down Highway 101 that will lead you to different beaches. The Dyrt camper Melinda W. has been coming here for 62 years — since she was two weeks old! Her advice? “If you get a chance, go.”

If you’re visiting in 2022, keep in mind that Ruby Beach will be closed from mid-June through mid-September due to a construction project.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $24
  • Number of sites: 170
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

2. Shi Shi Beach — Washington

Hazy sunset at beach campsite on the pacific coast.

Image from The Dyrt camper Kayko S.

Craving a camping experience that’s a little more adventurous than a stay at your typical developed campground? Shi Shi Beach offers epic backcountry camping on the coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Olympic National Park. It’s a two-mile hike from the trailhead to the camping area, where you can pitch your tent in the forest or on the beach and go exploring! Low tide is a good time to look for starfish and sea anemones in the tide pools. The beach is known to have epic sunsets that attract photographers, so be sure to settle in and watch the show. Keep in mind this is a backcountry experience in the Olympic Wilderness. You’ll have to carry everything with you and pack it all out in accordance with the Seven Principles of Leave No Trace. Special permits are also required to camp here.

But for many, like The Dyrt camper Jessica M., the extra planning is worth it. “A short hike in brings you to a gorgeous secluded beach!” she says. “Camp sites are far enough apart that you feel like you have the place practically to yourself. No amenities but if you are looking for secluded beauty this place is for you!”

Campground Details:

  • Price: free
  • Number of sites: dispersed
  • RV sites: no
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: no

3. Silver Falls State Park — Oregon

Cabin in the woods.

Image from The Dyrt camper Graham C.

Considered the crown jewel of Oregon’s state parks system, Silver Falls is best known for the 7.2-mile Trail of Ten Falls. This famous hike leads you through a canyon past a series of waterfalls, even taking you behind the 177-foot South Falls so you can experience an enormous waterfall from the inside-out. The Dyrt campers love the campground’s convenient location. “Beautifully forested and close to the waterfalls, the campground has all the features you could need,” Minta J. says in her 5-star review.

While dogs can’t join you on the Trail of Ten Falls, your furry friend is welcome on the rest of the park’s 35 miles of trails — just make sure they’re on a leash! The Dyrt camper Kathy B. recommends checking out the Upper North Falls hike if you have a dog in tow.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $28-31
  • Number of sites: 48 electrical sites with water (18 sites open year round); 43 tent sites with water nearby (seasonal May-October), 14 cabins; 2 group camps (tent only)
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

4. City of Rocks Campground — Idaho

Red pop up camper van parked in campsite down a winding road surrounded by rock formations.

Image from The Dyrt camper Joel R.

This backcountry byway takes its name from “the silent city” of unusual rock formations that dominate the landscape, attracting campers, climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. Explore City of Rocks National Reserve on a mountain bike or go searching for natural arches, towers and spires by foot on the many trails. Climbers will find themselves on hallowed ground, with over 600 routes to choose from. The campsites at City of Rocks are more than just a spot to crash. No two are alike and they’re spread throughout the reserve, tucked into nooks and crannies between outcrops of ancient granite. As a result, this is more of a dispersed camping vibe than the typical campground experience.

While there are a few sites that accommodate small and medium-size RVs, keep in mind that RVs are not allowed in many of the campsites at the reserve.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $14
  • Number of sites: 64 campsites, 3 group sites
  • RV sites: yes, available at half the campsites
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

5. Fairholme Campground — Washington

Campsite in a mossy forest beside a bright blue lake.

Image from The Dyrt camper Jenn B.

Camp in Olympic National Park along the shores of Lake Crescent, known for its depth, clarity and brilliant blue-green color. Because the 12-mile-long lake has been isolated for so long, it supports two types of native trout that can be found nowhere else: the Beardslee rainbow and the Crescenti cutthroat. These unique fish provide anglers with a truly one-of-a-kind opportunity. If fishing isn’t your thing, no need to worry — this is the Olympic Peninsula, after all. Rent a boat, explore the park’s trails, picnic on the beach or grab a bite to eat at the lodge when it’s open in the summer.

Previously first-come, first-served, Fairholme Campground is now accepting reservations up to six months in advance for the 2022 summer camping season — so get booking today!

Campground Details:

  • Price: $12-24
  • Number of sites: 88
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

6. Eklutna Lake Campground — Alaska

Kayakers in green kayaks in bright bluer water off a beach with snowcapped mountains in the distance.

Image from The Dyrt camper Jonathan B.

Set in the mountains just outside Anchorage, the centerpiece of Chugach State Park is picturesque Eklutna Lake. Known as “The Inland Sea,” the seven-mile-long glacially fed lake is ringed by wildflowers and dramatic mountain peaks, offering 15 miles of shoreline to explore and exactly the type of views campers have come to expect from Alaska. Spend the day discovering a network of hiking and biking trails, fish for brilliantly colored Dolly Varden trout, canoe or kayak the pristine lake, or trek into the tundra via the Twin Peaks Trail and look for Dall sheep!

The campground is more on the bare-bones side, with pit toilets, bear lockers, a picnic table and fire rings — definitely no RV hookups. But when the scenery is this good, you don’t need much else.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $20 plus $5 per car for parking
  • Number of sites: 65
  • RV sites: no (double check)
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

7. Smith Rock State Park — Oregon

View from inside a tent overlooking the rock formations at smith rock state park at dusk.

Image from The Dyrt camper Amanda P.

Deep river canyons and gnarly rock formations define this state park in central Oregon, just north of Bend. These features have helped make it one of the premiere climbing destinations in America, offering up thousands of climbs, including more than a thousand bolted routes. If keeping two feet on the ground is more your speed, there are plenty of trails to explore and wildlife to see. Keep an eye to the sky and you might spot a golden eagle or falcon, both of which can shut down climbing routes when they’re nesting. The camping area, a favorite spot among climbers, is spartan with bathrooms, showers and room for your tent — perfect for crashing after a long day on the wall or trail.

If you’re planning to camp here, keep in mind that RV camping and sleeping in your vehicle are prohibited (as are campfires). Pitching a tent is pretty much your only option.

Campground Details:

Price: $8
Number of sites: dispersed within a designated area, 3 ADA campsites available
RV sites: no
Fires allowed: no
Pets allowed: yes

8. Hoh Rain Forest — Washington

Two tents pitched beside a picnic table in a lush pacific northwest forest covered in moss and ferns in the Hoh National Rainforest.

Image from The Dyrt camper Ryan S.

Located in Olympic National Park, this campground gives you the chance to pitch a tent in the heart of an enchanted, old-growth temperate rainforest. So many beautiful trees flourish here — including Douglas fir, red cedar, Sitka spruce, cottonwood and big leaf maple — and there are some ancients for you to discover. The Hoh River Trail, the most popular trail near the campground, offers 18 miles of wilderness hiking — 36 if you’re up for the full out-and-back. Hikers completing the journey will be rewarded with incredible views of Mount Olympus. There are plenty of camping areas along the way if you want to spend a night or two in the backcountry — just make sure to grab a permit.

Fun fact: The Hoh Rain Forest receives more than 140 inches of precipitation each year and summer temperatures rarely surpass the mid-70s. Be prepared for a cooler, moister camping experience.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $24-48
  • Number of sites: 72
  • RV sites: no
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

9. Lost Lake Resort Campground — Oregon

View overlooking lake through a forested campsite with snow dusted Mt. Hood in the distance.

Image from The Dyrt camper Raphaela H.

Incredible views of Mount Hood await campers at this resort and campground offering tent campsites, cabins, yurts, A-frames and lodge rooms. You’ll be smack dab in the middle of Mount Hood National Forest, which means there’s no shortage of hiking, fishing, paddling, swimming and birdwatching. Try the old-growth trail for a relaxing, family-friendly hike close to camp that has plenty of opportunities to learn about the area via interpretive signs set along the trail. In addition to boat and paddleboard rentals, Lost Lake Resort Campground has a well-stocked general store and a seasonal restaurant serving up tasty burgers.

The Dyrt camper Raphaela H. hits the nail on the head when she says Lost Lake “has that nostalgic, summer-camp vibe.”

Campground Details:

  • Price: $27-32
  • Number of sites: 134
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

10. Bay Point Landing — Oregon

Glamping buildings beside the sand dunes on the pacific coast of Oregon.

Image from The Dyrt camper Kelsey B.

If you’re looking for a cozy — dare we say trendy — spot to soak up the southern Oregon coast, look no further than Bay Point Landing in Coos Bay. In addition to welcoming RVers with roomy sites and full hookups, Bay Point Landing rents modern Scandinavian-style cabins and Airstream suites to campers. Everyone who stays here has access to a heated saltwater pool, fitness center, lounge and general store that will deliver anything from wine to ice cream directly to your campsite. If all that wasn’t enough, there’s also a private beach, playground, bocce ball courts and more. It’s not exactly roughing it, but the relaxing, laid-back vibe is perfect when you’re taking a break from all the outdoor activities the area offers, like hiking at local state parks and beaches, fishing, kayaking, surfing and mountain biking.

If you enjoy good eats, you should know that Coos County is an under-the-radar foodie haven. Take a day to discover the area’s farms, markets and restaurants, some of which are part of the Wild Rivers Coast Food Trail.

Campground Details:

  • Price: $49-329
  • Number of sites: 160
  • RV sites: yes
  • Fires allowed: yes
  • Pets allowed: yes

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