Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Outside New to Hiking Camping 101 Campgrounds in Washington

Campgrounds in Washington

Find the perfect campground (and accompanying hike) near you in Washington.

Washington offers a huge variety of camping experiences, from developed campgrounds with showers and electrical hook-ups to primitive campgrounds with pit toilets and few neighbors. Some need to be booked months in advance to secure a spot; others are first-come, first-served.

Near the major metropolitan areas of the Western Cascades, reservations are almost imperative for summer weekends. Nearly all of the campgrounds on the west slope of the Cascades are on the reservation system. The Olympics, however, are mostly non-reservable, so it is best to do some planning in advance to know which is which. WTA has put together a comprehensive guide to the reservation system to help you plan.

Looking to be more spontaneous? We suggest embarking on your trip midweek (Thursday arrival at the latest) or going farther afield and a explore a new place. In that spirit, we offer you this selection of campgrounds and some easy to moderate hikes all across the state to visit and enjoy with family or with friends.


North Central

Pearrygin Lake State Park

Location: Methow Valley
Logistics: Reservations recommended
Sites:
153 sites
Amenities:
Drinking water, flush toilets, showers, garbage service, firewood, boat rentals, swimming beach
Open: April - October
Learn More: Washington State Parks

Goat Peak Lookout by this morningair.jpegHead east of the Cascades for a little more elbow room. Photo by thismorningair.

This pretty campground outside of Winthrop is on many people's list of favorites. There are so many amenities here that it may be hard to leave. Fortunately, the call of the Methow Valley is strong and the old Western town of Winthrop is quite a draw.

Hike It:

  • Tatie Peak (5 miles; 990 feet gain): This short stretch of the PCT is one of its finest -- and easiest. Starting at 6,400 feet, amble along the ridge and take a short side trail to the top of this fine mountain.
  • Goat Peak Lookout (5 miles; 1,400 feet gain): A bit of a huff-and-puffer, but well worth the effort, the trail offers panoramic views and one of Washington's remaining two staffed lookouts.

Central 

Sun Lakes - Dry Falls State Park

Location: Grand Coulee
Logistics: Reservations necessary in summer
Sites: 152 sites
Amenities: Park store, laundromat, boat rentals, propane, firewood, a commissary, and a payphone
Open: Year-round
Learn More: Washington State Park

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls by BeHalvers.JPG
Trails leading deep into the backcountry at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park. Photo by BeHalvers.

Camp in the shadow of an ancient waterfall. Rent some boats, wander in the front country, explore deeper into the backcountry, and hone your night photography or stargazing skills. 

Hike It:

  • Steamboat Rock (4 miles; 600 feet gain): Steamboat Rock sits like the prow of a ship in Banks Lake. From the campground climb the sometimes steep trail to the flat-topped butte for some wonderful rambling and views.
  • Umatilla Rock (5 miles; 100 feet gain): Arguably the most recognizable rocky outcropping at the state park, Umatilla Rock makes a great destination. Head up to the overlook to get a panorama of the landscape, go to the Visitor Center, and get some delicious ice cream afterwards.

Northeast Washington

Sullivan Lake

Location: north of Spokane
Logistics: reservations
Sites:
48 sites
Amenities:
Potable water, pit toilets, garbage service, firewood
Open: Mid-May through August
Learn More: Reserve America

Sullivan Lake by Craig Goodwin.jpeg
The Sullivan Lakeshore trail is a great day hike or a starting point for extensive loop hikes through the Collvile National Forest. Photo by Craig Goodwin.

From swimming and boating to the rugged Salmo-Priest Wilderness, Sullivan Lake is the premiere place to experience why the mountains of Washington's Northeast corner are the state's best kept secret.

Hike It:

  • Sullivan Lake (4 miles; 700 feet gain): A shoreline trail that becomes resplendent with fall color (even larches!) in fall, it departs right from the East Sullivan Campground.
  • Salmo River (6 miles; 1,800 feet loss & gain): Carve off the shady section of the Salmo-Priest Loop by hiking through old-growth more reminiscent of the Western Cascades.

 

ALTA LAKE STATE PARK

Location:Near Pateros (between Winthrop and Chelan):
Logistics:Reservations recommended in summer
Sites: 91 tent spaces
Amenities: Firewood, Food, and a camp store are all in the park
Open:Summer only
Learn More:Washington State Parks

alta lake state park_lincoln4.jpeg
Views from the Alta Lake State Park are pretty excellent. Photo by lincoln4.

A 174-acre camping park where mountainous pine forests meet the desert, Alta Lake features two miles of hiking trails, worked on by a WTA youth crew in 2016. It's also a great basecamp to get you out to the popular mountain towns of Twisp and Chelan, and the trailheads nearby.

Hike it:

  • Alta Lake State Park (2 miles total; elevation gain varies) Right in your campsites' backyard, the trails here offer excellent views of the rolling landscape in this valley.
  • Beebe Creek Wildlife Area (2 miles total; no elevation gain) Take a short leg stretcher on your way to the campground or to another, longer hike. It's along the mighty Columbia, and the promise of seeing wildlife will entertain kiddos. 

Southeast Washington

FIELD SPRING STATE PARK

Location: Near Anatone
Logistics: Reservations recommended
Sites: 
153 sites
Amenities: 
Drinking water, flush toilets, showers, garbage service, firewood, boat rentals, swimming beach
Open: April - October
Learn More: Washington State Parks

puffer butte_melanie harding.jpegA hiker wanders the hillside of Puffer Butte in Field Springs State Park. Photo by Melanie Harding. 

Prepare to be wowed by Fields Spring State Park! Nestled in the folds of the Blue mountains, this Southeast Washington frontier has some of the state’s most spectacular scenery. And with three miles of hiking trails and seven miles of biking trails, its the perfect intro to this area. 

Hike it:

  • Field Springs State Park - Puffer Butte (4.4 miles roundtrip; negligible elevation gain). The views from Puffer Butte are some of the best around, and best of all, you won't have to work terribly hard to get them!
  • Chief Joseph Wildlife Area - Green Gulch (4.0 miles roundtrip; 1500 feet) This one will be rugged. The landscape here is wrinkled and wild. But if you can navigate the area, you might be rewarded with complete solitude.

 

Campgrounds in the Blue Mountains

Location: Blue Mountains
Logistics: No reservations
Sites: Handful at each campground
Amenities: Pit toilets only. Pack in water; pack out garbage
Open: Year-round
Learn More: Umatilla National Forest

Oregon Butte by Rick.jpegOregon Butte. Photo by Rick Merrill.

Looking to get away from it all? The Blue Mountains of Southeast Washington are where you go to leave the crowds and explore the Wenaha-Tucannon Wilderness. There are six tiny, primitive campgrounds to choose from, wonderful fishing holes and miles of hiking. The most popular developed campground in the area is the Tucannon Campground, which has 18 campsites (15 for tent or trailer, and 2 Tent Only).

Hike It:

  • Oregon Butte (6 miles; 1,000 feet gain): Climb to a lookout and views over all of this little-known wilderness.
  • Tucannon River Canyon (4 miles; 650 feet gain): Anglers take notice. There's good fishing in these parts. Make a day of it and enjoy the fruits of your labors when you return.

Olympic Peninsula

Heart o' the Hills

Location: Olympic National Park
Logistics: no reservations
Sites:
105 sites
Amenities:
Potable water, flush toilets, garbage service, dump station firewood
Open: Year-round
Learn More: Olympic National Park

Klahhane Ridge by Birkmeister.jpegKlahhane Ridge. Photo by Birkmeister.

The perfect gateway to the Olympics, explore the wonders of Hurricane Ridge, the rebirth of the Elwha or the sparkling waters of Lake Crescent from this campground. Because there are no reservations, we recommend arriving during mid-week.

Hike It:

  • Hurricane Hill (3 miles; 950 feet gain): Hike along a ridgeline to this perch with views of the Olympics and Puget Sound 5,800 feet below.
  • Klahhane Ridge (5 miles; 1,700 feet gain): A tough hike, but worth the effort for the wildflowers and dazzling, far-reaching views.

Salt Creek Recreation Area

Location: near Port Townsend
Logistics: Reservations essential during summer
Sites: 115 sites
Amenities: Potable water, flush toilets, showers, garbage service, dump service, firewood, playground
Open: March - October
Learn More: Clallum County Parks

South Indian Island by mandarita.jpegIndian Island County Park. Photo by mandarita.

The well-appointed campground aside, this is one of the most diverse state parks in the state. You could spend a week exploring the area and keep everyone happy. From the saltwater shoreline to huge artillery guns, there is something for everyone.

Hike It:

  • Fort Flagler Loop (5 miles; 150 feet gain): Sample the park with this route, or bite off a piece of it with the kids.
  • South Indian Island (4 miles; 50 feet gain): On this nearby hike, there's a good chance to see seals and bird life.

Mount Rainier

White River

Location: Mount Rainier National Park
Logistics: No reservations
Sites:
112 sites
Amenities:
Potable water, flush toilets, garbage service, firewood
Open: Late June through September
Learn More: Mount Rainier National Park

Latino Outdoors Vol Vac MRNP (276).jpgThe Latino Outdoors Youth Volunteer Vacation enjoys dinner at the White River Campground. Photo by Rachel Wendling.

No reservations necessary, but it is highly recommended that you arrive midweek to camp here. With two trails and the fascinating Interfork of the White River at your doorstep, it may be difficult to leave the campground. But no visit should be complete without a visit to Sunrise nearby.

Hike It:

  • Sourdough Ridge (2.5 miles; 400 feet gain): A short loop that provides the highlights of the Sunrise area, from big views of The Mountain to great swaths of purple lupine in the summer.
  • Glacier Basin (6 miles; 1,600 feet gain): Leave right from the campground, following the newly constructed trail (thanks, WTA volunteers!) along the river to a beautiful basin, or try a shorter side trip to the toe of the Emmons Glacier.

Southwest

Seaquest State Park

Location: Mount St. Helens area
Logistics: Reservations recommended
Sites: 88 sites; 5 yurts
Amenities: Potable water, flush toilets, showers, garbage service, dump service, firewood
Open: Year-round
Learn More: Washington State Parks

Hummocks Trail by Family Hikers.jpeg
Hummocks Trail. Photo by Family Hikers.

With no campgrounds or lodging facilities at Mount St. Helens National Monument, Seaquest State Park is the best place to launch your visit to Washington's most volatile volcano. The campground is even within walking distance from one of the numerous visitor centers along Highway 504.

Hike It:

  • Harry's Ridge (8 miles; 200 feet gain): The impact of the 1980 blast of Mount St. Helens is obvious on this ridgeline walk; so is the regeneration of plant and animal life. Not to be missed: the sight of thousands of floating logs at Spirit Lake.
  • Hummocks Trail (2.3 miles; 100 feet gain): A delightful loop among towering mounds and amidst ponds and brush, the Hummocks Trail is an easy trail with intriguing views of the volcano and the Toutle River rushing far below.

Beacon Rock State Park

Location: Columbia River Gorge
Logistics: No reservations
Sites: 26 sites
Amenities: Potable water, flush toilets, showers, garbage service, playground
Open: April - October
Learn More: Washington State Parks

Beacon Rock by mountain-view.jpegFall view from Beacon Rock. Photo by mountain-view.

Camp and explore the less-traveled Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge. Distinctive Beacon Rock is the core of an ancient volcano and a sign that this places offers something special, from river access to waterfalls to lofty mountain heights.

Hike It:

  • Beacon Rock (2 miles; 600 feet gain): A climb to the top of Beacon Rock is almost irresistible. Take time to admire the work (and dynamite) that went into forging this unique trail, and be sure to hold the hands of little ones.
  • Hardy & Rodney Falls (3.5 miles; 1,200 feet gain): Who says the only waterfalls in the Gorge are in Oregon? Washington has a few of its own, and these two are among the best.

North Cascades

Colonial Creek Campground

Location: North Cascades National Park
Logistics: First come, first served
Sites: 142 sites
Amenities: Drinking water, flush toilets, garbage service, dump service, firewood
Open: Year-round
Learn More: North Cascades National Park

Colonial Creek by Matt Voss.jpg
"A camp site is not complete without some hammocks. I sure do love a good hang out!" Photo by Matt Voss.

A terrific basecamp for exploring North Cascades National Park. Camp in old-growth forest at the base of glaciated Colonial Peak, a short walk away from milky green Diablo Lake.

Hike It:

  • Thunder Knob (3.8 miles; 635 feet gain): Smooth tread and a gentle grade make this trail suitable for a stroller, but strong hikers will feel rewarded by the destination high above Lake Diablo.
  • Thunder Creek (1-12 miles; up to 650 feet gain): This is a great trail to fully appreciate the wildness of this country as you hike under towering old-growth along a rushing creek.

 

Verlot Campground

Location: Mountain Loop Highway
Logistics: Reservations recommended
Sites: 24 sites
Amenities: Drinking water, flush toilets, firewood
Open: Year-round
Learn More: Reserve America

Boardman Lake by GaryinZion.jpegMorning sun on Boardman Lake. Photo by GaryinZion.

The Mountain Loop Highway is a hiker's nirvana, with dozens of trails that take hikers along verdant rivers, near mountain lakes and to lofty heights. Verlot is one one of six campgrounds in the area, with the campsites snuggled up near the soothing waters of the South Fork Stillaguamish River.

Hike It:

  • Heather Lake (4.6 miles; 1100 feet gain): One of many hikes to lakes along the Mountain Loop, Heather Lake is delightful in every season. Marvel at crashing avalanches on the far side of the lake in the winter and spring to brilliant colors in the autumn.
  • Boardman Lake (2 miles; 300 feet gain): One of the easiest lake hikes around, Barclay Lake is even swimmable on warm days.

Central Cascades

Lake Wenatchee State Park

Location: Leavenworth area
Logistics: Reservations essential during summer
Sites: 155 tent spaces, 42 water and electric sites
Amenities: Potable water, flush toilets, showers, garbage service, dump service, firewood
Open: Year-round
Learn More: Washington State Parks

Tumwater Pipeline Trail by Lukin66.jpegTumwater Pipeline Trail. Photo by Lukin66.

You may not be able to persuade the kids to leave the beach at Lake Wenatchee, but if you do, there is a whole world to explore in this area -- and even a chance to grab some restaurant grub at the 59er Diner or in Leavenworth.

Hike It:

  • Hidden Lake (1.2 miles; 200 feet gain): The easiest of trails leads to a pretty little lake above Lake Wenatchee. It's so short, you could even haul in an inflatable boat to extend your visit.
  • Tumwater Pipeline (2.4 miles; 100 feet gain): This trail is way better than it sounds, taking hikers over an interesting bridge, through Tumwater Canyon and along the mighty Wenatchee River.

 
Salmon La Sac Campground

Location: Teanaway
Logistics: No reservations
Sites: 22 sites
Amenities: Drinking water, pit toilets
Open: Mid-April - September
Learn More: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Red Top Lookout by JimBr.jpegRed Top Lookout. Photo by JimBr.

Looking for some early summer sun in the mountains? This area, off of Blewett Pass between Cle Elum and Leavenworth, fits the bill. It's easy to get to, with good hiking, and if camp food isn't appealing, you can drive into Leavenworth for dinner.

Hike It:

  • Red Top Lookout (2 miles; 350 feet gain): One of the most easily reached lookouts in Washington.
  • Tronsen Ridge (8 miles; 1,000 feet gain): June is the month to visit Tronsen Ridge. Marvel at the wildflower display and witness the impacts of fire on the ecosystem. But beware, the road in is treacherous.