Seattle is a fantastic city where there’s always something to do. Still, sometimes it’s nice to get out of the bustling city and explore the green landscape that Washington state is famous for. If you want to spend some time enjoying nature this weekend, here are five popular camping destinations you can visit from Seattle.
1. Verlot Campground in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Drive Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Verlot Campground is located right in the magnificent Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Campers get gorgeous views of glacier-covered peaks, huge meadows, and dense forests right from their tent.
You’re also right next to the South Fork Stillaguamish River. This river has populations of salmon, chinook, coho, chum, pink, and sockeye spawn. Take your morning coffee by the river bend and enjoy the peacefulness of the water flowing by.
On a clear day, you’ll get views of beautiful Mount Baker. You can also spend your day hiking. There are over 1,500 miles of trails for every skill level. The beauty of this campground is that it’s not too well-known, so you can visit in the summer and still have a relatively peaceful, quiet stay.
The important details: The campground offers accommodations for both tent and RV camping. Campers have access to flush toilets, drinking water, and picnic tables. However, Verlot Campground doesn’t provide electrical hookups.
2. Deception Pass State Park
Drive Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Deception Park is Washington’s most visited State Park. Locals and international tourists love this park for its fantastic water views. There are three camp locations spread out throughout the park, all for tent camping.
This park has so much to offer, you might not know what to do first! You can spend your days relaxing at the Puget Sound beach, fishing or swimming at Cranberry Lake, and hiking in the nearby forest trails. Don’t forget to bring your boat or kayak so you can spend some time on the water! Campers will also see plenty of wildlife throughout the park, from birds to seals.
Make sure to check out the Kukutali Preserve on Kiket Island, managed by The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, as it has a beautiful landscape and many rare, unique plants!
The important details: The park has 172 sites spread across three campground locations in the park. There are 134 partial hookup sites, one dump station, 10 showers, and 20 restrooms. The check-in time is 2:30 pm and the check-out time is 1:00 pm.
3. Kalaloch Campground, Olympic National Park
Drive Time: 3 hours 6 minutes
Olympic National Park is a little more of a drive out from Seattle, but it’s definitely worth the trip! Kalaloch Campground, located directly in Olympic National Park, is on a bluff facing the Pacific Ocean. Several of the campsites overlook the water and the beach is only a brief walk away.
This campground is approximately 40 feet from the beach, so you can spend your days relaxing by the water. You’ll absolutely want to keep an eye on the shoreline to get some views of the local marine life. During low tide, you’ll see crabs and sea urchins. And further out into the water, you might see whales, dolphins, and sea otters.
Activities include fishing (within state rules), swimming, and hiking. We recommend the Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail, which is only a mile long and takes you along the creek’s path into the ocean.
The important details: Kalaloch Campground has 168 campsites for tent and small RV camping. Large RVs are not able to park at the campground. The sites come with campfire rings, picnic tables, food lockers, a dumping station, restrooms. There is no shower facility on the campground. Campers can make reservations up to six months in advance.
4. Larrabee State Park
Drive Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Take a short drive to Larrabee State Park to spend a few days camping in Washington’s first official state park! The park is next to Chuckanut Mountain and offers views of the San Juan Islands and Samish Bay.
The campground on Chuckanut Drive offers an abundance of activities to campers. You can spend your days here fishing, boating, shellfish harvesting, or diving. While most people stick to the shoreline (it’s stunning, who can blame them), we recommend also exploring the nearby Fragrance Lake and Lost Lake. You can also bring up your mountain bike to explore the trails throughout the forest.
The important details: Larrabee State Park has 51 standard tent sites, 26 utility sites, and 8 primitive sites. Campers have access to six shower stations and one dump station. The 26 utility sites include sewer, power, and water, however, RVs cannot exceed 60-feet.
5. Cougar Rock Campground, Mount Rainier National Park
Drive Time: 2 hours 4 minutes
Located in Mount Rainier National Park, the Cougar Rock Campground is easily one of Washington’s most beautiful camping sites. Campers get a stunning view of the Cascade range – including Mount Rainier. You can witness some of the most beautiful sunrises and sunsets that highlight the mountains perfectly.
Campers can spend their days exploring the park, hiking to the waterfalls, going rock climbing, or relaxing by the Nisqually River. Experienced hikers may want to attempt the 93-mile Wonderland Trail, which encircles Mount Rainier.
The important details: Cougar Rock Campground has 173 campsites with picnic tables, drinking water, and flush toilets. Campers can reserve their site online up to six months in advance.
So, grab your tent and camping gear, and get on the road! If an RV is more your style, be sure to check out the top 10 all-American road trips.