Camping on the Coast of Washington State

Best RV Camping locations in Washington State

The US state of Washington is a great state to visit by RV. It is one of the few states that seems to have it all; mountains, rivers, ocean coastline, plains, rural areas, quaint small towns, significant historical areas, and major metropolitan hubs. The state can be broken down into 4 major areas, each of which have very distinct attractions and points of interest for the RVer. We will look at those regions and the best RV campground options within them.

Washington State Map by Regions

Map of the State of Washington provided by the official tourism site of Washington: experiencewa.com

 

The Northeast Region

This area covers the upper eastern quadrant of the state from the Cascade Mountains east to the Idaho border. This area is primarily rural, with the exception of Spokane, which is located about 30 minutes from the Idaho border, in the east-central part of the state. One of the best places to RV camp in the region is Steamboat Rock State Park. This park and campground is located on a peninsula in Banks Lake, in the shadow of Steamboat Rock. The location provides great scenic views and has access to both land and water activities; like hiking, biking, kayaking, boating and fishing. The campground itself is well maintained with full hookups available. It can also accommodate RVs of any size and is big rig friendly. Nearby attractions include: the Grand Coulee Dam, Gehrke Windmill Garden, Crown Point and Dry Falls.

 

The Southeast Region

This area covers the upper eastern quadrant of the state from the Cascade Mountains east to the Idaho border. This area is primarily rural, with the exception of Spokane, which is located about 30 minutes from the Idaho border, in the east-central part of the state. One of the best places to RV camp in the region is Steamboat Rock State Park. This park and campground is located on a peninsula in Banks Lake, in the shadow of Steamboat Rock. The location provides great scenic views and has access to both land and water activities; like hiking, biking, kayaking, boating and fishing. The campground itself is well maintained with full hookups available. It can also accommodate RVs of any size and is big rig friendly. Nearby attractions include: the Grand Coulee Dam, Gehrke Windmill Garden, Crown Point and Dry Falls.

 

The Cascades

This is the area spanning the Cascade Mountains which run north to south across the state just west of Ellensburg. Navigating the mountains in an RV can be challenging, but can be done as long as you plan your routes carefully, in advance, and take your time. It is important to note that all vehicles crossing the mountains from November to April must have tire chains on board even if you are not using them. This region is quite large and has a lot to see and do. There are several national parks here, including North Cascades and Mount Rainier as well as a lot of national forest and state park land. The RV camping opportunities using rented vehicles are also significant. One of the best areas is the Ohanapecosh Campground. This campground is located along a river among the old growth forest in the southeastern part of Mount Rainier National Park. While it is not a glamorous resort style campground, it does have what people come to this region for; the ability to connect with nature. Nearby attractions include Silver Falls and the Grove of the Patriarchs. Being inside Mount Rainier National Park, you also have quick access to Paradise and Sunrise, which are both must visit areas.

Camping at Cascade

 

Western Washington

Between the Cascade Mountains and the Pacific Ocean lies western Washington. This area is extremely diverse, both physically and culturally. The main metro area is Seattle/Tacoma and as you head west from there you enter into the rural areas of the Olympic Peninsula. Olympic National Park is a world heritage site and not to be missed. Known for its forest trails, coastal vistas and mountainous landscape, the breathtaking scenery is as abundant as the activities. From winter skiing to boating, hiking, and ocean or forest wildlife viewing, adventure abounds.

Olympic hiking trip Joel Bill

Joel Holland, owner of Harvest Hosts, and Bill Zhang, marketing, enjoying a pit stop while hiking in Olympic National Park

One of the best places to RV camp in this region is Fort Worden State Park. The park is a converted old military installation, now home to a campground and an artistic community which occupies many of the buildings there. The campground overlooks the Salish Sea and is within walking distance of the lighthouse, Port Townsend Marine Science Center and the arts and entertainment facilities located throughout the park. The park itself is only a few minutes from downtown Port Townsend, the quintessential seaside pacific northwest town. There is ferry service in town to take you to Whidbey Island and onward to the San Juan Islands. Olympic National Park is less than an hour away and the Bainbridge Island Ferry to Seattle is about an hour, making this a great central location to visit all of these areas.

 

Washington state is a great place to visit by RV. There is a great amount of physical and cultural diversity to experience in this area. Here we have looked at some of the best places to stay. Make sure you plan ahead, Washington is a very popular destination and many spots can be book for months in advance. With proper planning, any of these locations will provide an experience that will create memories that will last a lifetime.

These camping ideas were provided by our awesome friends over at Outdoorsy, who connect RV owners with other campers like them who want to experience RVing without ownership.

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