Thomas B.

Pro

Portland, OR

Joined December 2018

Writer - Photographer - Adventurer

Remote yet crowded

We stopped at this boat-only campground for lunch on a triangle paddle of Lake Ozette. It’s a nice wide beach that makes for easy landings. On Labor Day weekend we could not get the required wilderness camping permit, and actually glad we didn’t. Even though it’s boat-in only, it seemed a little crowded. People had brought boatloads of people and gear over from the Swan Bay boat ramp, plus a dog, which I don’t think is allowed. The campsites are in the woods behind the beach. If we camp on the lake again we will go for one of the islands.

Nice location, with pros and cons

This is a decent campground run by some hard-working private owners. It definitely has its pros and cons. The big pro is that while they don't take reservations, they pride themselves on never turning anyone away. That means you can always find a place to spend the night, although it may mean pitching your tent in the lawn area behind the office/store. Another big pro is that you're within walking distance (~ a quarter mile) of the Ozette Ranger Station and trailheads to the beach. We did the triangle hike to Cape Alava, then down the beach where petroglyphs are visible, to Sand Point and back up to the beginning. Just over 11 miles altogether. You need wilderness permits for camping down at the beach, which you can now get at Recreation.gov. No permits are required for hiking, but you do need proof that you paid the National Park entry fee (or have a pass) to park in the trailhead lot. 

The biggest negative of the Lost Resort is the shortage of toilets. There is one flushable toilet available at all times and two porta-johns up the hill. There is another toilet inside, but it's only available when the store is open during daylight hours. This was a big problem on a very busy Labor Day weekend. The nice people who run the place said they are trying to get more toilets, but are limited by the availability of water, low water pressure, and park restrictions. There is also a single shower available to campers for $3, or $6 for non-customers. 

Each established site has fire ring and a picnic table, although you can tell that makeshift sites used for crowded nights don't have those amenities. There are some open sites and some very enclosed woodsy sites. The sites aren't numbered. There's a marshy area in the middle that would not be good for tents. 

The road in from Sekiu is paved all the way, but it's curvy with a 35 mph speed limit. Our navigation brought us over on 112 from Port Angeles, but I highly recommend taking 101 along the gorgeous Lake Crescent and then heading north on 113. Maybe a few miles longer, but much faster and more scenic. 

We enjoyed paddling our kayak on Lake Ozette, but it got a little tricky with some afternoon winds. Motorboats are allowed on the lake, but they are mostly small fishing boats.

Your basic RV park

This is not really geared to campers. It’s a 55+ park mostly for long-term parkers. It’s right along Puget Sound, so it’s very close to Olympic National Park and thousands of miles of trails and many beautiful camping areas.

Look for the hidden gems

This is a nice campground with a real mix of sites, separated into two parts, kind of an upper and lower. The lower section (sites 48-116) is for the big RVs. It’s flat, the sites are very close together, and there aren’t many trees or anything to provide privacy. You’re also closer to the beach and have some gorgeous views of Puget Sound. As a car/tent camper, I prefer the upper section (sites 1-47). You’re up in the woods and many of the sites offer better privacy. You could fit a smaller RV or trailer up here. There are a few sites along the bluff (lower numbers) that look right out over the water. There are lots of trails to explore and beautiful beach. You need a Discover Pass; national park passes aren’t accepted.

Sadly this is closed

This seems to be closed, but there are other beautiful places to camp on Lake Cushman and the surrounding areas.

Woodsy Setting for RVs

This is a nice setting for an RV park. It's part of the Port Ludlow development, which includes a golf course, a marina, and shops. 

It's set in the woods, so there's lots of privacy. There's a host right at the gate, so it's pretty safe and secure.

The best thing is that if you have kayaks or a boat you can launch and explore some beautiful sections of Puget Sound. You can get to Marrowstone Island, which is one of the best-kept secrets of the Olympic Peninsula. And you can get to Port Townsend, which is very cool.

Your Basic RV Park - Close to the most beautiful scenery!

This is a nice, old-fashioned RV park that happens to be close to some of the most beautiful places in the world. Marrowstone Island is one of the best-kept secrets on the Olympic Peninsula. 

Check out Mystery Bay and Fort Flagler, and then head up to Port Townsend, which is a very cute little town and lots of fun, even in the COVID times.

Better of Oak Bay Campgrounds - Gorgeous view!

I think this is the better of the two Oak Bay campgrounds (upper and lower). It has some nice sites in the woods with privacy. There are a couple of sites with good views, but they are very close to each other. 

I would recommend camping in one of the wooded sites, and then walking/driving to the Lower Campground for the day. That's a much more beautiful spot, but there are no trees and the sites are right next to each other with no privacy.

You're also very close to Marrowstone Island, which is one of the best kept secrets of the Olympic Peninsula.

Only open to active military

This campground is only open to active military, and reservations are strictly required.

Breathtaking

This is a fantastic backpacking adventure. Camp where you can. Great base camp for day hikes. Not overly crowded.

Incredible Wild Coast

Sorry if this is a duplicate review, but it popped up on The Dyrt's list of unreviewed sites. 

It is truly incredible - wild Washington coastline. Not many people. Not easy access. Rustic camping. But the views! It's a bucket list experience.

Lifetime Memories

I've been camping on Lake Cushman since I was a kid. It's one of the true gems of the Olympic Peninsula. It has gotten a lot more popular in recent years, but it's still big enough to handle a lot of people. 

Lots of hiking and paddling opportunities.

High and Mighty

This campground is so high and remote. It's not glamping, by any means. Sites are nice, but there's very little in between them for privacy. Views are incredible. I've been going here since I was a kid.

Good for groups

This is nice campground that's supposed to be reserved for groups, but it seems that individuals can make reservations, or just show up. It was mostly empty. It is twice the price of Baker Creek, which is right up the road. It's a beautiful setting, with some (surprise) Grey Cliffs playing prominently. 

There are fairly clean vault toilets, but not much else. You're in easy reach of the Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive, which I highly recommend. The trails at the top of that drive are spectacular.

The campground is not spectacular. They pretty well spaced, but there's no undergrowth, so privacy isn't that great. This is a great National Park that often gets forgotten.

Close to beauty

This campground is saved by being close to a beautiful area. The vault toilets were dirty and it was crowded. We were able to get a site without a reservation, but it was during the week. Near some great hikes and views. Ouray is a cute little town, but we avoided it due to Covid.

Off the beaten track

This campground is more remote than the South Rim campground, but similar in that your in among the scrubby oaks and don’t have much view. The good news is that the trees provide some privacy, although the sites are pretty close together. Vault toilets are fairly clean. The park entry fee was waived when we arrived in mid-July.

Last minute site

We had the good fortune to get a site without a reservation on a Saturday in July. This was the sixth and last National Park on our three-week, 10-state, 6,000-mile camping/hiking road trip, and we really lucked out with a nice big site (F-11) on the end of a loop, which meant good distance from other sites (far) and bathrooms (not too close, not too far). Its best feature is the proximity to Crater Lake, which is still breathtaking after several visits.
Bathrooms were clean, but showers were closed due to Covid. With this many people in a campground, I guess it’s no surprise that there was one jerk playing loud music well past the 10 pm quiet time. Very annoying. There was a wait of about half an hour to get into the park, but there are no timed entry reservations. Once the ranger saw our senior pass we were able to bypass the last part of the line. Entry to the park is normally $30.

Roughing it off road

Very primitive. Far from the main road. You definitely need a 4-wheel, high clearance vehicle for this. And we saw a rattlesnake in the middle of the road.

If you’re in the mood

This is a pretty little campground that was empty on a Friday night in mid July. Why? Because it’s 100 degrees and the bushes/small trees barely provide any shade. Also the creek has dried up. But there are toilets and the price is right.

Serenity by the stream

This beautiful campground is located at the top of a three-mile corduroy gravel road along the babbling Baker Creek, and many of the sites (including ours - #2) are located within toe-dipping distance of its chilly clear waters. Some sites appear to be much smaller. There are also a couple of pull-through sites for trailers, and a few walk-in sites. You can’t make reservations, but there were several sites available when we arrived at about 3 pm. It did appear to mostly fill up by dinner time. There are drinking water standpipes scattered around, fairly clean vault toilets, and garbage cans that indicate that animal food invasions are rare. Every site has a NPS-issue concrete picnic table and fire ring. Somebody had obviously put time into caring for this sweet campground. Rocks have been placed in decorative rings around trees and bushes. Nice touch. Cost is $15 per night, and half if you have a senior pass. You pay in an envelope by credit card or cash. They don’t accept checks. Don’t miss the beautiful hike at the top of Mt. Wheeler Scenic Drive (see photos).