Camping in Washington State

Washington is a camping-lover’s dream. From mountains to sandy beaches, the landscape is a stunning backdrop for tents and campfires, and the perfect playground for hiking, stargazing and all your other favorite camping activities. The state is full of campgrounds with varying amenities and of various sizes to help visitors enjoy the wilderness in whichever capacity he or she loves the most.

The state has an intricate network of campsites in state parks to choose from and there are private campsites as well, including KOA. Freecampsites.net provides a thorough list of campsites in Washington, color-coded to easily identify if they are free and if they require a pass or permit. Each campground listed has GPS coordinates, amenities and number of campsites. Go Camping America allows for the search of campgrounds by several variables: amenities, credit cards accepted, services and more.

Top Places to Camp in Washington

Northeast
Riverside State Park, Nine Mile Falls
Pitch your tent along the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers, where freshwater fishing, boating and 55 miles of hiking and biking trails will fill each day's roster of activities.

Southeast
Starbuck/Lyons Ferry Marina KOA, Starbuck
Stay in a place explored by Lewis and Clark along the Snake River in Starbuck. The campground, marina, camp store and restaurant make things convenient, and nearby waterfalls, rock formations and fishing mean you don't have to go far to explore the area's riches.

North Central
Icicle River RV Resort, Leavenworth
Minutes from Washington's little Bavarian town of Leavenworth, the resort offers amenities for those less enthused by sleeping on the cold ground, including camper cabins and RV hookups (not to mention internet access and laundry facilities!).

Wine Country
Yakima Sportsman State Park, Yakima
Created in 1940 by the Yakima Sportsman's Association, this park promotes preservation of natural resources along the Yakima River, with ponds, lakes and rivers for avid fishers and rangers who will lead nature walks in the beautiful outdoor classroom.

The Gorge
Paradise Point State Park, Ridgefield
This park's name speaks to its peaceful atmosphere along 6,000 feet of freshwater shoreline for swimmers, with tent spaces, yurts and utility sites serving campers of all experience levels.

The Volcanoes
Seaquest State Park, Castle Rock
Not far from Mount St. Helens, Seaquest State Park is a 475-acre, year-round camping park. Beautifully forested with large secondary old-growth trees, it's situated off Spirit Lake Highway across from Silver Lake and the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center.

Metro Seattle
Marten Creek Campground, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest near Granite Falls
Marten Creek Campground provides a tranquil getaway at the intersection of the Stillaguamish River and Marten Creek, a prime location for hiking, fishing, picnicking and horseback riding. Enjoy sights of Mt. Baker and catch a glimpse of lynx, moose, wolves and wolverine. 

Peninsulas & Coast
Sol Duc RiverForks
The small town of Forks offers all-inclusive camping, so all you have to bring is clothes and food. Everything else, including a tent, sleeping bags, cooking gear and gorgeous riverside views, will be there for you! 

North Cascades
Larrabee State Park, near Bellingham
Known for its beautiful sunsets, Larrabee State Park possesses 8,100 feet of saltwater shoreline on Samish Bay. The park’s 51 standard tent sites are within range of two freshwater lakes, coves and tidelands.

More Washington Campground Options >>

Weather 

Like any state where the weather varies with the seasons, it is important to always be prepared for any type of weather—even at the height of summer. Be prepared for rain and the chill that could come along with it. 

Glamping, Vamping & Going Rouge

Check out Seattle Magazine’s “Best Camping Spots in Washington” article to learn what glamping and vamping are, first of all, and most importantly—how to take part.

Other Recommendations

For a more personal recommendation check out Northwest Trip Finder’s list of 10 recommended campgrounds.

Photo credit: Flickr/smilygrl