Best Olympic National Forest Campgrounds for Camping

Best Olympic National Forest Campgrounds for Camping

Oct 11, 2023

One of the finest ways to experience the magnificent Olympic Peninsula is by camping in Olympic National Forest Campgrounds.

One of the few temperate rainforests in the world is the national forest. It may be the wettest place in the United States because it receives more than 150 inches of rain.  Given its exceptional surroundings, it's understandable why so many people are eager to visit this place.

Also, it has several spots for exploring, and taking pictures to capture your experiences in this nature lover's heaven. There are several campgrounds inside the park and nearby RV parks with loads of amenities. You can choose to remain inside the park or you can enjoy the view of the lakes outside.

Let's get started and help you pick the perfect place for your next camping at the Olympic National Park!

1. Kalaloch Campground

Kalaloch Campground

Kalaloch is the place to go if you want to camp while festing your eyes with a view of the water. This campground provides some of the park's most enduring vistas because of its location on the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean.

This is evident at dusk, when the Pacific is alive with colours of red, orange, and yellow. Overnight guests can spend hours exploring the coastline at the beach below, which is accessible through hiking paths. You will be put to sleep at night by the waves breaking on the shore with their calming, repetitive tones.

Kalaloch is one of the biggest and busiest campground in the entire park with 170 camp sites. Because of how quickly it fills up due to its close proximity to the coast, these camp sites can be scheduled on for travel between late May and mid-September.

Camping is accessible at all other times of the year on a first-come, first-served basis.  Apart from providing flush toilets and potable water, Kalaloch is RV-friendly and accessible to people with disabilities.

2. Grave Creek Campground

Grave Creek Campground

For those traveling to the Enchanted Valley in the backcountry, Graves Creek Campground is a well-liked camping destination. The small campground is about 14 miles from the Quinault Rain Forest Ranger Station, at the end of a gravel road.

There is no running water and just first-come, first-served camping at this rustic campground. The East Fork Quinault River Trail, for example, is a fantastic hike that is close by despite the area's remoteness.

Since Graves Creek is far away, driving into the forest slowly is necessary. While it's a great place to stay the night before venturing into the backcountry, visitors searching for quick access to Olympic National Park's most well-liked activities may find it to be less appealing.

3. Queets Campground

Queets Campground

The Queets River Valley is home to the Queets Campground. It's a far-off campground that can only be reached via a narrow gravel road. Watch out for traffic, including heavy trucks, as this 11-mile route is in a logging area.

There are 20 sites at the campground, each with a picnic table and a fire ring. The campground has pit toilets but no running water.

Be mindful of your surroundings while visiting because winter storms can cause damage to the campground and nearby trails.

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4. Willaby Campground

Willaby Campground

In the nearby Olympic National Forest, Willaby Campground offers views of Lake Quinault's southwest side. Access to the surrounding rainforest and other water-based activities is provided by this Forest Service campground.

Also, the campground is close to the Quinault Mercantile, a great place to find various camping supplies, and the Quinault Rainforest Ranger Station.

The campground is traversed by the Quinault National Recreation Trail, which links interpretive paths through the rainforest with views of the lakefront.

The 21 camp sites at Willaby all have access to flushing facilities and potable water, and most of them have views of Lake Quinault. Renting a non-motorized boat is possible not far from the campsites. Willaby accepts reservations on a rolling six-month basis.

5. Staircase Campground

Staircase Campground

The Staircase Campground provides excellent access to the park's fabled wildness and is the ideal starting point for an Olympic-sized adventure. This campground is located on the banks of the Skokomish River amid an old-growth forest, with distant mountain peaks in the background.

The Staircase Loop and the climb to the breathtaking Gladys Divide are just two of the wonderful paths that intrepid travelers can access from this location. This is a remote, untamed, and tranquil location where tourists may experience the backcountry while still driving to their tents.

The 49 camp sites at Staircase Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Although the place is always open, several of its amenities, like clean toilets and potable water, are only accessible in the summer.

There are five locations that are solely open to walk-in customers and numerous RV-friendly sites. Although it does get somewhat crowded during the summer, it is simple to find a seat here during the off-season.

6. Bogachiel State Park Campground

Bogachiel State Park Campground

Nearly 130 acres of deep woodland surround Bogachiel State Park, which is connected to the southwest side of the park. It is managed by Washington State Parks and provides a camping experience that is quite comparable to that found in surrounding national parks. However, one of the main distinctions is that Bogachiel has showers.

A reservation can be made in advance for any of the 26 camp sites in Bogachiel via the state-run reservation system. Furthermore, the dense forests that surround Bogachiel and the nearby Bogachiel River Valley provide enough picturesque interest to keep campers from ever leaving.

However, the state park is frequently just one stop on an Olympic vacation because places like the Wilderness Coast and Hoh Rain Forest are also 45 minutes distant.

7. Mora Campground

Mora Campground

Another well-liked campground in Olympic National Park's coastal area is Mora Campground. This campground is close to the La Push beaches, but it is not on the water. Instead, it is hidden away in a coastal forest and offers more secluded camping areas.

For your convenience, the camp site has 94 sites, one of which is accessible, and is open all year long. A fire ring and grate are provided at each campground. There are flushing toilets in the restrooms, one of which is wheelchair accessible. Also, there are water refill stations and food storage that is animal-proof.

Some of the campsites have views of the Quillayute River and are located along the river. A short drive will take you to well-known beaches like Rialto Beach, First Beach, and Second Beach, which offer breathtaking sunset views.

Also, Forks, a town, is nearby. The community, made famous by the Twilight books, offers campers amenities like dining establishments, gas stations, and grocery stores.

8. Heart O' the Hills Campground

Heart O' the Hills Campground

The closest campground to Hurricane Ridge is Heart O'the Hills Campground, which is about 12 miles from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. One of the most frequented sites in the park is this breathtaking alpine section. Staying here gives you a fantastic edge for viewing the Olympics at sunrise or dusk.

Despite having more than 100 camp sites, this first-come, first-served campsites  fills up rapidly on summer months. While the campground is always open, the higher elevation Hurricane Ridge region experiences considerable snowfall during the winter, forcing guests to climb or use snowshoes to reach their tents.

The campsites at Heart O'the Hills are nestled away in the old trees, offering lots of seclusion and shade. You can always head to Heart O'the Hills Campground to reserve a campground if you're searching for a fantastic place to stay close to Hurricane Ridge and Port Angeles.

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9. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Another privately run campground in Olympic National Park is Sol Duc Hot Springs RV Park & Campground. Contrary to Log Cabin Resort, bookings can be made through

This campground is hidden along the Sol Duc River in the Sol Duc Rainforest. Tent and RV campers are catered for at these campsites, some of which have complete RV hookups.

You can visit well-known locations nearby, such as Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, where you can relax in mineral hot spring pools. You can either take a short drive to the Sol Duc Falls Trail or hike there from the campground using the Lover's Lane loop if you're interested in hiking.

Also, the Lake Crescent area can be easily explored in a single day trip from the Sol Duc Campground.

10. Deer Park Campground

Deer Park Campground

Deer Park Campground is only a short drive away, but even getting there takes traveling up a winding road that terminates at a height of nearly 5,400 feet.

The Olympic Range's mountain summits, however, are visible in some of the greatest vistas in the entire park from the location. This is a well-liked location for stargazers at night because of the beautiful skies, which provide vistas of millions of stars above.

RVs are not permitted at this park, which solely allows tent camping. Also, there are only 14 camp sites, and they are booked up rapidly in the height of summer tourists. From June through mid-October, such sites are accessible on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early if you want to secure a spot.

11. Ocean City

Ocean City

On the Olympic Peninsula's southwest coast, with a view of the Pacific, lies the campground for Ocean City State Park. The campsite has full hookups, fire rings, flush bathrooms, and RV and tent sites that may be reserved.

It also offers horse rentals. You can enjoy the surf and beach, go clamming, or climb nearby trails only steps from the coast. The charming village of Ocean Shores, where you may go golfing and have a meal, is also close to the campground.

The North Bay Natural Preserve, where you can see rare birds and other wildlife, is well worth visiting. Families that wish to get away and spend some quality time together should consider staying at the Ocean City campsite.

12. Dosewallips Campground

Dosewallips Campground

You must put up some effort if you wish to camp at the Dosewallips Campground. Travelers must hike 6.5 kilometers to get to their campsite at this walk-in-only backcountry area. However, the trek is beautiful and is worth taking even if you don't plan to stay at Dosewallips.

The rich natural environment of the park will totally envelop those who choose to spend the night, keeping them away from modern world distractions and in solitude and seclusion.

There are about 30 camp sites at Dosewallips Campground, none of which may be requested in advance. Despite being open year-round for camping, this area doesn't get filled until the peak of the summer travel season. Despite having pit toilets, there is no supply of drinkable water there, so pack plenty of your own.

13. Fairholme Campground

Fairholme Campground

One of Olympic National Park's greatest attractions, Lake Crescent, is situated along the shoreline of Fairholme Campground. Fairholme requires reservations in the summer due to its high-demand location and its access to treks in the Lake Crescent, Sol Duc, and Hurricane Ridge areas.

The Spruce Railroad Trail, which is best suited for hiking and bicycling, is just one of the numerous hiking routes that campers can enjoy nearby. There is a boat launch next to the campground for people who want to go fishing or boating around Lake Crescent.

The Fairholme General Store, which offers simple conveniences and kayak rentals for guests camping here, is also close to the campground along Highway 101.

14. South Beach Campground

South Beach Campground

One of the major first-come, first-served campgrounds in Olympic National Park is South Beach Campground. It offers easy access to the overlook and trail at Kalaloch Beach 1 and is situated just across the street from Kalaloch Campground.

From the camping on the bluff, you have breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. Similar to Kalaloch Campground, South Beach Campground offers easy access to stunning sunsets.

Although there are flush toilets present, no drinking water is available. You must bring your own water. Fortunately, the general grocery and Kalaloch Lodge are close by.

15. HOH Rain Forest Campground

HOH Rain Forest Campground

The Hoh Rain Forest is one of the park's major destinations, and Hoh Campground is one of the most well-liked campgrounds in the area.

There are many visitors to this spectacular temperate rainforest, and parking can get scarce quickly. You can avoid crowded parking lots and walk to all the area's top attractions by staying at Hoh Campground.

The summer, when the forest is lush yet drier, is the greatest season to stay at Hoh Campground. Hoh Rain Forest receives more than 140 inches of rain yearly during the rest of the year.

You'll experience being completely submerged in Washington State's vast rainforest while living here, surrounded by mosses and old-growth trees.

The trailheads for the three well-known trails in the Hoh Rainforest—Hall of Mosses, Spruce Nature Trail, and Hoh River Trail—can be reached quickly from the campground.

16. Salt Creek Recreation Area

Salt Creek Recreation Area

Near the Salish Sea, on the border between Crescent Lake and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, is the Salt Creek campground. For tents and RVs, the campsite offers roomy year-round sites with power hookups, flush toilets, showers, and beach access.

Bring your kayak or SUP board so you may visit numerous gorgeous beaches from your convenient location. The Tongue Point Marine Sanctuary, one of the region's most diversified tide pools, is also within a short distance from the campground.

During the busiest season, you can reserve your space, but off-season sites are first-come, first-served.

17. Log Cabin Resort

Log Cabin Resort

Along the shores of Lake Crescent is the privately run RV park and campground known as Log Cabin Resort. It is not run by the National Park Service, unlike other campgrounds, and reservations can be gotten by calling the hotel directly.

The campground offers breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains, especially Mount Storm King, which is located behind Lake Crescent.

In Olympic National Park, it is the only campground with full hookups, showers, and laundry facilities. While the campsites don't offer much solitude, they do have access to the lodge, restaurant, gift shop, and on-site general store of the Log Cabin Resort.

18. Ozette Campground

Ozette Campground

This modest campground serves visitors who make the long drive out to this isolated region of the park. It is located on the northern tip of Lake Ozette and on the northwest side of the Olympic Peninsula.

Each of the 15 camp sites at Ozette Campground has a view of Lake Ozette, either partially or directly, and all have access to pit toilets and potable water.

The Ozette Ranger Station is close by and offers information all summer long. The Ozette Loop Trail starts and ends close to the campground.

If you want to find a campsite for the night, schedule the long trip for early in the day. As a backup plan, there are other camping and hotel choices available in the small community of Ozette nearby.

19. Sequim Bay

Sequim Bay

On the Olympic Peninsula's northeastern tip, close to Sequim Bay's serene shores, is where you'll find the Sequim Bay campground. For tents and RVs, this maritime campsite offers roomy, reserveable sites with fire rings, flush toilets, showers, and a boat ramp.

You can find seafood on the beaches, go fishing in the serene Sequim Bay, or practice your sport on the park's courts. There's a chance to explore a local portion of the Olympic Discovery Trail or go in search of animals if you're feeling brave.

Sequim Bay is the ideal destination for marine enthusiasts and explorers seeking a more drier climate because of its position.

20. North Forks Campground

North Forks Campground

There are nine campsites in this old-growth forest campground, each with a picnic table and fire ring. At the campground, the water is not running. Meanwhile, there are other trailheads nearby, such as Irely Lake and Maple Glade Loop.

The largest mammal in the park, the Roosevelt elk, can be seen in great numbers in the Quinault Rainforest. It's also a well-liked entry point to the wilderness. For those with limited time, there are beautiful loop drives in the region.

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Things to Note Before Camping on Olympic National Forest Campgrounds

If going to the Olympic National Park is on your bucket list this year, then there are some things you should take note of before going. There are:

1.  Know the Entry Charges

The entrance to the Olympic National Park is not free. All camping expenses are not included in this. The price is $15 per person (by bicycle or on foot), $25 per motorcycle, or $30 per car. Every admission ticket has a seven-day expiration date. So, you will need a national pass. 

A national park pass is something you should definitely get if you want to save some cash. These are available at all US public lands for a full calendar year from the date of purchase and cost $80.

2. Store Your Food Properly

Sadly, a lot of animals have discovered that campgrounds is the best place to find food scraps or even freebies. Hence, you need to avoid anything that will bring in untamed animals into your camping space.

Use the designated food storage lockers to keep yourself and the park's wildlife safe. Anything with a scent will attract creatures like squirrels, birds, bears, and rodents. Along with trash, dirty dishes, sunscreen, chapstick, and sunscreen, you should also store all food in the lockers.

If these things are hidden, you can even keep them in a secured car.

3. Bring a Bear canister 

The park is home to a variety of species, including black bears, raccoons, and rodents that are more than happy to help themselves with your food.

For the protection of your supplies, bring a bear canister.

4.  Gather FireWood

While some campgrounds sell firewood,  others don't. Although there are some campgrounds that don't sell firewood, but guests are welcome to gather kindling.

Within 100 feet of the camp site, you are allowed to collect branches, twigs, and sticks with a diameter of less than six inches.

Only at an elevation of 3,500 feet or less is that wood permitted to be collected.

5. Make a reservation

Large-group campsites are available at Olympic in the campgrounds at Kalaloch, Sol Duc, Hoh, and Mora.

Those reservations may require a phone call to complete and have various price schemes.

6. Have a Budget

Credit cards are the sole payment method accepted for all campground costs.

They do not accept cash. So, if you are not making a reservation in advance online, make sure you have a card with you.

The only way to really experience Olympic National Park's unique landscape is to camp there.

There are many campgrounds to choose from when looking for a place to stay. From campsites tucked away in the distinctive temperate rainforests to campsites right on the ocean. It's all left to you to make a choice.

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