Best Campsites in Washington

by Amy Myers
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Between its snowcapped mountains, sapphire blue waters and vibrant, evergreen forests, the beauty of Washington’s campsites rivals even the most dazzling gemstones. Though most folks on the west coast tend to prefer campsites further south where the weather’s a bit warmer, there’s a purity to the Evergreen State that makes you feel more in tune with your wild side.

There are 13 regions of camping within Washington. Among the most popular are the San Juan Islands, North and South Puget Sound and the Pacific Coast regions. Of course, all of Washington’s campsites are worth visiting, but these regions in particular offer all the best activities that the state has to offer, from paddling and fishing to hiking and biking.

Of these campgrounds and state parks, our pick of the litter boasts the most unique and inspiring activities and views – including whale watching, diving and even beer tastings.

No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, Washington has you covered.

Check out Outsider’s choice of the state’s best campsites.

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People enjoying the view of the San Juan Islands from the top of Mount Constitution in the Moran State Park on Orcas Island, San Juan Islands in Washington State, United States. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Cape Disappointment State Park

For the whale watchers.

  • Location: 244 Robert Gray Drive, Ilwaco, WA 98624
  • Campground Contact: (360) 642-3078
  • Park Hours: 6:30 a.m. to dusk, year-round
  • Campground Website

Despite this park’s name, you won’t be disappointed if you stay at one of these campsites. The name derives from a fur trader in search of the Columbia River. When he didn’t find it, he decided to immortalize the dismay he felt. But with a wide beach, 8 miles of hiking trails and 2 lighthouses to explore, the cape is a haven for campers. Even more exciting is the fact that you can watch whales breach the water’s surface from the Interpretive Center. Here, folks have been able to catch sight of gray whales from late March to May as they migrate north. So, don’t forget to pack a pair of binoculars before you go.

Campground Breakdown:

  • 137 standard non-electric campsites: $20 to $37 per night
  • 18 partial hook-up sites: $30 to $45 per night
  • 50 full hook-up sites: $35 to $50
  • 14 yurts: $64 to $79 per night
  • 3 cabins: $64 to $79 per night

The campground also boasts a camp store that serves delectable dishes during the summer. You can choose between meals like artisan pizza, salads, sandwiches and local seafood to be delivered right to your campsite for a gourmet camping experience.

Cape Disappointment Amenities: sanitation dump station, 8 restrooms, 14 showers, park store, firewood, picnic tables and area, potable water, pay phone and boat launch

Reserve a Cape Disappointment campsite here.

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North Head Lighthouse, Cape Disappointment State Park, Washington. (Photo by Greg Vaughn /VW PICS/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Millersylvania State Park

For the brew-hounds and glampers.

  • Location: 12245 Tilley Road S., Olympia, WA 98512
  • Campground Contact: (360) 753-1519
  • Park Hours: 6:30 a.m. to dusk in summer, 8 a.m. to dusk in winter
  • Campground Website

While Millersylvania State Park is open to campers of all ages, it also offers a 21+ experience for those that want to add a craft beer to their nightly campfire. With access to 3,300 feet of Deep Lake’s shoreline, these campsites are popular for families and friend groups alike. Besides the waterfront activities that it boasts, Millersylvania State Park is home to the Lakeside Tap Room. Located beside Beach #1, the venue is a cozy cabin with lots of outdoor seating and plenty of craft beer and cider on tap. They also have boozy specialties and snacks to enjoy.

Campground Breakdown:

  • 94 standard non-electric campsites: $20 to $37 per night
  • 45 partial hook-up sites: $30 to $45 per night
  • 1 cottage: $129 to $169 per night
  • 1 group campground: $68.37 per night
  • 7 Pampered Wilderness cabins: $244.50 per night per two guests

Millersylvania is also a prime spot for campers that need a bit more luxury during their outdoor experience. Separate from the rest of the campsites, Pampered Wilderness has linen-draped cabins with electricity, king-sized beds, dining tables and more.

Millersylvania Amenities: picnic area, group kitchen shelter with stove, grill, sink, electrical outlets and fireplace, small-craft boat launch, 3 restrooms, 8 showers, sanitation dump station, swimming beach and fish cleaning station

Reserve a Millersylvania campsite here.

Larrabee State Park

For the mountain bikers.

  • Location: 245 Chuckanut Drive, Bellingham, WA 98229
  • Campground Contact: (360) 676-2093
  • Park Hours: 6:30 a.m. to dusk in summer, 8 a.m. to dusk in winter
  • Campground Website

Within Larrabee State Park’s 2,700 acres, there are 18 miles of trails for hikers, bikers and horseback riders. Situated on the seaward side of Chuckanut Mountain, Larrabee’s mountain biking trails take visitors through lush forests full of Douglas-fir and salal. With so many trails, these campsites have become the go-to spot for bikers that need only a good set of wheels and a tent to have a good time. Not to mention, between the Fragrance and Lost lakes, the park also has plenty of fishing and paddling opportunities, too.

Campground Breakdown:

  • 51 standard non-electric campsites: $20 to $37 per night
  • 26 full hook-up sites: $35 to $50
  • 1 group campground: $69.95 per night
  • 4 ADA compliant sites: $35 to $50 per night

Larrabee Amenities: potable water, picnic area, sanitation dump station, 2 restrooms, 6 showers, boat launch, fire rings and seasonal firewood

Reserve a Larrabee campsite here.

Saltwater State Park

For the underwater explorers.

  • Location: 25205 8th Place S., Des Moines, WA 98198
  • Campground Contact: (253) 661-4956
  • Park Hours: 8 a.m. to dusk, September 17 to May 14
  • Campground Website

Unlike most of Washington’s state parks and campgrounds, Saltwater’s main attraction is below the surface. Located halfway between Seattle and Tacoma, the park features a nearly 15,000-foot shoreline on the Puget Sound where an artificial reef lies. This reef attracts all types of sea creatures, including mollusks, starfish, crustaceans, lingcods, spotted ratfish and more. As beautiful as the state park is at the shore, it’s just as bizarre within the depths of its reef.

Along with the aquatic attractions, Saltwater State Park also has beach exploration activities, interpretive exhibits, wildlife viewing spots and more, making these campsites the prime spot for animal enthusiasts of all ages.

Campground Breakdown:

  • 35 standard non-electric campsites: $20 to $37 per night
  • 4 ADA compliant sites: $20 to $37 per night

Saltwater Amenities: year-round sanitation dump station, 4 restrooms, 2 showers, vault toilets, picnic shelters, volleyball court, swimming beach and horseshoe pit

Reserve a Saltwater campsite here.

Moran State Park

For the paddlers.

  • Location: 3572 Olga Road, Olga, WA 98279
  • Campground Contact: (360) 376-2326
  • Park Hours: 6:30 a.m. to dusk in summer, 8 a.m. to dusk in winter
  • Campground Website

As a part of the Orca Islands, Moran State Park’s campsites are a popular choice for avid paddlers looking to spend their summer just a few feet from the water’s edge. Here, paddlers can unzip their tents and launch their boats right onto Cascade Lake and explore the 175 acres of cool, bright blue water. Also on site is Orca Adventures, which offers paddleboard, kayak, boat and inflatable floatie rentals. Or, for those that prefer land-based activities, Moran State Park also has 6 miles of horse trails, 11 miles of biking trails and 38 miles of hiking trails.

Campground Breakdown:

  • 124 standard non-electric campsites: $20 to $37 per night
  • 6 hike-to/bike-to sites: $12 per night
  • 1 Adirondack shelter: $12 per night
  • 1 ADA compliant site: $20 to $37 per night
  • 5 Leanto glamping sites

Like Millersylvania State Park, Moran has more glamorous camping options for its visitors through Leanto. Located in the Southend campground, Leanto’s tents have modern amenities like queen-sized beds, wooden furniture, fire ring with Adirondack chairs and a shared bathhouse with electrical outlets.

Moran Amenities: 5 restrooms, 10 showers, vault toilets, boat launch, picnic areas, camp store, swimming beach and sanitation dump station

Reserve a Moran campsite here.

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People kayaking on Mountain Lake in the Moran State Park on Orcas Island, San Juan Islands in Washington State, United States. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Lake Wenatchee State Park

For the year-round adventurers.

  • Location: 21588 SR 207, Leavenworth, WA 98826
  • Campground Contact: (509) 763-3101
  • Park Hours: 6:30 a.m. to dusk, year-round
  • Campground Website

While some of the Washington state parks’ attractions are more popular in the summertime, Lake Wenatchee is a prime getaway spot any time of the year. During the warm weather months, visitors flock to these campsites for its collective 20 miles of hiking, biking and riding trails as well as its freshwater fishing and variety of boating opportunities. Once the lake freezes and the trails are covered in roughly 150 inches of snow, the state park still fills with winter adventurers. With 30 miles of cross-country skiing trails, 12 miles of snow-shoeing trails and plenty of sledding hills, Lake Wenatchee is just as popular in the winter as it is in the summer.

Campground Breakdown:

  • 155 standard non-electric campsites: $20 to $37 per night
  • 42 partial hook-up sites: $30 to $45 per night
  • 1 group campground: $69.76 per night
  • 2 ADA compliant sites: $20 to $37 per night

Lake Wenatchee Amenities: sanitation dump station, 7 restrooms, 16 showers, firewood, camp store, horse rides and stable, picnic area, group kitchen shelter with stove, grill, sink, electrical outlets and fireplace, volleyball court, horseshoe pit, fish cleaning station, swimming beach, playground and trash cans

If you do plan on claiming a campsite in the winter, be aware that some of Lake Wenatchee’s amenities may not be available, such as running water or hookups.

Reserve a Lake Wenatchee campsite here.

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View of the shoreline and the snow-covered forest at Lake Wenatchee State Park in eastern Washington State, USA. (Photo by Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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