Stunning.. a little bit of a drive from Seattle but worth it!
It's hard giving so many different kinds of campgrounds 1-5 stars because there are so many different "categories". Coming back from the Outerbanks of North Carolina where every state run campground is upwards of $40 even if they don't have hot water showers or flush toilets for that matter it's somewhat refreshing coming to my west coast home and finding $12 lakefront campgrounds.
On the water and next to all of the activities that Chelan has to offer… we love to come out her and instead of staying in the over priced and packed hotels we camped. But don't kid yourself the campgrounds fill out but find your space in the golf courses or out on the water.
Bring your clubs and a floating device of some sort. Even if you only have a floatie you will have a great time!
We were lucky enough to sneak another trip into this location before the summer ended…. okay maybe it was tipping into fall but the weather was still nice!
This is one of the few locations that you can feel like you have an expansive beach to yourself.
We love it because it gives our dogs room to run and we love to hike and bike in the area.
This is the closest campground to Paradise, the most popular area and hikes available on Mt Rainier.
This is a classic, I hope once you camp here you come back again every year like we have.
If you are going to do one thing on your trip, take the wonderland trail from your campsite. This is the most accessible location and one of the most spectacular trails.
Right in the Olympic National Park this place is classic. It always has a bit of a gloomy haze even when the sun is shinning. It's stunning and mysteriously beautiful.
Hiking… tide exploring…
There are only 50 sites in this campground which means you can reserve and actually get a spot and once you get here it's not to over crowded.
I'm torn because I want to give this place 3 stars because come on… we've all camped in better spots than open fields with parking slots every ten feet and multiple identical loops to park in.
Sooo… the ground and the layout is typical. And it takes away because you can't actually SEE the beach. There isn't a view. See from my photos that the beach is a short hill walk BUT then it's all UPSIDE…
You are on an amazing beach that only people from the campground explore!! So it's pretty private unlike the parking lots that feed into the beach. AND the positive of that "non-view" is that little null of a hill that blocks your view actually shelters you from some fierce winds that would wear you out if cooking or trying to hang out at your site. So those are all great things. This place just lacks the wow factor or the primitive privacy of other campgrounds but it is an EXCELLENT location on the outer banks because you are the closest legit campground to the open 4x4 beaches of Corolla island and easy access to all the surf and fishing.
The outerbanks are a special place!!!!
You can 4x4 on the beach get beer in a drive through… and there are TONS of places to camp. Of them this spot is pretty great!!!
The camping here is right off the beach.
This is typical old school statie park camping which means no hook ups or hot showers but an amazing location, potable water and cold showers. (no electric) Personally I like primitive camping so this is lux.
But hey… forget about the amenities… THE BEACH!!!
Dunes and desert and beauty!
There is a parking lot, bathrooms and a information area. Then a raised boardwalk. Then DUNES AND UNTOUCHED WILDERNESS to explore as you will. No paths to stay on… no paths at all.. just dirt as far as the eye can see.
So bring flip flops or shoes you can stow and then just explore. Thank you for the locals that fought to keep this area undeveloped and wild.
I took lots of photos with my new go pro but don't jude the photo inspiration of this location by my subpar photos. =)
If you can't find a spot in one of the boutique or smaller national seashore locations you won't get skunked. You'll defiantly find a spot here even in crowded summer weekends when the outerbanks are packed.
The only reason it's not 5 stars is not because the OBX isn't AMAZING or that this spot isn't steps away from EPIC surf or KILLER fishing but because this isn't my favorite spot on the OBX just because it's the largest and it's rows and rows of car camping and campers.
But the facilities are great, flush toilets, hot showers, the works.
There are several loops of camping. It's really nice that the reserve several loops to "tents only" that's not something that national or state parks do on the west coast. It's nice so that you don't get stuck in between two generators when you are trying to get back to nature in the outdoors.
While all the RV's are at the HUGE KOA village the national seashore parks are filled with tents and a respite from generators.
Although there are moments when the wind hits that you might wish you were in a hard shelled tent.
You can make reservations in advance but with over 100 sites and multiple loops of sites you will be sure to find a spot.
This place has amazing access to surf but if you're not a surfer the next best thing to do is walk to the lighthouse from your campsite.
This place is a gem of a state park!!!!
Since it's not right next to the coast it's relatively quiet and not crowded. I went here on the tail end of a mid September weekend and found the entire campground to myself! That is unheard of on the West Coast! There is a beautiful sound access.
This is boutique car camping! There are only 14 camping spots all nicely spaced from each other and in a wooded location. Sites 11-14 are around a little peninsula on the sound so all have some water view. There are a handful of water spouts around the campground, and each site has a parking spot, campsite, table and a lamp hanger. The lamp hanger took me a while to figure out since we don't have these on the west coast it is a suspended hook that looks a bit medieval on first glance.
Bring your paddle boards or canoe to float around the sound. There is a great outline of a 3 mile canoe trail mapped out by the put in. (see my photos)
Ohhhh and it goes without saying near the North Carolina sound BRING BUG SPRAY. This is serious deet country.
This is my favorite Island in the San Juans. It's shaped like a horseshoe and the campground goes from the middle of the island to the coast. There is a beautiful hike along the ridge to the edges of the island.
Because it's so remote and accessed by boat only it keeps the crowds down. This is a remarkable place if you are lucky enough to have a chance to visit.
This is a beautiful park with tons of lush wooded trails that follow the coastline. Lookouts to see the rocks and waves.
The campground is older and quite large so it can get crowded in the summer months with families and kids. I like to camp here in Spring or Fall when there are less people.
Beautiful location. Lush and green private sites with easy access to the beach. Lots of logs and features. This place is stunning!
Prepare for rain as it will likely still rain in the summer with cooler evenings.
This is an older campground so the bathrooms are older but they are flush toilets. No showers at this campground.
There is a lake with waterfront spots or pick a spot closer to the coast. There are tons of trails so bring your bikes!
The bathrooms and showers are brand new and exceptional. They are clean and well appointed with outlets, hooks and flush toilets.
Right before the entrance to the park there is a little mom and pop store, Cape D Cafe, that sells grocery items and home made pizza. They are super nice! Take a break from cooking and pop in for some pizza to go.
This is a gem for California where so many of the campgrounds have over a hundred sites and tons of huge groups of people. This is away from the crowds with only ten sites.
Sites 6, 7, 8 are all open to each other but they are the best spots on the river. If you are going with another couple these spots would be great to secure.
The creek is lovely and rocky in a shallow bed so it's easy to access.
Great campground with lots of trees for privacy and the lake is lovely with lots of fingers that lead off the main lake so you can find solitude on the lake when fishing or just bobbing around.
There are ten Yurts for rent so if you're not up for tent camping the yurts are nice. Note there is only one pet friendly yurt and it books up quick.
This place fills up in the summer with only 50 sites it gets full. I came in late and grabbed the accessible spot that frees up if no one with limited mobility checks in by 7pm.
There is a quarter mile trail through the woods that goes to the beach. On a sunny August Saturday the beach was empty even with a completely full campground. The beach is gorgeous!! There are several other trails that you can take right from the campground.
As of August 28th the Valley trail was closed.
This is a very unique spot, on 2 mile stretch of beach on one side and a bay on the other. The long strip of land is the
Check the weather and the wind before selecting your campsite. You might be tempted to pick one of the bay side sites for the views but keep in mind that the wind picks up at night and it can get really windy. There is a reason this is such a popular spot for kite boarders.
There are wonderful picnic areas and sheltered tables if the wind picks up. Spend your days walking the beach or flying a kite. And for those playing Go there are over a dozen pokemon stops and two gyms on this stretch of beach.
And I don't usually gush about bathrooms but, these are some of the nicest well designed and clean bathrooms I've seen in a campground. The bathrooms between the Cove and Gull Campground loops are exceptional, the bathrooms at the end of the beach and in the Shell campground are the old 50's style. Oh and it should be noted that the newer bathrooms also have electric outlets for styling your hair. The showers are pay and take $2 for 5 minutes.
If it's too windy for you then go down the road on hwy 1 to Bodega Dunes campground. It's sheltered from the wind but, you miss out on all of the views from your spot.
Point Reyes is HUGE! There are a half dozen camping spots in this beautiful park. Tomales Bay is a boat in only campground on Indian Beach a unique experience if you have access to a boat.
There are plenty of drive or walk in sites if you don't have a boat. Pick your terrain the coast, meadow, or woods and there is a campground for you.
You can easily spend a week here with all of the trails, horseback riding, mountain biking and kayaking options.