Best Campsites in Washington State: Ultimate Guide + Map

Campervan Lyle River Campsite in Washington

Washington State has some of the most diverse and beautiful nature in all of the United States. Aside from simply taking in the stunning scenery, there are endless opportunities for hiking, hot springs, and other outdoor pursuits. And the best way to truly explore the outdoors is by camping. 

Whether you’re tent camping or road tripping in a campervan or RV, we’re sharing a list of some of the best campsites in Washington so you can see which ones fit into your itinerary. We even have a free map to show you where in the state each site is located. 

We rounded up a couple of our very favorite campsites in Washington from personal experience. Plus, we asked our fellow travel bloggers to share their top recommendations. We tried to include a good mix from all over the state, as well as a blend of all types of campgrounds: free, backcountry, and National or State Parks. 

So without further ado, let’s dive in!

Map of the Best Campsites in Washington

Google Map of Campsites in Washington State

Shi Shi Beach

Shi Shi Beach

If you’re looking for a magical beach getaway, look no further. Camping on Shi Shi Beach should be a top contender for a spot on your PNW Bucket List!

Getting there requires a bit of a hike and a wilderness permit, but your effort will be rewarded with spectacular sunset views, oceanside bonfires and waking up to unrivaled sea stack rock formations just outside your tent. In fact, this is one of our favorite hikes in Olympic National Park

Remember to pack in enough drinking water. There is a stream along the beach, but when we were there it was polluted and not something you’d want to drink from, even with a filtration system.

Psst! Check out this guide that has everything you need to know about camping on Shi Shi Beach.

  • Location: The very northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula
  • Type of campground: Olympic National Park backcountry site
  • Facilities: none (backcountry camping)
  • Cost: $8 per person, plus a $6 reservation fee if booked on Recreation.gov
  • Best thing about this campsite: camping on a remote wild beach with epic sunsets

Things to do nearby: 

  • Spend some quality time relaxing in a hammock or next to a bonfire 
  • Explore the tide pools and see how many sea creatures you can spot
  • After you hike out, pop into Neah Bay for some food — grab seafood at Calvin’s Crab Hour or try Indian tacos and fry bread at Pat’s Place

Insider Tip: Be prepared to hike through some mud to get here, especially if it has recently rained! 

Recommended by: Katie & Ben from Two Wandering Soles

Scenic Beach State Park

Campsites in Washington: Scenic Beach State Park

If you enjoy privacy, lush forests and beautiful water, Scenic Beach State Park is the perfect camping location for you!

Nestled along the Hood Canal, about an hour Northwest of Tacoma, this state park campground has 50 campsites and 2 hike/bike-in campsites. Some of these are pull-throughs to accommodate RV’s. There are showers and restrooms for guests that are tent camping, and water stations throughout.  The sites are spacious and offer more privacy than most other State Park campgrounds. Most sites are surrounded by trees and shrubs that give the feeling of your own private retreat. 

Scenic Beach State Park is one of Washington’s best campgrounds because of the privacy, and its location. The Hood Canal is a saltwater body of water that is perfect for Summer swimming. There are viewpoints throughout the State Park that look out at the clear water, and there are mountains on the other side of the Canal. This picturesque view can be viewed from closer up by walking down to a small beach.

  • Location: Along the Hood Canal, about an hour Northwest of Tacoma
  • Type of campground: State Park
  • Facilities: pull-throughs for RVs, showers and restroom facilities, water stations throughout
  • Cost: $27.00 per night + online reservation fee of $8.00
  • Best thing about this campsite: Swimming in the Hood Canal

Things to do nearby: 

  • Explore Scenic Beach State Park
  • Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve
  • Seabeck General Store and Pier

Insider Tip: Although all of the sites look very private, sites closer to the water are the best bet! Site 4 is across from a water source, a short walk to the bathrooms, and an even shorter walk down to the water! No matter which site you stay in, Scenic Beach State Park will not disappoint!

Recommended by: Samantha from A Truthful Traveler

Kalaloch Campground

Tree of Life, photo by Trip Scholars

The Tree of Life, Photo by Trip Scholars

Kalaloch Campground is perched on a high bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Olympic National Park. There are 168 sites with fire rings and picnic tables. A few sites have direct views of the water, but all campers can enjoy the pathway down to the beach. Most sites have ample vegetation providing some privacy to campers. 

You will find flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station (for a fee), but no electric hook ups or showers. The campground is part of a much larger complex that includes a lodge, restaurant, and store. Sites can accommodate tents and many can take smaller trailers, but there are limited spaces available for large RVs. 

Olympic National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Kalaloch Campground is an ideal base for exploring the southwest section of this world-class park.

  • Location: Southwest coast of Olympic National Park, 3.5 hours from Seattle
  • Type of campground: National Park Campground with tent and limited RV sites
  • Facilities: flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station (for a fee), but no electric hook ups or showers
  • Cost: about $25 per night
  • Best thing about this campsite: The location is idea for exploring the southwest section of Olympic National Park

Things to do nearby: 

  • Hit the trails in Olympic National Park – some of the best hikes in Washington
  • Go tide pooling at Beach 4 at low tide
  • Find the “Tree of Life” along the bluff below the campground
  • Learn more from Park Rangers at the nearby Visitor Center

Insider Tip: Campsites here go quickly in the summertime! Get your reservations when the sites become available six months in advance. The campsites are also available without reservation from mid-September to mid-May, but tent camping can be challenging for much of this time because of heavy rains along the coast. 

Recommended by: Erica at Trip Scholars

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Ohanapecosh Campground

Campsites in Washington: Ohanapecosh

Ohanapecosh is a popular campground located at the base of Mt. Rainier on its south side. It’s surrounded by lush greenery and feels quite off-the-grid, as the closest town for supplies is a 15 minute drive away.

The crystal clear and ice cold Ohanapecosh River rushes through the campground. Most of the year, this river is too ferocious to enter. But if you search around, you can find small creeks throughout the campground to splash around in. The main highlight of Ohanapecosh is the world-class hiking nearby. There is also a hot spring within the campground!

  • Location: Mount Rainier National Park 
  • Type of campground: National Park; Tent and RV campground in an old-growth forest
  • Facilities: Modern restrooms, no showers, RV hook-ups, firewood available on-site
  • Cost: $20 per night
  • Best thing about this campsite: Access to hiking in Mt. Rainier National Park

Things to do nearby: 

  • Hike to the infamous Grove of the Patriarchs, a leisurely 1.3 mile hike with a suspension bridge to see 1,000 year old Douglas Firs. This hike is toddler-friendly, and fun with babies if you bring your favorite baby carrier.
  • Drive up to Paradise to see the wildflowers and the summertime snow at the higher elevations. Paradise is the most popular destination for tourists to Mt. Rainier National Park.
  • Explore the historic district of Longmire and hike the Trail of the Shadows.

Insider Tip: Reservations for Ohanapecosh fill up fast. If you have your heart set on it, set a reminder to get reservations early in January when they open for the new year. About half of the spots are first come, first served. If you go that route, plan to get there early in the morning (spots are usually full by 11am on weekends) and have a back-up plan!

Recommended by: Dani from Diapers in Paradise

Cougar Rock Campground

Mt Rainier photo by Ladona Stork

Located on the southwest side of Mount Rainier National Park, Cougar Rock Campground is beautifully shaded. Many of the sites are on the smaller side however with plenty of shrubbery to separate them it doesn’t feel crowded. The close proximity to Paradise and Longmire as well as some amazing hikes make Cougar Rock the best base camp from which you can explore Mt Rainier.

  • Location: Mt Rainier National Park, about 90 minutes South of Seattle
  • Type of campground: National Park Campground, tents and RVs up to 35’
  • Facilities: centralized drinking water and flush toilets but no electricity or showers
  • Cost: $20 per night plus National Park entrance fee
  • Best thing about this campsite: Proximity to Paradise section of the National Park 

Things to do nearby: 

  • Tour Longmire Museum to explore the rich history of Mt Rainier National Park and visit the nearby gift shop while you are there.
  • A stop at Paradise is a must on your list of things to do in Mt Rainier, in summer the wildflowers are in full bloom which you can enjoy with a short or long hike of your choice. Afterwards stop at the historic Paradise Inn to enjoy a snack on the veranda. (Note, Paradise is the busiest spot in the park so visit early or late in the day.)
  • Hike to Carter Falls and Mad Cap Falls. The 2.2 mile moderate trail starts just below the campground.
  • The campground has a lovely amphitheater so check the newspaper to see if there is an evening ranger talk during your visit.

Insider Tip: Make a reservation far in advance for Cougar Rock as it’s tough to grab a last minute campsite. Also store food carefully as bears, foxes and crows are known to scavenge for treats here.

Recommended by: Ladona from Walking the Parks

Hoh Rainforest Campground

Campsites in Washington: Hoh Campground

The Hoh Rainforest Campground is in the heart of Olympic National Park and campers are surrounded with moss laden ancient trees and countless shades of green. There are 72 sites, including a group site and an ADA Accessible site. They all have fire rings and picnic tables. 

Campers have access to flush toilets and potable water, but no electric hook ups, dump stations, or showers. Sites can accommodate tents, and many can also take trailers and RVs. For summer camping, get your reservations six months in advance when the sites become available online. Almost all of the annual precipitation (an astounding 140” a year!) falls outside of the busy summer months. Sites are available first come, first served outside of peak season, but wet season campers may prefer trailers over tents to stay dry.  

The park has a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in part, because it includes one of the world’s largest stands of virgin temperate rainforests. The Hoh is the heart of this breathtaking ecosystem and for many, camping in this mossy forested wonderland is the highlight of their time in the Pacific Northwest. 

  • Location: Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park
  • Type of campground: National Park campground with tent and RV sites + ADA Accessible campsites
  • Facilities: flush toilets and potable water, but no electric hook ups, dump stations, or showers
  • Cost: $25 per night
  • Best thing about this campsite: It’s location inside the Hoh Rainforest

Things to do nearby: 

  • Hit the trails in the Hoh Rainforest — some of the best hikes in Olympic National Park
  • Spend time in the informative Visitor Center
  • If traveling with kids sign up for the Junior Ranger Program 
  • Plan to attend a ranger led walk or an evening talk in the amphitheater
  • Walk out to the Hoh River and admire the otherworldly color made from glacial flour upstream

Insider Tip: Olympic National Park is one of our largest national parks, it is about the size of Rhode Island!  The Hoh Campground is in the center of the park and makes a wonderful base for exploring the west side of the park if you are staying for a full week. If you are just camping here for a few days, consider spending all your time near the campground and visiting other sites as you circumnavigate the peninsula.

Recommended by: Erica at Trip Scholars

Lake Wenatchee State Park Campground

Campsites in Washington: Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee State Park is a 492-acre camping area with every activity imaginable. In the summer, try swimming, biking, horseback riding, windsurfing, mountain climbing, stand up paddling, and more. In the winter, it’s a destination for skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing. 

With 12,623 feet of waterfront on one of Washington’s most iconic alpine lakes, there aren’t many campgrounds that can offer more in terms of activities and family fun than Lake Wenatchee State Park. There is something for everyone at this massive and well-maintained campground.

  • Location: Just north of Leavenworth
  • Type of campground: Popular year-round all-inclusive campground for tents or RVs
  • Facilities: Clean and modern restrooms with showers, general store within park, boat and kayak rentals, horse rentals, large playground, and various interpretive opportunities. In winter, the restrooms are heated and warming shelters are available.
  • Cost: $45 per night
  • Best thing about this campsite: All of the activities available here

Things to do nearby: 

  • Visit the Bavarian town of Leavenworth
  • Chiwawa Sno-park offers the unique opportunity to ski or snowshoe with your dog
  • Hike Dirtyface Peak, a 9-mile trail with incredible views

Insider Tip: The south and north loop are separated by a river, and are a drive (or a long hike) apart. The south loop is where the playground, general store, boat rentals, and swimming beach are located, and is the better choice for families. The north loop does have fantastic biking trails, though!

Recommended by: Dani from Diapers in Paradise

Lyre River Campground

Lyle River Campsite in Washington

With lush old growth trees and a babbling stream, this campground is an absolute dream. And best of all, it is free with the Washington Discover Pass ($11.50 daily or $35 annually). 

The sites vary quite a bit — some are situated on the banks of the river and others are tucked back in the woods. Regardless of the site you choose, you’ll have a perfect location for exploring Olympic National Park.

  • Location: Northern part of the Olympic Peninsula
  • Type of campground: Free campground
  • Facilities: Pit toilet, fire ring, picnic tables, potable water, trash
  • Cost: Free, with the Washington Discover Pass
  • Best thing about this campsite: Situated on the banks of the Lyre River, this forested campground has an idyllic setting

Things to do nearby: 

  • Follow the small trail near the entrance of the campground as it leads to a beautiful stretch of ocean at the Juan de Fuca Strait that you’ll likely have all to yourself. The trail is 1.3 miles each way.
  • Walk the path down to the river and hang out in the sun, or jump in if it’s a really hot day
  • Explore Lake Crescent — hike to Marymere Falls or if you’re up for a challenge, hike Mount Storm King. And if it’s a hot day, grab a cold beer at Crescent Lake Lodge and jump in the lake!

Insider Tip: This campground is first come first serve, making it a good choice for a spontaneous trip. That said, if you’re camping on a weekend during the summer, try to arrive early, as this campground can fill up quickly.

Recommended by: Katie & Ben from Two Wandering Soles

Frenchman Coulee Campground

Campsites in Washington: Frenchman Coulee

Located in central Washington, the Frenchman Coulee Campground is perched along the arid cliffs of a deep canyon, made of columnar basalt, with interesting rock formations jutting out of the ground. The landscape looks more akin to what you’d expect in Utah or the American Southwest, as opposed to the lush green forests of Washington. 

While you won’t find pools or yoga classes here as you may at a swanky RV resort, you will be able to take in the spectacular views of a uniquely beautiful gorge, complete with a rushing waterfall. And if you’re into rock-climbing, you’re in luck- Frenchman Coulee has some of the state’s best climbing routes. Just be sure to watch out for rattlesnakes, which are most active here during the warmer months!

  • Location: Central Washington, 40 minutes east of Ellensburg
  • Type of campground: Dispersed campsite run by Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, suitable for RVs and tent campers
  • Facilities: only pit toilets
  • Cost: Free with a Discover Pass, which costs $35 for annual access to properties managed by Washington State Parks and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Best thing about this campsite: Spectacular views of the gorge

Things to do nearby: 

  • Go hiking in Frenchman Coulee itself- there’s an easy four-mile hike along the floor of the canyon that will take you right up to the base of the waterfall. 
  • Check out Washington’s state gem, petrified wood, at the nearby Gingko Petrified Forest, where you’ll get spectacular views of the Columbia River and get to see massive hunks of petrified wood up close and personal. 
  • Explore nearby Yakima, with spectacular hikes (Rattlesnake Dance Ridge Trail is a favorite) and excellent wineries.

Insider Tip: For the best campsites along the cliff, you’ll need a high clearance vehicle.

Recommended by: Jessica from Uprooted Traveler

Goodell Creek Campground

Campsites in Washington: Goodell Creek Campground

Goodell Creek Campground is nestled in the woods about a mile away from the North Cascades National Park visitor center. The campground is in a lush, old-growth forest that looks like Dr. Suess land with moss and ferns growing everywhere. The campground is right next to the Skagit River and some sites even back up right to the river. 

Goodell Creek campground is one of the best campsites in Washington because of its location inside North Cascades National Park and the beautiful old-growth forest surrounding your campsite.  

  • Location: North Cascades National Park
  • Type of campground: NPS campground with tent and RV sites. Only non-electric available. Only a few sites will fit a camper over 30 feet long. 
  • Facilities: picnic shelter, pit toilets, potable water, two group sites
  • Cost: $20 per night
  • Best thing about this campsite: location in North Cascades National Park

Things to do nearby: 

  • Hike one of the many beautiful trails in North Cascades National Park 
  • Go kayaking or  SUP boarding on Diablo Lake
  • Drive the scenic North Cascades Highway 

Insider Tip: Go check out Ladder Creek Falls at night. Ladder Creek Falls is a 0.4-mile hike that takes you over a suspension bridge next to the Gorge Powerhouse in Newhalem. It’s best to go in the dark because the powerhouse lights up the entire Ladder Creek Falls area with different colored lights! It’s so much fun to see the beautiful falls in the first place, but when they are lit up with all different colors in the dark they are especially beautiful. 

Recommended by: Jessica from Unearth the Voyage

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Best Campsites in Washington | Go Wander Wild
Best Campsites in Washington | Go Wander Wild

We want to hear from you!

Have you stayed at any of the campgrounds on this list? What was your experience like there? Do you have any favorite campsites in Washington you think deserve a spot on this list? Comment below and let us know!

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