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A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park

05.04.16

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A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
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  • View of South Beach Campground just to the north of Ashenbrenner Day Use Area.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • View of the Pacific Ocean from the day use area in Kalaloch Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Typical campsite in Mora Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Day use picnic tables at Ozette Campground, looking south across Ozette Lake.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • The three cabins at The Lost Resort.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Open campsites at Hobuck Beach Resort + Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Campsite along Quinault River in Graves Creek Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Typical campsite in Queets Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Hoh Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • A typical campsite in Willaby Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • One of five walk-in campsites in Gatton Creek Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Picnic shelter in Falls Creek Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Typical campsite at Hoh Oxbow Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Sol Duc River swimming hole at Sol Duc Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Marina and boat rental at Fairholme Beach/Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Day use area at Log Cabin Resort Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Dock and boat rentals at Log Cabin Resort.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Campsite along the Elwha River at Altair Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Typical campsite at Elwha Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Typical campsite at Heart O' the Hills Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Sol Duc River at Klahowya Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Typical campsite at Lyre River Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Crescent Beach.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Open campsites at Crescent Beach Campground + RV Park.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Typical campsite in the tent/car camping area near Tongue Point at Salt Creek Recreation Area Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Sunset on the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Salt Creek Recreation Area Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Group Camp picnic shelter at Dungeness Recreation Area Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • View west toward the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Dungeness Recreation Area Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Riverside campsite at Staircase Campground.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Sequim Bay State Park dock/marina.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Cabins 2,3,4, and 5 at Lake Cushman Resort.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Lake Cushman from Skokomish Park North Camp.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Skokomish Park Day Use Area and swimming hole with view of Mount Ellinor (5,940') and Mount Washington (6,255') to the north.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
  • Picnic shelter in the day use area at Potlatch State Park.- A Complete Guide to Camping in Olympic National Park
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Olympic National Park is one of the west coast's most popular destinations, drawing visitors from around the globe. And despite its international appeal, there is still plenty of room to roam without fear of overcrowded trails and campgrounds.

All of the campgrounds within the park's boundaries, with the exceptions of Kalaloch and Sold Duc Campgrounds, are operated on a first-come, first-served basis. However, due to the crowds at some of these campgrounds, they can be overrated.  And with so many nearby "overflow" campgrounds that are often overlooked by tourists and are in equal proximity to the park's natural wonders, it's worth taking a broader view of the camping options in and around Olympic National Park.

To get you ready for the summer camping season, we've assembled a complete guide to all of the established campground options on the peninsula. The list includes our favorite campgrounds, other campgrounds within the park, overflow camping options, and even the lodging options for those of you who may not want to sleep quite so close to the ground. And if you're planning to avoid car camping and would prefer to hike-in to a more serene backcountry campsite, we have you covered.

Pacific Coast

Rialto Beach near Mora Campground. Photo by Tyson Gillard.

Favorite:

Mora Campground. With 94 sites there is plenty of room for visitors, but unlike Kalaloch Campground, which is right off of Highway 101, Mora is quietly secluded, the sites are spacious, and by comparison they are more private. With nearby access to Rialto BeachHole-in-the-Wall and La Push's First, Second and Third Beach, you'll be in scenic beach paradise.

In the Park, From South to North:

  1. South Beach Campground 55 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served.
  2. Kalaloch Campground 169 sites. Open year-round. Reservations.
  3. Mora Campground 94 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served.
  4. Ozette Campground 15 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served.

Overflow Camping:​

  1. The Lost Resort + Campground 30 sites. Open year-round. Reservations.
  2. Hobuck Beach Resort + Campground 200 sites. 10 full hook-up RV sites. Open year-round. Reservations.

Lodging:

  1. Kalaloch Lodge + Cabins 42 cabins. 10 rooms. Restaurant. Reservations.
  2. The Lost Resort 3 cabins. Deli/grocery. Reservations.
  3. Hobuck Beach Resort 26 cabins. Reservations.

​West Side Valleys + Rain Forest

Queets Campground. Photo by Tyson Gillard.

Favorite:

Queets Campground. The setting along the Queets River, with towering old-growth surrounding the campsites, this campground defines the notion of being in the remote wilderness. With the adjacent Sams River Trail you will be able to keep busy, but be sure to bring provisions; you won't find amenities or potable water for miles. Oh, and did we mention that it rains almost every day for 8 months.

In the Park, From South to North:

  1. Graves Creek Campground (Closed for 2016) 30 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  2. Queets Campground​ 12 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  3. Hoh Campground 88 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served.

Overflow Camping:​

  1. Willaby Campground 21 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served.
  2. Gatton Creek Campground 5 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  3. Falls Creek Campground 27 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served.
  4. Hoh Oxbow Campground​ 8 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  5. Bogachiel State Park Campground 26 sites. 6 RV sites (electricity and water). Open year-round. First-come, first-served.

Lodging:

  1. Lake Quinault Lodge 91 rooms. Restaurant. Pool. Reservations.

North Side + Straight of Juan de Fuca

Fairholme Campground on Lake Crescent. Photo by Tyson Gillard.

Favorite:

Fairholme Campground. Located on the western shore of Lake Crescent, this campground offers large sites with direct beachfront access. Enough said.

In the Park, From West to East:

  1. Sol Duc Campground 82 sites. 17 RV sites (electricity and water). Open year-round. Reservations.
  2. Fairholme Campground 88 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served.
  3. Log Cabin Resort Campground​ 8 sites. 18 full hook-up. Open in summer only. Reservations.
  4. Altair Campground (Closed for 2016) 30 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served.
  5. Elwha Campground (Closed for 2016) 40 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served.
  6. Heart O' the Hills Campground 105 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served.

Overflow Camping:

  1. Klahowya Campground 55 sites. 1 group site. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served.
  2. Lyre River Campground 11 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  3. Crescent Beach + RV Park 30 full hook-up RV sites. Open year-round. Reservations.
  4. Salt Creek Recreation Area Campground 51 sites. 39 RV sites (electricity and water). Open year-round. Reservations.
  5. Dungeness Recreation Area Campground 64 sites. 1 group site. Open year-round. Reservations.

Lodging:

  1. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort 32 cabins. General store. Restaurant/deli. Massage/spa. Pool. Hot springs. Reservations.
  2. Log Cabin Resort 11 cabins. 12 A-frames. 4 rooms. Restaurant. Boat rentals. Reservations.
  3. Lake Crescent Lodge 55 rooms/cabins. Restaurant. Boat rentals.

Eastern Valleys + Hood Canal

Putting in on Bear Creek Inlet, Lake Cushman at Skokomish Park North Camp. Photo by Tyson Gillard.

Favorite:

Skokomish Park North Camp. Just outside of the park's boundaries, the campground is ideally located on the eastern shore of Lake Cushman and has by far the largest and most private established campsites on the entire peninsula. 

In the Park, From North to South:​

  1. Staircase Campground 56 sites. Open year-round. First-come, first-served. Restrooms and potable water only available during summer months.

Overflow Camping:

  1. Sequim Bay State Park Campground 26 full hook-up RV sites. 15 RV sites (electricity and water). 52 sites. 1 group site. Open year-round. Reservations.
  2. Dungeness Forks Campground 10 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  3. Fallsview Campground 14 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  4. Seal Rock Campground 41 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served.
  5. Collins Campground 16 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  6. Lena Creek Campground 13 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served.
  7. Hamma Hamma Campground 15 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  8. Lake Cushman Resort + Campground 47 sites. 14 RV sites (electricity and water). Camping open in summer only. RV sites open year-round. Reservations.
  9. Skokomish Park North Camp 30 sites. 1 group site. Open year-round. Reservations.
  10. Skokomish Park South Camp 31 sites. 35 full hook-up RV sites. Open year-round. Reservations.
  11. Laney Campground 10 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  12. Brown Creek Campground 20 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served.
  13. Oxbow Campground 30 sites. Open in summer only. First-come, first-served. No potable water.
  14. Potlatch State Park Campground 38 sites. 35 RV sites (electricity and water). Open year-round. Reservations.

Lodging:

  1. Hamma Hamma Guard Station 1 cabin. No potable water. Reservations.
  2. Lake Cushman Resort 11 cabins. General store. Restaurant. Marina. Boat ramp.

Backcountry Campsites

Backcountry camping at Royal Lake. Photo by Benjamin Krause.

Wilderness Camping Permits are required for all overnight backcountry adventures and should be reserved and purchased well in advance of your trip. However, 30% of all campsite permits are kept aside for same-day purchase. They are sold on a first-come, first-served basis for last-minute planners. Permits can be purchased and picked up at the following ranger stations:

  • Olympic National Park Visitor Center, Port Angeles, 360.565.3100
  • Lake Quinault Forest Service Ranger Station, 360.288.0232
  • Staircase Ranger Station, 360.877.5569

Due to the extensive length of so many hikes within the park, shuttling is often necessary. If you don't have two cars, you can hire shuttles to drop you off at your trailhead so that you can pick up your car at your end destination. All Points Charters & Tours offers shuttle services for hikers at roughly $150 for six people. Call 360.460.7131 for details.

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