The Great Outdoors: Best Northwest Camping Spots

Photo: Flickr/Trystian Sky

The local expert shows us where to pitch our tents.

This week, we will discuss camping. However, there are too many wonderful campgrounds in this state to individually discuss, so we will present a few good areas for camping, instead.

Photo: Flickr/Trystian Sky 

CLE ELUM RIVER –- Cle Elum, WA

This river starts in the Cascades and runs south to Cle Elum Lake. Along the river near the northern edge of the lake, campers will find numerous campsites that are run, for the most part, by the Cle Elum National Forest. This area is called French Cabin Creek, and is known for its dispersed camping areas. Simply follow Salmon La Sac Road and take your pick of any of the campsites that you see.

Different campsites also have access to the river’s various features, such as calm swimming areas, river floats, kayaking and rafting — and even some rope swings. Contact the Cle Elum Ranger Station before you make the trip and they will help you find your ideal campsite.

Driving Directions: Take I-90 east to Exit 80, toward Roslyn/Salmon La Sac. Turn left onto Bullfrog road. At the second roundabout, take the second exit onto WA Highway 903 N. Follow this road and it will eventually turn into Salmon La Sac Road. The river and camping will be on your left along the road.

Contact: Cle Elum Ranger Station  |  803 W. 2nd St., Cle Elum  |  (509) 852-1100

 

Photo: Flickr/Todd Nappen

LAKE EASTON STATE PARK — Easton, WA

This is one of the most popular campgrounds east of the Cascades. Situated on a 516-acre site with 24,000 feet of freshwater shoreline, this park features 95 tent spaces, 45 RV sites, a dump station, a boat launch, an abundance of hiking trails and fully-accessible facilities.

The only downside to Lake Easton is that it fills up quickly on the weekends — so either get your reservations quick or go during the week.

Driving Directions: From I-90, take Exit 70 and follow the signs to the park.

Contact: For reservations, call 1-888-CAMPOUT or book on-line.

Photo: Flickr/Jason Pratt

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK — Olympic Peninsula, WA

Located in the northwest corner of Washington, Olympic National Park boasts some of the most beautiful scenery — and best camping — in the state. Staying in this area will not only give you access to beautiful hikes and bike trails — but to the Pacific Ocean as well.

There are numerous campgrounds in the park that are both publicly and privately owned and operated, so do some research before you head out to find the perfect camping spot for you.

Contact: Olympic National Park  | 600 E Park Ave., Port Angeles  | (360) 565-3000

Note: Please keep our forests clean! If you pack it in, pack it out! Also, to prevent invasive species from spreading, only use firewood from local sources. Visit Don’t Move Firewood for more information.