Best Places to Camp in WA State

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Already dreaming of that first spring camping trip?  According to Sunset Magazine, these are the best places to camp in the state.  (And if you need an RV, here’s our website.)

1. Cape Disappointment State Park, Southwest of Ilwaco

The campground launches you into 1,880 pristine acres at the end of the Long Beach Peninsula. Wander 27 miles of beach, or go clamming or fishing. Sites 104 and 105 have great beach access. 360/902-8844; book at parks.wa.gov/reserve.asp

2. Lone Fir Campground, Okanogan National Forest, Northwest of Winthrop

A wooded spot along Early Winters Creek offers a cool base for exploring the northern Methow Valley. On hot days, head to the swimming beach at Pearrygin Lake State Park, near Winthrop. No reservations; 509/996-4003.

3. White River Campground, Mt. Rainier National Park

Keep an eye out for mountain goats near this campground (accessed from the White River entrance) on Mt. Rainier. For wildflowers, hike 3 miles to Glacier Basin or 4.2 miles up, up, up to Summerland via the Wonderland Trail. No reservations; 360/569-2211.

4. Curlew Lake State Park, Northeast of Republic

This 5.5-mile-long lake in the state’s northeastern corner is famous for its trout fishing and swimming. Bring your passport and take a day trip to the historic mining and railroad town of Grand Forks, British Columbia, 27 miles north. Book online at washington.goingtocamp.com; 360/902-8844.

5. Moran State Park, on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands

After you summit 2,400-foot Mt. Constitution or conquer the park’s bike trails, cool off by Cascade Lake at this shaded campground. Skip the long car-ferry lines and walk on with your gear; the Orcas Island Shuttle ($5 one-way; www.orcasislandshuttle.com) runs all summer long. 360/902-8844; book at parks.wa.gov/reserve.asp

Moran State Park, Orcas Island

The jewel of Washington’s state park system, with 5,252 acres of forests, lakes, and waterfalls. The view from Mt. Constitution is world-class and well worth the trek upward.

More: Explore Washington’s San Juan Islands

6. Penrose Point State Park, Southwest of Purdy

On the Key Peninsula, Penrose is the best of two worlds ― Northwest forest and Puget Sound beach, with a Frisbee-perfect lawn connecting the two. The group campsite near the playfield and beach can sleep up to 50 people. 360/902-8844; book at parks.state.wa.us (group site: 888/226-7688).

7. Salt Creek Recreation Area, West of Port Angeles

Awe-inspiring views over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and colorful tidepools at Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary make this a standout. Choose a spot with a view over the strait―we like site 63.  clallam.net or 360/928-3441; book by mail (details on clallam.net).

8. Doe Bay Resort, on Orcas Island in the San Juan Islands

The best spot at the eclectic, 38-acre Doe Bay Resort with its 27 sites on Orcas Island isn’t a crunchy cabin, one of the yurts, or a Buckminster Fuller–like dome. It’s a simple tent site called Seal Landing: The grassy bluff on the point of Otter Cove has a front seat to sunrise, and it’s just steps from the new soaking tubs, a sauna, and a cafe serving organic, locally sourced food, from scallops to foraged nettles. doebay.com

9. Second Beach, Olympic National Park

Hemmed in by rugged headlands and bookended by natural arches with keyhole views, Olympic National Park’s broad Second Beach—reachable by a quick 0.7-mile hike—is the coast’s crown jewel. Pitch your tent on the sand and unzip to views of seals, bald eagles, and the Quillayute Needles, a half-dozen surf-battered islets. No potable water; nps.gov/olym

10. Bridge Creek Campground, Leavenworth

On the border of the Enchantment Area Wilderness, Bridge Creek Campground’s falling leaves flash from mustard to maroon. www.fs.usda.gov. Make time for the 8-mile round-trip to Colchuck Lake, a turquoise glacial gem set against neon larches and craggy peaks.  recreation.gov

Okay, it’s obvious. But that’s the point: Rising to 14,410 feet, a mile and change above everything around it, Rainier is the only mountain in the Cascades that locals call “The Mountain.” (We know it’s a perfect summer day when “The Mountain is out.”) The intrepid climb it; the athletic hike the trails that make a necklace around it; everyone else drives up close to its glacial flanks, rolling wildflower fields, and cliffs to soak in the sensation of feeling very, very small. nps.gov/mora.

11. Deer Park, Olympic National Park

Get a true backcountry feeling without ditching your car. At the meadowed 14 sites of the highest campground in Olympic (at 5,400 feet), you’ll likely be outnumbered by ungulates. The short jaunt up nearby Blue Mountain nets 360° views of jawbone peaks and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. And summer stargazing doesn’t get much better. No potable water; vault toilets; no reservations; nps.gov/olym

12. Wilderness Camping, Mt. Rainer National Park

It’s easier than ever to snag an overnight among the lowland forests and sub-alpine areas along the Wonderland Trail in Mt. Rainer National Park, thanks to a new online reservation system. nps.gov/mora

13. Jones Island State Park

Want San Juan Islands beachfront, all to yourself? The two rustic sites on the west side of this 188-acre island are set aside for human- or wind-powered arrivals only, so they’re perfectly quiet (except for the bark of sea lions). And the firepit—on a bluff, with logs for benches—is like a box seat for spectacular sunsets. Open year-round (potable water May–Sep); vault toilets; no reservations; parks.state.wa.us

Jones Island State Park.

 

 

 

Cool Camping Gear, Part 2

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Here are the other gifts that round out the 12 Days of Christmas!

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#7 A 12 Foot Outdoor Movie Screen

This is a two-for-one because it is probably one of the coolest camping accessories AND you can use it at home, in the backyard, and anywhere else you can find room! Find It Here

#8 Coffeebox Rugged Coffee Maker 

Built for the coffee lovers in the house this coffee maker is resistant to all the hazards that characterize the outdoors from rust, dust, impact to spilling and water damage. It is made of lightweight material making it portable and is big enough to brew up to 8 mugs. It is a fast brewer and also allows for water filtering. Find One Here

#9 Packable Kayak 

Enjoy a fun-filled kayaking adventure with this highly portable kayak. It packs up all of the necessary features into one easy-to-carry package. These awesome kayaks are constructed from a high-quality material and provides lots of space to ensure your comfort as well as to store the essentials. Its construction offers remarkable stability making it pretty hard to topple. Get one Here

#10  The Grill Sergeant BBQ Apron

Crack open a cold one, or six. Everything you need, including your next drink, will never be far from hand with the Grill Sergeant Tactical BBQ Apron. Find It Here

(DISCLAIMER: We don’t actually recommend getting drunk and playing with fire 🙂 )

#11 Wazoo Gear Survival Bracelet 

This beautiful bracelet packs up a remarkable combination of survival tools that could save a life. It has a signal feature to call out for help in an emergency, hypothermia prevention facility, first aid provisions, food catching equipment, and even some basic tools for setting up a shelter. All of these are carefully concealed in the simple wearable package. Get one Here

#12 The Smartphone Fish Finder Attachment

The days of sitting in the canoe for hours “hoping” to catch a fish are long behind us. Be in the right place at the right time with this fish finder that connects directly to your smartphone! Find It Here

 

PLUS A BONUS STOCKING STUFFER FOR THE KIDS!

RAINBOW FIRE PACKETS

Gaze into the dancing rainbow flames, kids will be entertained and adults will be amused. Find Them Here

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!