Since it’s nicknamed the Evergreen State, you’re probably aware that there are innumerable amazing camping spots in Washington. The problem is that some of them may cost more money than you’re willing to pay, or they may not be as private or primitive as you’d like.
We have a solution for you–try out dispersed camping! In fact, we already know where to go for the best-dispersed camping in Washington. Allow us to elaborate!
Best Spots for Dispersed Camping in Eastern Washington
1. Crawford Lake Campground, Colville National Forest
Some people want to find dispersed camping sites in Washington that still provide some amenities. The Crawfish Lake Campground does that. Every site includes drinking water, a fire ring, and a picnic table. The lake is also a lovely place to swim, fish, or take out a boat. Keep in mind that the campground is only open from May to October, so make the most of its availability when you can.
2. Big Meadow Lake, Colville National Forest
Do you love water and wildlife? If so, you will agree that Big Meadow Lake is an ideal dispersed camping site in Washington. Between the serene lake and rich forestry, you can spend many peaceful hours swimming, fishing, canoeing, and looking for birds, deer, goats, and other animals. When you’re not doing that, use the fire ring and picnic table for eating or relaxing.
Plus, the water is rather shallow, so it’s a little safer than other lakes for kids or anyone who isn’t a strong swimmer.
3. Sherry Creek Campground, Little Pend Oreille State Forest
We have lots of advice for new boondockers on our website. For example, pay attention to places that already have a positive reputation among more experienced boondockers, such as Sherry Creek Campground.
This site is regarded as one of the best dispersed camping spots in Washington because of the understated elegance of its environment. Despite its popularity, the campground is large enough to give everyone ample space, a quiet environment, and a sense of privacy. From there, you can easily explore every part of the beautiful forest.
4. Wickiup Campground, Triple Ridge
Although it’s only open from April to November, the Wickiup Campground has earned a spot among the best dispersed camping sites in Washington. As if its fabulous mountain views and hiking trails weren’t enough reason to love it, the site features lovely water springs where you can fish and swim. It’s also a prime area for hunting.
5. Godman Campground, Umatilla National Forest
If you’re willing to go near the top of Blue Mountains, you’ll be rewarded with the Godman Campground. With its gorgeous forest scenery, fire rings, picnic tables, cooking stoves, and pet-friendly environment, it’s easily one of the top dispersed camping sites in Washington. Lots of hikers, bikers, hunters, and fishers will find plenty of space and opportunity to do what they love, too.
6. Fishtrap Recreation Area, Sprague
Do you love history as much as you love nature? You might be drawn to dispersed camping sites in Washington that accommodate both those interests, like the Fishtrap Recreation Area. Take time to hike or bike the trails, smell the wildflowers, fish at the two lakes, watch birds, or hunt for game.
After that, visit the Folsom Farm Recreation Site to learn about the development of local farms and ranches. Many boondockers like to camp close to the farmhouse!
Best Spots for Dispersed Camping in Central Washington
7. Lion Rock Spring, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
If you’re a sucker for sublime mountain views, then Lion Rock Spring is the place for you. Along with the scenery–and partially because of it–this is among the most excellent dispersed camping spots in Washington for hikers and bikers who simply want to enjoy a glorious natural environment. However, it’s also a productive area for seasonal hunters.
8. Entiat Sno-Park, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Also called Mad River Sno-Park, the Entiat Park is a popular dispersed camping site in Washington during the winter. It’s designed for snowy recreational activities, like snowshoeing, skiing, and snowmobiling. You can hike in the snow as well, provided you don’t mind a challenge! Also, families can go there just to build snow castles or have snowball fights with each other.
Learn more about winter camping on our website!
9. Salmon La Sac Campground, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
As dispersed camping sites in Washington go, the Salmon La Sac Campground is rather well-developed. There are more than 60 clean, organized sites that you can reserve, and they come with water, vault toilets, and trash collection.
Plus, the terrain is wonderful for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. True to its name, it’s excellent for catching salmon and other fish, too.
Just remember that the area is known to have bears, so take precautions to protect yourself. In fact, we can give you bear safety pointers.
10. Caliche Lake, Grant County
From April to October, Caliche Lake is one of the most in-demand dispersed camping sites in Washington, thanks to fishing hobbyists. Lots of boondockers get lucky with their catches, and they can also go swimming if they’re so inclined. The area around the lake is filled with fascinating birds and other wildlife as well.
11. Deer Point Campground, Chelan Ranger District
Got a boat? The Deer Point Campground is one of the best camping sites in Washington, where you could bring it. With a floating dock that fits eight boats and five tent sites equipped with fire rings and picnic tables, it’s perfect for large groups. Perhaps you could coordinate a weekend with your friends and family so that you can all go fishing, water skiing, or sightseeing on Lake Chelan together!
12. Napeequa Crossing Campground, Leavenworth
Some dispersed camping sites in Washington give you unparalleled access to fantastic tourist hotspots. The Napeequa Crossing Campground is a perfect example. Located in Leavenworth, a marvelous Bavarian-themed town, the site boasts picnic tables, fire pits, outhouses, river views, and the Twin Lakes Trail, all with plenty of peace and quiet. It’s just the right place to relax after experiencing Leavenworth!
Best Spots for Dispersed Camping in Western Washington
13. Forest Road 2419/Mt. Ellinor Loop, Olympic National Park
In the Olympic National Park’s southeast area, you’ll find the Mount Skokomish Wilderness, which holds one of the most remarkable dispersed camping spots in Washington. Between the wildflower meadows, hiking trails, and views of Puget Sound and Lake Cushman, the Mt. Ellinor Loop–especially the Forest Road 2419 section–a fun and dazzling environment for camping. It’s also so high up that if you find the right place, you can admire the nearby city lights at night!
14. Tinkham Road, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Situated on the south fork of the Snoqualmie River, Tinkham Road is one of the most attractive dispersed camping sites in Washington because it’s both rustic and cozy. It’s abundant in river access, tree shade, fire rings, and delightful forest scenery. If you need water, you can get some from a hand pump. Since boondockers love flocking here during busy times of the year, try to go on weekdays, and avoid holidays.
15. Mountain Loop Highway, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Nothing takes a person’s breath away quite like the Mountain Loop Highway. That’s why it’s not only an official Scenic Byway as of 1991 but one of the most beloved dispersed camping sites in Washington. Originally used as a road for loggers, its spectacular views of mountains, glaciers, and rivers draw countless visitors every year.
Hiking along the trails in the area is the best way to fully appreciate the scenery. To feel the impact of its historical significance, you could also check out the Verlot Public Service Center, a beautiful building that has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places.
16. 29 Pines Campground, Teanaway Community Forest
You might not be able to tell just by looking that 29 Pines Campground is a prime dispersed camping site in Washington. After all, you get 59 sites with toilets, picnic tables, fire rings, river access, and well-maintained snowmobiling trails for free, so it’s worth a visit all year round! Touring the nearby fish hatchery off North Fork Teanaway Road could also increase your appreciation of marine wildlife conservation.
17. Money Creek Campground, Cascade Mountain Range/Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Located close to the Old Cascade Highway, the Money Creek Campground has a reputation as a particularly peaceful spot for dispersed camping in Washington. After exploring the lush forest, take a dip in the river’s swimming hole. Many boondockers report that the area offers fantastic hiking and fishing. Some trails may even treat you to exquisite waterfall sightings!
18. Lower Sandy/Baker Lake, Cascade Mountain Range
Hiking veterans and beginners alike love Lower Sandy/Baker Lake. Its hiking trails are family-friendly yet visually striking, and the lake offers superb opportunities for fishing, kayaking, and boating. In the winter, the slopes accommodate snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling. Bring both kids and pets here for a good time during any season!
19. Indian Race Track, Gifford Pinchot National Forest
The Indian Race Track may be among the most famous dispersed camping spots in Washington. Nestled within the Indian Heaven Wilderness in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the trail leads to the Red Mountain lookout, where local Native Americans meet annually to socialize, gather huckleberries, and race ponies. When you combine the superb hiking trails and scenery with its rich native history, it’s no wonder that so many boondockers find it so appealing.
20. Middle Waddell Campground, Capitol State Forest
One of many reasons why boondockers rate the Middle Waddell Campground among the top dispersed camping sites in Washington is that it’s well-monitored and maintained. Campground supervisors keep the area clean in addition to helping campers find spaces and settle in. The toilets, fire rings, picnic tables, and water access are great perks, too.
Hikers, ATV riders, and equestrians can have their pick of wondrous trails to explore. Just remember that they are only open from April to November, and some trails may not always be available due to logging.
21. Camp Muir, Mount Rainier National Park
With its size, location, and attractiveness, Mount Rainier naturally makes people want to camp nearby. That makes the Camp Muir trail one of the most prized camping spots in Washington. It’s most accessible with an 8.6-mile hike starting from the Paradise Visitor Center, but it’s worth it to see the landscape, which includes magnificent crevasses, glaciers, and meadows.
If you’re a mountain climber, you’ll also be pleased to know that the trail is a perfect starting point for a journey to Mount Rainier’s summit. This is partially why it was named after John Muir, a highly respected naturalist who reached the top in 1888 and advocated for the national park’s establishment.
You’ll Love Dispersed Camping in Washington!
You’ll never feel more rejuvenated than when you go to any of these incredible dispersed camping sites in Washington! After a while, though, you might feel the urge to try something different. Consider trying the opposite end of the camping spectrum–glamping!
We can get you started by recommending the 20 best glamping spots in Washington.
- About the Author
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With a bachelor’s degree in history and several years of professional writing experience, Ashley Morales believes there’s a story in everything. It’s her passion to tell each one that she can.
She has been camping and nurturing a love for nature since childhood. Sharing her knowledge is just one of the many ways that she likes to encourage others to enjoy the outdoors. Waterfronts are always her favorite places to camp or relax, no matter the time of year!