Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping | Ultimate Guide To Olympic Peninsula Camping

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Olympic National Park Camping can be your adventure to remember this year. Olympic National Park Camping has an incredible range of habitat, elevation, and ecosystems. Covering nearly a million acres, the park protects a vast wilderness, glacier-capped mountains, old-growth temperate rain forests, and over 70 miles of wild coastline.

Campgrounds in Olympic National Park

All campgrounds, unless noted, are first-come, first-served only. That does not mean they are free. It means the campground does not take reservations. Fees for individual campsites are listed below. Because of natural storm and other damage to some of the park’s campsites and roads, it’s strongly recommended that you check the status of the campground, area or areas you plan to visit before you go. Links to the official park websites are listed below.

Altair, and Elwha Campgrounds are closed

A very popular campground in its time, the Altair Campground is closed do to a shift on the Elwha River after the removal of the dams. There is currently no plan to reopen the campground.

The Elwha Campground is also closed due to a shift on the Elwha River after the removal of the dams. The shifting banks were anticipated and the campground was rumored to reopen in the summer 2017. This did not happen and there is no known date as to when or if it will. There is other camping along the Elwha River worth looking for because camping here will get you up close and personal with the newly freed Elwha river. For over a century, the waters of this gorgeous river were blocked by two dams, but now they are free. Salmon have returned and the region is finally feeling wild again. Some trails in this area lead to old cabins, others to amazing river views and don’t miss Goblins Gate, a gorgeous box canyon in the area.

Deer Park Campground – Olympic National Park Camping 

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK CAMPING

Deer Park Ranger Station amid mountains and forest.
NPS Photo

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Deer Park is not RV accessible. In fact, it is a “tents only” campground. You’re going to have to pack your party and gear in, or have a vehicle that can access the 5,400 foot elevation campground up a steep and winding gravel access road. However, if you are craving stunning views along the ridges of the Olympic Mountains, this is a site you’ll want to consider even with the extra effort it will take to access. Because you’re camping at the highest campground in Olympic National Park the panoramas you’ll have are stunning.

Deer Park is remote, offering next to zero services, and is only open seasonally – which, oddly enough, many of us find very attractive in a campground! If you want a rugged camping experience and stunning night skies, this is your site. Just outside the campground are trailheads and hikes along ridges and summits. You’ll see mountain goats and dozens of marmots without hiking or even leaving the site. This is definitely one of the best campsites in the state, if not the country.

Information –

● Season: June – mid October, dependent on road conditions and snow
● Sites and Fees: 14 total sites, $15 per night.
● Facilities: Pit toilets and no potable water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes.

Dosewallips Campground (Walk-in Only) – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic national Park Camping

Credit to parks.state.wa.us

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Dosewallips State Park is a 425-acre Washington state park on Hood Canal in Jefferson County. The park has 5,500 feet of saltwater shoreline in addition to 5,400 feet of freshwater shoreline on each side of the Dosewallips River. It’s a perfect campground for secluded tent camping because vehicles can’t access it. The access road is washed out 6.5 miles from the campground, meaning you can’t get a vehicle up here, so it is a tents only campground. It is open year-round, with no fees.

Information –

● Season: Year Round
● Sites and Fees: s
● Facilities: Pit toilets and no potable water.
● Handicap Accessible: No.

Fairholme Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping

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If you’ve brought a canoe, boat or kayak, Fairholme is a good choice of campground. Close to Lake Crescent, Fairholme includes lakeside campsites and a nearby boat launch. The campground is only open seasonally, and when it is open to the public, it can fill up pretty fast, so get there early. This is one of the park’s most well-maintained campgrounds. It’s close to Lake Crescent’s best areas, and campers who stay at this clean and quiet campground have access to amazing views, hikes, and experiences right out of their tent flap.

Lake Crescent is the second deepest lake in the state of Washington and makes for a variety of adventures, from climbing mountains, to exploring waterfalls, fishing, or even walking around the lake itself. Fish over twenty inches are not uncommon at the lake and there is a healthy population of mid-size fish (all are catch and release only) as well. Lake Crescent is a large, deep lake that is crystal clear with incredible visibility. Lake Crescent is known for its one-of-kind Beardsley Trout, identified by an unusual head that takes up 1/3 of its body. Fairholme is also close to Sol Duc, Hurricane Ridge and within a short days drive to Cape Flattery, the northwestern-most location in the contiguous United States. If you are looking for a great family-friendly campground, Fairholme is perfect.

Information –

● Season: April 27 – October 1
● Sites and Fees: 88 total sites, $20 per night, dump station is $10 per use.
● RVs: Sites for up to 21 feet.
● Facilities: Flush toilets and potable water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes.

Graves Creek Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic national Park Camping

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Located in the Quinault Rain Forest near the Quinault River is Graves Creek Campground. Located at the end of a long dirt road, this area is full of elk, deer, and access to amazing hikes and views as well as stunning campsites – many of which are easily found right along the river. Whether you explore the trail to Pony Bridge, take a backpacking trip to the Enchanted Valley or just drive the waterfall filled Quinault Loop each morning and evening in search of elk, deer and bears. You’ll have to come by car, bike, or ATV as RVs and trailers aren’t allowed due to rough road conditions.

Information –

● Sites and Fees: 30 total sites, $20 per night.
● RVs: Due to road conditions, RVs and trailers not allowed.
● Facilities: Pit toilets and no running water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes.

Heart O’ the Hills Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping

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Heart O’ The Hills is one of the less attractive Olympic National Park camping destinations, but it is one of the most accessible for campers of every level. Surrounded by old growth forest, Heart O’ the Hills offers summer ranger programs and great family fun as well as hiking, and individual pursuits. Heart O’the Hills is a simple, straightforward campground a few miles south of the city of Port Angeles.

It’s a short drive to the Elwha River, Lake Crescent and Sol Duc regions, and close to Hurricane Ridge. If you can make it up the 14 miles to Hurricane Ridge, you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping panoramas, glimpses of deer,marmots, and the occasional black bear.

Information –

● Season: Year-round. Walk-in only during heavy snowfall.
● Sites and Fees: 105 total sites, $20 per night.
● RV: Sites for 21 feet, a few for 35 feet. No dump station.
● Facilities: Flush toilets and potable water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes.

Hoh Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping

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Hoh Campground is located inside one of the most famous rainforests in America. Seriously. Experience it before it’s gone. Surround yourself with moss and ancient trees in this temperate rainforest. If you know nothing about rainforests, don’t worry. Hoh campground offers summer ranger programs to help educate you. Enjoy the forest, but get double the pleasure by finding one of the riverside campsites along the Hoh River. No matter what site you find, they’re all lush and amazing.

Each campsite offers its own little slice of wilderness. In the summer, solitude might be hard to find in the campground, but you can head out of the campground easily enough. From Hoh you’ll have access to miles of trails that lead to destinations of every sort (Mount Olympus, Seven Lakes Basin, The Hoh River Trail, Hall of Mosses). Remember, this is a rainforest, so expect to get a little damp, even in a drought. This is one of the wettest places in America. Plan accordingly.

Information –

● Season: Year round.
● Sites and Fees: 78 total sites, $20 per night.
● RVs: Sites for 21 feet, a few for up to 35 feet. No dump station.
● Facilities: Flush toilets and potable water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes.

Kalaloch Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping

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If you love sunsets over the ocean, consider oceanside camping at Kalaloch. Some sites do overlook the Pacific Ocean, but if you’re not lucky enough to claim one of them, you can still stroll to dozens of areas around the campground to experience a sunset before heading back to your campfire. Don’t expect a rugged wilderness experience here. It’s pretty lazy camper friendly. Located on a high bluff along the western shores of the Pacific Ocean, Kalaloch is surrounded by fantastic hiking opportunities, tide pools filled with sea life, and dozens of areas to watch the prettiest sunsets.

It’s such a popular campground that in the summer it’s the only Olympic National Park Camping destinations that take reservations. In the non-busy seasons, Kalaloch is mostly empty, making for a perfect off-season camping destination. (If you’re looking for a more comfortable camping experience, try the Kalaloch Lodge Cabins nearby.

Lodging –

The Kalaloch Lodge has 42 cabins, heated by wood-burning stoves. They’re open year round. There’s direct beach access, a lodge restaurant and they’re dog-friendly. The cabins sleep 5-8 people and are a very affordable $161+/night.)

● Season: Year round.
● Online reservations will be accepted for June 13 – September 22, 2018. https://www.recreation.gov/
● NEW FOR 2018: A total of 22 campsites in loops E and F will remain on a first-come, first-served basis (self-registration) during the summer reservation period. All campsites are first-come, first-served in the off-season.
● Sites and Fees: 170 total sites, $22 per night, dump station is $10 per use.
● RVs: Sites for 21 feet, a few for 35 feet.
● Facilities: Flush toilets and potable water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes for the campsite facilities. There are no handicap beach access trails.

Mora Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping

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Mora is located two miles from Rialto Beach. If you are hoping to camp near the stunning beaches around La Push, Mora Campground will get you within a few miles of the breaking waves and sea stacks of the Olympic National Park Camping Coastline. Situated in a coastal forest, some sites offer views of the Quillayute River. Popular tourist and hiker destinations like Hole in the Wall, Second Beach and Strawberry Bay Falls are a short drive away.

Wildlife is abundant. Deer, bald eagles, seals, the occasional whale and even a rare bear or two often make an appearance. While the campground isn’t along the ocean, you’re close enough to it to drive over for a sunset, or to admire the sea stacks. Enjoy the splendor of the Washington Coast and more from this campground. Warning, the sites are well shaded, and often damp or wet. This is a rainforest after all.

Information –

● Season: Year round.
● Sites and Fees: 94 total sites, $20 per night, dump station is $10 per use.
● RVs: Sites for 21 feet, a few for 35 feet.
● Facilities: Flush toilets and potable water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes.

North Fork Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping

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It’s amazing how the best of Olympic National Park Camping sites are often overlooked or ignored because it takes a little effort to get to them. That’s great news for the hardy, adventurous campers. North Fork is surrounded by temperate rainforest. It’s another one of the small and remote campgrounds in the park for those seeking solitude.

Rarely visited, the North Fork Campground along the Quinault River is another hidden gem in Olympic National Park Camping. This small campground is located near the end of the road, but campers can access a variety of diverse historical trails that criss-cross the park. Campers have a choice of just camping and enjoying the river, or of hiking over First Divide to reach the Elwha River. Or, they can get high – high above the Quinault and Queets Rivers on the Skyline Primitive Trail that is! Because of its solitude and quiet, the North Fork campground gives hikers and nature lovers more nature than other park visitors get to see. Bears, deer, and elk are commonly seen in the area, and the region is close to the great sights of the Quinault Loop Drive!

Information –

● Season: Year round.
● Sites and Fees: 9 total sites, $15 per night.
● RVs: Not recommended for RVs and trailers.
● Facilities: Pit toilets and no running water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes.

Ozette Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping

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Miles from any store or gas station, the Ozette Campground is a destination for well-prepared campers who enjoy a rugged, often wet and occasionally muddy, experience. Staying at Ozette is for those who want to be close to the ocean. Campers have direct access to Ozette Lake. The amazing “Ozette Triangle” hike is just a stone’s throw away from this campground, making access to some of the most remote coastline in America with an hour and a half’s walk along a wooden boardwalk.

Your only unwelcome visitors here are bound to be food thieving raccoons. They’re well known in the Ozette area for robbing campsites, tents and anything not stored in a bear canister – including toiletries. They can be aggressive at times, so don’t tangle with them, just don’t leave anything out you don’t want them making off with.

Information –

● Season: Year round. Some sites flood in winter so check the website before heading out.
● Reservations: First-come, first-served.
● Sites and Fees: 15 total sites, $20 per night.
● RVs: Sites for up to 21 feet.
● Facilities: Pit toilets, potable water
● Handicap Accessible: Yes.

Queets Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping

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If you want solitude and riverside campsites, you’ll get them in this secluded campground near the Queets River. Located close to Kalaloch, Quinault, LaPush and the Hoh regions of Olympic, the Queets rainforest is one of the most isolated, beautiful sections of wilderness in Olympic, but it’s only accessible from the Upper Queets River Road due to a past mudslide. The Queets Campground is rarely visited, mainly because it is so remote and offers zero services.

If that doesn’t scare you away, you’re going to love your time camping there. Because it’s located in the least visited area of Olympic, the remoteness of the Queets, and its access to one of the more impressive rainforests you will see, does entice enough visitors to force Olympic National Park Camping officials to keep the campground open. However, trails in Queets are rarely maintained, which means the area is more populated with elk and bear than hikers and campers.

Information –

● Season: Year round.
● Sites and Fees: 20 total sites, $15 per night.
● RVs: RVs and trailers not recommended.
● Facilities: Pit toilets and no running water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes. Once you get there.

Staircase Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National park Camping

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Once rumored to be closing, the Staircase Campground is now one of the more popular areas to stay in Olympic National Park. It is the only campground accessible by car on the eastern side of the park. The campground is located near amazing trails, both in and outside of the park. It’s located next to the wild and beautiful Skokomish River, with riverside campsites available. If you stay at Staircase, go out of the park to climb Mount Ellinor, Mount Rose or take a kayak trip on Lake Crescent.

If you’d rather stay inside the park, the campground is home to trailheads leading to remote mountains, high alpine lakes and breathtaking vistas such as Gladys Divide, Black and White Lakes, Cub Peak and of course, the Staircase Loop Trail. The campground is also close to Hoodsport (Population 376 in 2010). In spite of a small population, you can find camping, grocery, and other amenities, or visit the Hardware Distillery, or the Hoodsport winery.

Group campers in Sol Duc Campground

Olympic National Park Camping

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Enjoy riverside camping in old-growth forest at Sol Duc. If you like hot springs, incredible waterfalls, lake-filled basins and rivers full of salmon, you’re going to love Sol Duc. So does everyone else however. This is another area that can get quite busy.

Even though Sol Duc Campground has 82 spots spread out over a few loops, and a group camping area, it also has more amenities than most of the campgrounds in the area – including (when open) a lodge, a restaurant, and hot springs. There’s really no where else in Olympic where you can leave your tent in the morning, hike through amazing rainforests, or explore the lakes, rivers, and ocean, and return home to soak in hot springs!

● Season: March 23 – October 29.
● Reservations: recreation.gov
● Sites and Fees: 82 total sites, $21+ tax if walk-in; $24+ tax if reserved; dump station is $10 per use.
● RVs: sites 21 feet, a few for 35 feet.
● Facilities: Flush toilets and running water.
● Handicap Accessible: Yes.

South Beach Campground – Olympic National Park Camping

Olympic National Park Camping

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South Beach, like so many of the campgrounds along the Olympic Peninsula, offers panoramic ocean views and beach access. That’s the plus side. On the negative side, there’s no privacy between campsites and no protection from wind or rain. Located just south of the Kalaloch Lodge and Campground, South Beach Campground sits on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Unfortunately, the campground is not considered as scenic as the others along the coast, and tends to fill up fast, but is there really such a thing as a bad beach with sunset views? What it lacks in solitude and isolation, it makes up for in beach access, sunset views and close proximity to both the Quinault and Queets Rainforests. Beach access is just a few feet away, and campers can walk north, all the way to Ruby Beach along the sandy shores of the Kalaloch region beaches. This place fills up fast in the summer.

Information –

● Season: May 18 – September 24.
● Sites and Fees: 55 total sites, $15 per a night.
● RVs: Sites for 21 feet, a few for 35 feet.
● Facilities: No potable water. Flush toilets available.
● Handicap Accessible: Flush toilets are not wheelchair accessible. No handicap beach access trails.

Basic Park Rules and Regulations –

● Kalaloch and Sol Duc are the only campgrounds that accept reservations in the summer.
● All other campgrounds are first-come, first-served.
● Payment is by cash or check only. Many campgrounds are self-registration and change for over payment cannot be made.
● Group Sites: Reservations are needed for the park’s two group campsites. Kalaloch: (360) 962-2271. Phone reservations only, 10 person minimum, 30 maximum, 7 day maximum stay, $40 a night up to 10 people, $2 per additional person. Pit toilets, water, limited parking, no beach access. Sol Duc: Reserve at www.recreation.gov or call (877)-444-6777. Organized groups only, 24 person and 8 stock maximum, 7 day maximum stay, $43 a night though fee may vary by date. Vault toilets. Closest water at ranger station.

Food Info –

● Food Storage: Birds, rodents, bears and other common wildlife learn to search for any available food or scented item. Protect your property and help maintain healthy wildlife by securing food, dirty dishes, garbage and other smelly items. Please store all food and scented items in your car trunk or an animal-proof food storage locker when not in use. Do not leave food, dishes, garbage or other smelly items unattended at your campsite. Keep a clean camp 24 hours a day!

Available Amenities –

● Firewood: In campgrounds where wood is not available for sale by concession services, visitors may collect dead and down wood (smaller than 6″ diameter) within 100 feet of campgrounds. Wood must be collected below 3,500 feet
● Showers are not available in the campgrounds.
● Campsites in park-operated campgrounds are not equipped with water or electrical hookups. See links below for available amenities per campground.
● Most campgrounds have RV spaces limited to 21 feet or shorter. Some campgrounds have lengths up to 35 feet. More information available per campground at the park Visitor Centers and Ranger Stations, or by the campground links below.
● Campsites with water and electrical hookups are available at the concession-operated Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort and the Log Cabin Resort.

Travel Conditions –

● Please check road conditions, campground status, and the campground opening and closing dates before your visit.
● Pets are permitted on a leash (up to 6′) in campgrounds, picnic and parking areas, Rialto (to Ellen Creek) and Kalaloch beaches, Peabody Creek, Madison Falls and Spruce Railroad trails only. Pets are prohibited in park buildings, other trails, or in the backcountry. Pet excrement must be collected and put in trash receptacles.
● Feeding wildlife is prohibited for animal health and your safety.
● Hunting or disturbing wildlife is prohibited in national parks.

Limits & Rules –

● All fireworks and explosives are prohibited in the park.
● Visitors may possess firearms in the park in compliance with Washington State regulations. All firearms use, including target shooting and hunting, is prohibited within the park.
● Per site limit is 8 people, wheels must be on the pavement where available. • Camping limit is 14 consecutive days in the park per year; Kalaloch Campground limit is 7 days during the reservation window.
● Campground quiet hours are 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., checkout 11 a.m.
● Vehicle camping is only allowed in authorized campgrounds in the park. Contact the Wilderness Information Center (360-565-3100) for backpacking rules.