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Here Is the Best Camping in Olympic National Park

Here Is the Best Camping in Olympic National Park

Camping in Olympic National Park is one of the best ways to explore the breathtaking Olympic Peninsula.

A wide range of campsites are available. You can stay inside or just outside of the park. Choose between developed campgrounds, backcountry campsites, and dispersed camping areas.

Now, let’s dive right in and help you find the best campsite!

Best Camping in Olympic National Park

Already know which campground you wish to visit? Then jump right down to learn more!

Don’t forget to check out our list of the best places to camp in Washington for even more ideas!


Stay at a Campground in Olympic National Park

There are 14 developed campgrounds in Olympic National Park.

All are first-come, first-served, except for Kalaloch, Sol Duc, and Mora which offers advance reservations during the summer.

Altair Campground (Permanently Closed)

Elwha River in Olympic National Park

Unfortunately, Altair Campground is now permanently closed due to heavy flooding starting in 2014 when two dams on the Elwha River were removed.

Deer Park Campground

View of Forested Hills in Olympic National Park

Deer Park Campground is unique as the only car campground in Olympic National Park that’s located in high-alpine country.

Camp here for 360° views of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The campground’s isolation makes for breathtaking views of the sky at night.

Deer Park is open July to September (depending on snow). It has just 14 non-reservable spots. RVs are not allowed. Pit toilets are the sole amenity.

Learn more about Deer Park Campground.

Dosewallips Campground (Walk-In Only)

View of the Dosewallips River in the wilderness.

Dosewallips Campground is the sole walk-in campground in Olympic National Park (aside from backcountry campsites).

It’s very popular with hikers making their way into or out of the backcountry. But I highly recommend the hike along Dosewallips River Road to all visitors.

The campground is located alongside the swift Dosewallips River and requires about a 5.5-mile hike to reach. It’s open year-round and has 30 non-reservable tent campsites. Pit toilets are the only amenity available.

Learn more about Dosewallips Campground.

Elwha Campground (Permanently Closed)

Beautiful view of the Elwha River in Olympic National Park.

Just like Altair Campground, the once gorgeous Elwha Campground is now permanently closed due to heavy flooding starting in 2014 when two dams on the Elwha River were removed.

Fairholme Campground

Lake Crescent Through the Trees in Olympic National Park

Fairholme Campground is an excellent option for visiting Lake Crescent.

The campground fills up fast in the summer, so arrive early to secure one of the coveted lakeside campsites. It’s also an excellent jumping off point for exploring nearby Sol Duc Falls and Hurricane Ridge.

The campground is open from April to October. It has 88 non-reservable campsites and is RV friendly (up to 21 feet). Flush toilets, running water, and an RV dump station are available.

Learn more about Fairholme Campground.

Graves Creek Campground

Forest with moss and ferns in Olympic National Park.

Graves Creek Campground is perhaps my second favorite campground in Olympic National Park (after Kalaloch).

Located in the Quinault Rainforest alongside the serene Quinault River, the campground is quite remote and peaceful. It’s close to several popular hiking trails, including the world-class Enchanted Valley (a 26-mile roundtrip trail).

This campground is open year round. It has 30 non-reservable spots. No RVs or trailers are allowed due to the narrow, rough, winding access road. Pit toilets are the only amenity.

Learn more about Graves Creek Campground.

Heart O’ the Hills Campground

Sweeping view of wildflower meadows and the Olympic Mountains.

Located smack dab in the middle of an old growth forest, Heart O’ the Hills is a popular Olympic National Park campground for family camping.

Kids love the fun summer ranger programs. Plus, the campground is just a few miles from Port Angeles, making it one of the most easily accessible in the park.

But the real draw of Heart O’the Hills is its close proximity to Hurricane Ridge. The breathtaking destination is located a short 14-mile drive away.

Heart O’ the Hills is open year round. However, the area receives heavy snow in the winter, making it walk-in only when snow is on the ground.

There are 105 non-reservable campsites. The campground is RV friendly (up to 35 feet). Flush toilets, running water, and an RV dump station are available.

Learn more about Heart O’ the Hills Campground.

Hoh Campground

Hiking trail finding through thickly mossed trees in the Hoh Rainforest.

Tucked away in the country’s most famous rainforest, Hoh Campground is a very central jumping off point for many of Olympic National Park’s best attractions.

Camp here for easy access to popular hiking trails like the Hoh River Trail and the Hall of Mosses.

As one of the wettest locations in America, campers should adequately prepare for rain, even in the middle of summer.

The campground is open year round. It contains 88 non-reservable spots and is RV friendly (up to 21 feet). Flush toilets, running water, and an RV dump station are available.

Learn more about Hoh Campground.

Kalaloch Campground

Tent on bluff above Pacific Ocean at Kalaloch Campground in Olympic National Park.

Kalaloch Campground is my favorite campground in Olympic National Park – it’s also the most popular.

Why do people love it so much? The answer is simple. It’s beautiful.

Situated on a bluff alongside sandy Kalaloch Beach, many campsites have amazing views of the Pacific Ocean. Even those that don’t are just a very short walk away.

The campground is open year round. It contains 170 reservable spots and is RV friendly (up to 35 feet for some spots). Flush toilets, running water, an RV dump station, and a year-round general store are available.

Learn more about Kalaloch Campground.

Mora Campground

Sea stack near Mora Campground on the Olympic Peninsula.

Mora Campground is situated near the Quillayute River, just a few miles from Rialto Beach.

It’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from many popular Olympic National Park destinations including Hole in the Wall, Second Beach, and Strawberry Bay Falls.

Because of its location near the village of La Push, it’s sometimes called La Push Campground instead of Mora.

The campground is open year round. It has 95 non-reservable spots and is RV friendly (up to 35 feet for some spots). Pit toilets, running water, and an RV dump station are available.

Learn more about Mora Campground.

North Fork Campground

Rocks in the Quinault River on the Olympic Peninsula.

North Fork Campground is perfect for campers looking for a more secluded Olympic National Park camping experience.

Hidden along the Quinault River, this tiny campground is located close several to beautiful hikes including Skyline Ridge Primitive Trails. Deer, elk, and bears visit the area often.

The campground is open year round. It contains 9 non-reservable spots. It isn’t RV friendly. Running water isn’t available although North Fork has pit toilets.

Learn more about North Fork Campground.

Ozette Campground

Blue heron on rock near Lake Ozette.

Ozette Campground is an often overlooked gem of an Olympic National Park campground.

Miles from anywhere else, the campground is set on the shores of Lake Ozette. Most campsites have views of the lake. Do note that the road in is often rough and muddy. The campsites can be equally wet.

Yet all of the downsides are worth it. Lake Ozette is extremely beautiful. The nearby coastline is some of the most remote in the country.

The campground is open year round. It contains 15 non-reservable spots and is RV friendly (up to 21 feet). Pit toilets are the only amenity.

Learn more about Ozette Campground.

Queets Campground

Photo of a remote river bank near Queets Campground in Olympic National Park.

Queets Campground is among the most remote campgrounds in Olympic National Park.

This remoteness makes it perfect for those looking to experience the park in as much solitude as possible. It’s also located in one of the least visited sections of the park.

The campground is open year round. It contains 20 non-reservable spots. It isn’t RV friendly. Running water isn’t available although there are pit toilets.

Learn more about Queets Campground.

Sol Duc Campground

Walking bridge near Sold Duc Falls.

Sol Duc Campground is an awesome place for camping in Olympic National Park.

Located next to the incredible Sol Duc Falls, it’s also close to the famous Sol Duc Hot Springs, a number of lakes, and roaring rivers filled with salmon.

Thanks to its popularity, Sol Duc Campground is home to a number of summer ranger programs which are perfect for kids. The nearby Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort has a lodge and restaurant which are only open during the summer months.

This campground is open year round. However, flush toilets and running water are only available from May to October. It has 82 non-reservable spots and is RV friendly (up to 35 feet for some spots).

Learn more about Sol Duc Campground.

South Beach Campground

Sea stacks in the Pacific Ocean near South Beach Campground.

Though it’s right off of Highway 101 and just minutes from Kalaloch, South Beach Campground is surprisingly isolated.

Its scenic location on a bluff provides campers with great views of the Pacific Ocean, especially at sunset. It’s also the perfect jumping off point to explore the Quinault and Queets Rainforests.

The campground is open from May to September. It has 50 non-reservable spots and is RV friendly (up to 35 feet in some campsites). Running water isn’t available although it does have pit toilets and an RV dump station.

Learn more about South Beach Campground.

Staircase Campground

Tent in Olympic National Park.

The best campground on the eastern side of Olympic National Park, Staircase Campground is located on the banks of the Skokomish River.

Gladys Divide and Staircase Loop Trail are just a few of the amazing hiking trails within easy access of this campground.

Thanks to its proximity to the park’s most remote stretch of mountains, the campground also acts as a home base for many of the national park’s most popular backpacking routes.

The campground is open year-round. It has 56 non-reservable spots and is RV friendly (up to 35 feet for some spots). Flush toilets and running water are available from June to September.

Learn more about Staircase Campground.


Backcountry Camping in Olympic National Park

View of Olympic Mountains Looking Towards Port Angeles

Want to camp in Olympic National Park but well away from crowds?

Then backcountry camping is the way go.

Hike into the mountains or set up camp on a desolate stretch of beach for an amazing camping experience unlike any other.

Backcountry Campgrounds

Looking out at the Pacific Ocean from inside of a tent.

Two of the best backcountry campgrounds in Olympic National Park are Shi Shi Beach and Enchanted Valley.

Camping at Shi Shi Beach should be on every outdoor lover’s camping bucket list.

The easy 2 to 5 mile hike takes you down onto one of the most scenic stretches of beach in Washington. Camp right on the beach and wake up to incredible morning views.

Camping in Enchanted Valley requires a much longer hike (about 26 miles roundtrip) but the area is just as beautiful. This breathtaking mountain retreat is complete with an abandoned historic lodge to explore.

Make sure you have all the proper wilderness camping permits (required for all Olympic National Park backcountry campsites) as well as bear canisters to store your food.

If you’re new to backpacking, our beginner’s guide to backpacking (with gear checklist) will help you plan your trip!


Other Campground on the Olympic Peninsula

Just because you want to visit Olympic National Park, doesn’t mean you have to camp in the national park itself.

There are several amazing campgrounds near Olympic National Park. Many are just minutes outside of its boundaries. Some of these are small and remote to help you avoid crowds while others are full-blown RV parks.

Here are a few more of our favorite campgrounds on the Olympic Peninsula!

Coho Campground

View of river with mountains in background on Olympic Peninsula.

Located in the nearby Olympic National Forest, Coho Campground is situated on Wynoochee Lake. In addition to 48 reservable campsites, there are 8 walk-in tent sites, a group site, and 3 reservable yurts. No hookups are available but many of the sites accommodate RVs and trailers.

Learn more about Coho Campground.

Dosewallips State Park

View of river near Dosewallips State Park.

Few campgrounds near Olympic National Park are better for exploring the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula than Dosewallips State Park. The large campground has 75 tent sites, 45 RV sites with full hookups, and 12 cabins. All sites are reservable online.

Learn more about Dosewallips State Park.

Hamma Hamma Campground

Picture of hiking trail on Olympic Peninsula.

Hamma Hamma Campground is also located in Olympic National Forest along the Hamma Hamma River. It has 15 first-come, first-served campsites that accommodate tents as well as RVs and trailers up to 21 feet.

Learn more about Hamma Hamma Campground.

Olympic Peninsula/Port Angeles KOA

Photo of KOA cabin from the outside.

For RV camping on the Olympic Peninsula, the Port Angeles KOA is an excellent option. It has dozens of campsites with full hookups to accommodate RVS of all sizes. There’s also a grassy tent camping area and numerous camping cabins.

Learn more about Olympic Peninsula/Port Angeles KOA.

Salt Creek Recreation Area

Strait of Juan de Fuca at Salt Creek Recreation Area

Salt Creek Recreation Area in Clallam County is another great place for camping near Olympic National Park. Located on a high bluff overlooking the Puget Sound, 73 of the campground’s 92 campsites have a view of the water. Most sites accommodate RVs, although there are a few tent-only sites. Reservations are accepted during the peak season.

Learn more about Salt Creek Recreation Area.

Sequim Bay State Park

View of a lighthouse on Strait of Juan de Fuca near Sequim

Don’t like the rain? Sequim Bay State Park is located just outside of Sequim, one of the driest towns on the Olympic Peninsula. The scenic, peaceful campground boasts 45 primitive campsites plus 15 campsites with partial RV utilities. A handful of sites accommodate RVs over 30 feet. Reservations are accepted.

Learn more about Sequim Bay State Park.

Willaby Campground

Photo of kayaks on the shores of Lake Quinault in Olympic National Park.

Camping on Lake Quinault doesn’t get much better than Willaby Campground. An ideal campground for Olympic National Park visitors, the 19 lakeside campsites are quiet and peaceful. Most accommodate RVs and trailers in addition to tent campers. Reservations are available.

Learn more about Willaby Campground.


Dispersed Camping Near Olympic National Park

Photo of fallen tree with roots on Olympic Peninsula.

Dispersed camping is another option for camping near Olympic National Park.

Also known as wild camping, dispersed camping is camping outside of a designated campground.

This means you won’t have any normal campground amenities such as running water or bathrooms. Remember to always follow the leave no trace principles (including properly going poop in the woods!).

Don’t forget that camping is only allowed in certain areas. On the Olympic Peninsula, it’s generally restricted to the Olympic National Forest.

The best thing about dispersed camping? It’s free!

Another option for free camping on the Olympic Peninsula is to stay at a DNR campground.

There are 12 DNR campgrounds on the Olympic Peninsula. Each requires a Discover Pass which costs just $30 per year. Other than that, they are free to use.

Check out our in-depth camping guides to learn more about dispersed camping and free camping.


Now We Want to Hear From You!

Here Is the Best Camping in Olympic National Park 1

We’d love to hear about your Olympic National Park camping experience.

How was your trip overall? What was your favorite campground? Did you camp in an RV or in a tent? Let us know in the comments below.

And, don’t forget to check out our other national park camping guides:

Happy Camping!

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Nikki

Tuesday 14th of July 2020

This is a fantastic article with such great information. I live in the North Seattle area and am going to be making a trip with some people visiting the beginning of August. Seems like most campgrounds that have reservations are already full - any advice for first come first serve / dispersed camping? Thanks in advance!!

Jake Walnut

Tuesday 28th of July 2020

Hi Nikki,

Sorry for the late response!

Many of the smaller national park campgrounds in Olympic National Park offer first-come, first-served camping. Remember to arrive as early as possible to secure a spot. For visiting in the summer (especially on a weekend), the more out-of-the-way campgrounds are probably your best bet. I camped at Graves Creek Campground recently (a first-come, first-served campground near Lake Quinault). I arrived late in the evening on a weekend and there were plenty of spots left. It is quite a drive in down somewhat rough unpaved roads. The area is beautiful though.

Many of the surrounding national forests also have first-come, first-served campsites. On the west side of the peninsula, Campbell Tree Grove (possibly closed due to Covid) and Hoh Oxbow Campground (definitely open right now) come to mind. Both are also free! But, once again, arrive early to get another spot.

Another option is to try out dispersed camping. You won't be in an actual campground so it's important to pack out all your trash and learn how to go to the bathroom in the woods responsibly. It can be a little tricky to figure out which areas allow dispersed camping and which don't, but you're usually a-okay if you're in a national forest. Just look for the handmade fire rings along little dirt pullouts along forest service roads. I've found some awesome free dispersed campsites along the Hoh River to the east of Highway 101.

Hope this info helps!

FanGuider

Friday 15th of November 2019

Thank you for this! came to Port Angeles months ago recuperating from a spinal injury. Every day I look up at the mountains for motivation. Great content! cheers!

Janine

Sunday 18th of August 2019

This is a great page - heaps of really good information. I am visiting mid September 2019 and wondering how crowded the campgrounds will be? Especially around Hoh and Kalaloch. Thanks

Jake Walnut

Monday 19th of August 2019

Mid September is a beautiful time to visit the Olympic Peninsula! Things should have mellowed out after summer by then. Spots should be available at each, but arrive early if you're camping on the weekend. Last time I camped at Kalaloch in mid September, it was busy but not full on a Saturday night. It's a pretty big campground with over 150 campsites.

Landon

Friday 12th of July 2019

What’s great article! Thank you for the detailed info!

Tina Hornsby

Friday 7th of September 2018

I REALLY want to go here now! After seeing this maybe next summer!