7 of the Best Campsites in Washington
Calling all campers who love to stay at a campsite surrounded by great hikes, breathtaking mountain views, and plenty of options for recreating outdoors and exploring this beautiful state. If you haven’t taken a camping trip in Washington yet, the Pacific Northwest is calling your name.
There’s something for everyone on a Washington camping trip; you can choose from spending time on the beach, in the mountains, or somewhere in between. Nicknamed “the Evergreen State,” this getaway state is home to more evergreen trees than nearly any other state.
And, in another sense of the word, Washington is evergreen due to the endless, constantly changing activities, from backpacking to canoeing. It seems like there’s always an undiscovered cove waiting for you.
We have rounded up a list of some of the best Washington campsites, each with different attractions and accommodations. All you need to worry about is getting your adventure van ready and hitting the road!
Our first recommendation is Hoh Campground, located in the Hoh Rain Forest and part of Olympic National Park. This beloved camping spot gets its name from the Hoh River begins on Mount Olympus, and ends in the Pacific Ocean. The river and surrounding lush landscape are a major draw of this campground.
Olympic National Park covers most of the Olympic Peninsula, with plenty of adventures to pick from. When staying at the Hoh Campground, enjoy easy access to the nearby trailhead next to the Hoh Rainforest Visitor Center.
Take the 0.8-mile Hall of Mosses Trail for a shorter loop to experience the old-growth forest and see the iconic loop that makes this area so famous. The Spruce Nature Trail is another scenic option from the visitor center, which is a 1.2-mile loop that runs along Taft Creek and Hoh River.
The Hoh Campground has 89 campsites, including some ADA sites. The campsites are reservable during the summer peak season and first-come, first-serve the rest of the year. Each site has picnic tables, fire rings, flush toilets, and potable water.
There are no hookups at the campsites, but there is a dump station. Most sites will fit vans and RVs up to 21 feet long, but if you have a van longer than 21 feet, be sure to pay attention to the site details when looking to camp here.
This campground is open year-round and it's not nearly as cold as other campgrounds in the state thanks to the temperate rainforest climate — just don’t forget to pack your rain gear!
Sol Duc Hot Springs Campground
The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground is another great campground in the Olympic National Park. This campground is located along the Sol Duc River and features hot springs pools, and it’s open seasonally, generally from March through October. We highly recommend making a reservation before visiting.
There are 82 tent and 17 RV campsites in the campground, and the RV sites can accommodate vehicles of up to 26 feet in length. There’s plenty of privacy and abundant flush toilets, and potable water. There are no showers at the campground, but you will have access to showers if you pay to enjoy the hot spring pools.
The area's history dates back as far as the early 1800s when settlers found these hot springs and named them “Sol Duc.” Now a developed hot spring resort, you can choose from three different mineral hot spring pools that are heated, or you can choose to take a dip in the large freshwater swimming pool.
After becoming acquainted with the all-natural pools, check out the other activities, like the hikes that start right in the campground, including the Sol Duc Falls trail.
Next on your list is the Salmon Cascades Overlook. Not only will this give you a beautiful viewpoint of the area, but you can also watch the salmon fight to swim their way upstream in the river (as long as you visit in the fall).
Moran State Park Campground
Our next stop is Moran State Park, located on Orcas Island. This beautiful 5,000+ acre state park is only accessible by ferry and is home to the best camping you can find on the San Juan Islands. While at one of the park's 124 campsites, you'll have plenty of space to play, relax, and raise a toast to summer nights.
The campsites are spread over three main campground areas around Cascade Lake, with one more primitive campground on the shores of Mountain Lake. While each campground has its own benefit, the Southend camp area is frequently the first to be booked, as most sites are right on the shoreline. Each campground has restrooms and showers. There are no RV hookups at the campsites, but there is a dump station.
Moran State Park is more than just a campground with numerous activities to fill your day. Here, you can explore the park's 11 miles of bike trails and 38 miles of equestrian and hiking trails. If you want to spend most of your time on the water, you can swim, kayak, boat, fish, or SUP. You can also hike up to Mount Constitution, the tallest point in the San Juan Islands.
To get the best views from Mount Constitution, you can do the entire 7.9-mile climb — but be prepared for some challenging sections and 1,738 feet of elevation gain. You also have the option to drive all or part of the way up to make it a shorter trek.
For a campground with ocean views and beach access, the Kalaloch Campground is an ideal choice. This area is excellent for exploring Washington’s unique coastal habitat and letting the kids (or your inner child) out to play, bird watching, whale watching, and more.
You’ll find campsites with ocean views or privately nestled within this densely forested area. Sites here are reservation-only during peak season and first-come, first-serve the rest of the year. They have flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station, but there are no RV hookups at the sites. You won’t find showers at the campground, but there are showers available at Queets Trading Post nearby.
Several of the campsites overlook the ocean, which makes for amazing sunsets. Here you can walk in the sand and examine the tide pools in Beach 4 and Ruby Beach. You may spot starfish, crabs, sea otters, and more as whales play in the distance. Make sure to also pay a visit to the Kalaloch Gift Shop and the Tree of Life while you’re in the area.
Kalaloch is within the bounds of Olympic National Park, so if you have a national park pass, this is a good time to pull it out of your glove box. Almost all of the coastline north of Kalaloch is considered part of Olympic National Park, so you’re bound to see more incredible scenery here.
Eightmile Campground is a 2-3 hour scenic drive from Seattle and part of Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Visitors at this campground will enjoy the close proximity to the many nearby attractions. Whether you came to hike the Enchantments, get rowdy on the bike trails, fish at Toketie Lake, or visit the Bavarian-themed shops in Leavenworth, this is a prime location to make your home base.
Located on the banks of Icicle Creek in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, this 41-site campground accommodates up to 25 vehicles. It offers the basics of picnic tables, drinking water, and vault toilets - but there are no RV hookups or dump stations. Over half of the sites can be reserved at least three days in advance, and the remaining available sites are available to whoever can snag them first. This is the first campground of several along Icicle Creek, so first-come-first-serve sites go fast, especially on the weekends.
You’ll have direct access to the river, hiking trails, and a rock wall here. Rock climbers will be pleased to know there’s a small crag a short walk away from the campground with a handful of trad and sport routes, not to mention some of Leavenworth’s best bouldering just a few miles away.
For hiking, this campground is an excellent location for day hiking the Enchantments if you couldn’t get a permit for backpacking. If you’re not up for a full day of strenuous hiking, this area has several other incredible trails, such as the Fourth of July Trail. This hike is challenging but much shorter and will take you through mountain meadows and lush forested areas.
Eightmile is remarkably close to supplies in the town of Leavenworth, so it’s an excellent location for those groceries you forgot about or when you need to restock. Plus, there’s plenty of shade and privacy for you to enjoy hanging out and relaxing at camp.
The Larrabee Campground is part of the 2,638-acre Larrabee State Park and is a popular spot for campers in Washington. Here you’ll have direct access to Chuckanut mountain biking, hiking trails, and of course, incredible views of Samish Bay.
There are a total of 59 tent sites, plus 26 RV sites with full hookups if needed. There’s also a dump station in the park, as well as direct access to biking and hiking trails. This campground has plenty of amenities, including picnic tables, electric hookups, drinking water, flush toilets, and even showers. But like most campgrounds in this area, there is no public WiFi, so you’ll need to pack your own connection to stay connected.
Larrabee State Park is famous for its mesmerizing views of Samish Bay. Speaking of the bay, walk down to Clayton Beach for swimming and sunbathing. You can also take your kayak or stand-up paddleboard out on the water to enjoy the views.
If you’ve wanted to plan a mountain biking camping trip to Bellingham, this is the place to set up camp. And if you’re unsure which trails to ride, Double Black Diamond to Double Down is hands down what to ride. You’ll have even better views of the bay at the top and experience some of the best dirt to ride in the state, and it ends basically at the campground entrance.
This park is located along the 21-mile coastal Chuckanut Drive, which ends in Bellingham. If you continue on the road, you’ll drive past an oyster farm to find great restaurants, art galleries, breweries, and more in Bellingham.
Lake Wenatchee State Park
Lake Wenatchee State Park is on Lake Wenatchee, a glacier-fed lake. This campground is open year-round to make for a great home base no matter what time you visit. This state park is part of Wenatchee National Forest and has plenty of outdoor activities and enchanting views.
The Lake Wenatchee State Park Campground offers WiFi, drinking water, firewood, toilets, picnic tables, showers, electric hookups, and a dump site. You’ll find 155 standard campsites and 42 partial-hookup sites, including two ADA camping areas.
The area is divided into the South Campground and the North Campground. If you are interested in swimming and horseback riding, then the South Campground is for you. However, if you are more interested in a rugged, less-developed environment, then the forested section of the North Campground will be your best bet.
Both parks will give you access to the lake for swimming, boating, canoeing, and spending time on the beach. The clear blue waters are ideal for swimming, and you can rent a kayak or SUP Memorial Weekend through Labor Day.
The lakefront accessible from the campground has stunning views of the park’s forested area and is a must-see. It’s also a hotspot for winter sports like snowshoeing and snowmobiling, so make sure to visit again in December and pack accordingly.
Time To Explore
Now that you have a list of the best campsites in Washington, it’s time to get started on your next adventure in the van! Whether you want to explore the mountains, the beach, or both at once, there is a place for you.
Just make sure you are prepared for what the campground offers and what you will need to bring yourself. If you are looking for reliable van accessories that will make your camping trips easy and complete, head over to Flatline Van Co.
Olympic National Park | US National Park Service
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground, Olympic National Park | Recreation.gov
Larrabee State Park | Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Lake Wenatchee State Park | Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
Tree Species | Washington Forest Protection Association
Getting to Orcas | Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce & Visitor Center
Leave a comment