The Best Places to Go Camping in Olympic National Park

Illuminated tent on sea shore against blue sky at dusk
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With more than 2.5 million visitors passing through its gates on an annual basis, Washington's Olympic National Park ranks among the most popular parks in the U.S. The majority of those visitors come for just the day, spending several hours hiking a stunning trail or spending some time at the iconic Lake Cresent Lodge.

But to truly get a sense of what the park has to offer, adventurous travelers need to spend a little more time in Olympic. That means spending at least one night inside its borders, connecting with nature on an extended stay. Fortunately, there are plenty of great places to pitch a tent, park an RV, or just camp out of your car. If you're looking for solitude and breathtaking views, these are the best places to camp inside Olympic National Park.

01 of 07

Deer Park Campground

A single tent sits on a ridge overlooking a mountain valley.

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Address
Port Angeles, WA 98362, USA
Phone +1 360-565-3131

Just getting to Deer Park Campground is a bit of an adventure, as it requires driving along a twisty road that ends at an altitude of about 5,400 feet. But the site offers some of the best views in the entire park, with the peaks of dozens of mountains in the Olympic Range stretching to the horizon. At night, the clear skies offer views of millions of stars overhead, making this a popular destination for stargazers.

This campground is tent-only, which means RVs aren't allowed. It also only has 14 campsites, which fill up quickly during the peak summer travel season. Those sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis from June through mid-October, so get there early if you want to nab a spot.

Cost: $15/night

02 of 07

Hoh Campground

Hiking Olympic National Park

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Address
Forks, WA 98331, USA
Phone +1 360-374-6925

For a completely different experience, head to Hoh Campground, located in the heart of the Hoh Rainforest. Populated with ancient trees, oversized ferns, and a dizzying array of wildlife, the rainforest feels like you're visiting another planet. The lush green plant life along the glacially-fed Hoh River never ceases to amaze, nor do the night sounds of the forest that chirp, croak, whistle, and sing from dusk until dawn. Just be sure to bring a tent with a rainfly as the area gets 170 inches of rain each year.

With options for tents and RVs, the Hoh Campground is a popular one all year long. Reservations can be made for the 72 campsites on Recreation.gov from June 1 to September 15, with campsites available on a first-come, first-served basis the rest of the year.

Cost: $24/night

03 of 07

Staircase Campground

An old staircase follows a trail uphill in the Olympic rainforest.

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Address
NF-24, Hoodsport, WA 98548, USA
Phone +1 360-877-5569

The perfect basecamp for an Olympic-sized adventure, Staircase Campground offers outstanding access to the park's legendary wilderness. Set in an old-growth forest, this campsite sits on the banks of the Skokomish River, with mountain summits lining the horizon. Here, adventurous travelers will have access to several fantastic trails, including the Staircase Loop and the hike to the stunning Gladys Divide. Remote, wild, and peaceful, this is a place where visitors can get a backcountry experience and still drive to their campsite.

Staircase Campground's 49 campsites operate on a first-come, first-served basis. The location is open year-round, although some of its facilities—including flush toilets and potable water—are only available during the summer. There are several sites that can accommodate RVs, as well as five walk-in-only locations. It is easy to get a spot here during the off-season, although it does get somewhat crowded throughout the summer.

Cost: $24/night

04 of 07

Kalaloch Campgrounds

Kalaloch, Olympic National Park

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Address
Forks, WA 98331, USA
Phone +1 877-444-6777

If you're looking for a campsite with seaside views, Kalaloch is for you. Situated on the bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, this campground offers some of the most memorable views from the entire park. This is especially true at sunset when the Pacific is ablaze with red, orange, and yellow hues. Hiking trails provide access to the beach below, where visitors can spend hours exploring the coastline. At night, the sounds of the waves crashing against the shore will lull you to sleep with their soothing, rhythmic tones.

With its 170 campsites, Kalaloch is the largest—and most popular—campground in the entire park. Its proximity to the ocean means that it fills up fast, which is why sites can be reserved on Recreation.gov for travel between late May and mid-September. At all other times of the year, camping is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Kalaloch is RV-friendly and handicap accessible, while also offering flush toilets and potable water.

Cost: $24/night

Continue to 5 of 7 below.
05 of 07

Sol Duc Hot Springs RV Park and Campground

A steaming hot spring passes through a thick forest and under a walking bridge.

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Address
12076 Sol Duc-Hot Springs Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98363, USA
Phone +1 888-896-3818

Sol Duc Hot Springs RV Park and Campground earns its spot on this list thanks to several outstanding attractions. For instance, it is one of the few locations that offer full water, electric, and sewer hookups, making it a top draw with RV campers. It is also situated in an old-growth rainforest with easy access to a beautiful waterfall. And of course, it provides campers with an opportunity to soak in the soothing waters of the hot springs from which it draws its name. You couldn't ask for a better way to end a long day of exploring everything that Olympic NP has to offer.

The Sol Duc Campground features 82 total campsites, with a mix of tent-only and RV-friendly options. Because it is situated so close to the hot springs, it can get very crowded during the summer months. Because of this, reservations can be made at Recreation.gov for travel between April 15 and October 31. Otherwise, it is first-come, first-served.

Cost: $25/night for walk-in campsites or $29/night for reservations

06 of 07

Dosewallips Campground

The blue-green waters of the Dosewallips River flow through Olympic National Park.

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Address
Brinnon, WA 98320, USA
Phone +1 360-565-3131

If you want to camp at the Dosewallips Campground, you'll need to put in a little work. This backcountry, walk-in-only location requires travelers to hike 6.5 miles to reach their campsite. The trail is a scenic one, however, and worth a walk even for those who don't intend to stay at Dosewallips. Those who do spend the night will be treated to solitude and seclusion, completely surrounded by the park's rich natural environment and completely free from the distractions of the modern world.

Dosewallips Campground features approximately 30 campsites, none of which can be reserved ahead of time. Open for camping year-round, this location only gets close to capacity at the height of the summer travel season. It does have pit toilets, but there is no potable water source so be sure to bring plenty of your own.

Cost: Free

07 of 07

Heart O' the Hills Campground

Snowcapped peaks line the horizon with rolling hills in the foreground.

Anna Gorin/Getty

Address
2823 S Oak St, Port Angeles, WA 98362-6920, USA
Phone +1 360-565-3131

Situated among Olympic's lush evergreen forest, Heart O' the Hills is a sprawling campsite that still manages to provide plenty of privacy. Thanks to its central location, this campground is perfect for families. From here, campers have easy access to the park's visitor center and nearby Port Angles, Olympic's gateway community. It also sits close to Hurricane Ridge, the iconic showpiece of the entire national park. From Hurricane Ridge, travelers can access some of the best trails in the area, while also taking in the staggering views of the surrounding landscape.

Heart O' the Hills is a first-come, first-served campground with 105 sites. It can accommodate both tent campers and RVers and is open year-round. During the winter, the site is only accessible on foot, however, as heavy snow is common there. Flush toilets and potable water are available during the warmer months.

Cost: $24/night

Things to Know Before You Go

Before heading out to Olympic National Park for a camping trip, here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Bring a Bear Canister: The park is filled with all kinds of wildlife, including black bears, raccoons, and rodents who are more than willing to help themselves to your food. Bring a bear canister to keep your supplies safe.
  • Firewood: Some campgrounds have firewood for sale, but visitors are allowed to collect kindling in locations where that isn't the case. You are allowed to gather branches, twigs, and sticks that are less than six inches in diameter within 100 feet of the campsite. That wood can only be gathered at an altitude of 3,500 feet or less.
  • Group Camping Sites: Olympic offers large-group camping sites in Kalaloch, Sol Duc, Hoh, and Mora Campgrounds. Those reservations may require a phone call to complete and have different pricing models. Visit the Olympic National Park website for more information.
  • Reservation Fees: All fees for the various campsites are payable by credit card only. No cash is accepted. Be sure to have a card with you if you are not making a reservation online ahead of time.
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Pitch Your Tent at these Great Campsites in Olympic National Park