Camping Tents
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7202153@N03/5193321637/

It's that time of year where the temperatures get warmer and a certain yearning sets in. A yearning to sleep under the stars right next to your favorite outdoor activities. Washington State is a popular destination for all manner of outdoor activities and it has the camping establishments that not only allow visitors to enjoy hiking, kayaking and exploring but provide a beauty all their own. What makes some of these camping areas the greatest in Washington is their close proximity to nearby attractions, their spacious sites with the privacy of nature and providing a unique view of the area.

Spencer Spit State Park, Lopez Island, San Juan Islands

Spencer Spit State Parkhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/naz66/2682843143/in/set-72157623799045915

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
 37 sites $22 for campers
No RVs allowed
Running water
Flush toilets
No showers
Reservations available (9 months)
Open year-round

There are two beautiful waterfront campgrounds on Lopez Island, but the setting at Spencer Spit causes their waterfront campground to win out over nearby Odlin Country Park campground. Spencer Spit campground is located on the scenic northeast corner of the island on a sand spit which encloses a picturesque lagoon. The campground spans 138 acres with a choice few sites right up on the beach or more private areas and roomy sights on the bluff. The sacrifice of being able to sleep right on the beach under the stars and walk through the waves and along the sand spit at your leisure is that the beach sites offer no privacy. The campsites are literally only separated by a rope boundary. However, for those that don't mind the occasional chatty neighbor, it is a camping experience like no other.

Ohanapecosh, Mount Rainier National Park

Ohanapecoshhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/24934185@N00/5924845523

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
 188 sites $15 for campers
RVs up to 32 feet
Running water
Flush toilets
Hot showers
Reservations available
Open Late May through Early October

When it comes to outdoor activity, Mount Rainier National Park is the most popular park in Washington In order to accommodate all the adventurers it attracts, the park service has built three equally stunning yet populated campgrounds. What makes Ohanapecosh the best out of the three is that it is usually the least crowded as the summer crowds choose to stay at either Paradise or Sunrise, located closer to the entrance. Ohanapecosh is a bit of a task to get to, but it is located in the middle of an enchanting old-growth forest right next to a raging river. However, the campground would easily be more popular if those summer crowds knew it was also located right next to the bubbling Ohanapecosh Hot Springs hidden among the massive Douglas firs and hemlocks. There are several shorter trails nearby that loop around the park and take visitors by some of the tallest and oldest trees in the world. There is not much sunshine, but it provides a very unique experience all its own.

Kalaloch, Olympic National Park Coast

Kalaloch, Olympic National Park Coasthttp://www.flickr.com/photos/44121116@N00/5072396996

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
 170 sites $14-$18 for campers
RVs up to 21 feet
Running water
Flush toilets
Hot showers
Reservations Available
(5 months) 
Open year-round

Kalaloch campground should not be confused with the Kalaloch National Park Lodge. The lodge will afford visitors all the comforts of home, but will also set them back a pretty penny. The campground with which the lodge shares its name, however, is set on a spectacular bluff overlooking the ocean. The campground is nestled atop one of the more accessible parts of Olympic National Park's 73 miles of coast line. Some of the sites are located near the beach with an ocean view, but all sites enjoy the constant roar of the ocean. Unfortunately, this particular beautiful campground has seen a massive rise in popularity as it is located just a few miles from Forks, Washington, the setting for the popular Twilight novels and movie adaptation. For those that can stomach the occasional Twilight fan in the neighboring site, this is a beautiful beach adventure.

Takhlakh Lake, Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Takhlakh Lakehttp://www.flickr.com/photos/24934185@N00/235682057/

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
 62 sites $16 for campers
No RVs
No water
Vault toilets
No Showers
Reservations available
Open May through September

The Takhlakh Lake campground sits alongside, you guessed it, Lake Takhlakh. However, it also sits in the shadow of massive Mount Adams that is so close and so clear above the campsites that visitors may be tempted to reach up and touch it. Takhlakh Lake is a motor-free crystal clear lake that provides one of the most serene experiences in Washington State. Since the campsite involves quite a bit of washboard road driving, it doesn't get much in the way of other campers save for those that want to hike Mount Adams, canoe and kayak the lake and trout fish the surrounding waters. However, the trade-off for tranquility is the lack of basically anything comforting like running water for showers, flush toilets or even clean drinking water. Visitors have to bring their own essentials.

Columbia River Mouth, Camp Disappointment State Park

Camp Disappointment State Parkhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cape_Disappointment_and_Cape_Disappointment_Light.jpg

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
 30 sites $15 for campers
$70 for yurt rental
RVs allowed
Running water
Flush toilets
Hot showers
Reservations available
Open year-round

It is time for the obligatory "there's nothing disappointing about Camp Disappointment" line, but formalities aside it actually turns out to be true. Nearby the campsites, visitors can also rent out a traditional Mongolian yurt for a more comfortable camping experience, but those canvas huts are both expensive and popular in this area. It's cheaper and just as fun to pitch a tent in the campground. Admittedly, there is not much to see around the campsites aside from your average run-of-the-mill wilderness, but it is located just a short hike away from the beach in which visitors can hike, fish, clam and wander around the lighthouse in the area where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. There are also miles of trail through the wilderness that used to be terrible, leading many to speculate why the park was renamed from Fort Camby to Camp Disappointment. However, due to the tireless effort of the Washington Trails Association, they have been dramatically improved.

Colonial Creek Campground, North Cascades National Park

Colonial Creek Campground

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
 142 sites $12 for campers
RVs allowed
Running water
Flush toilets
Hot showers
Bear-proof food storage
No reservations
Open year-round

North Cascades National Park is majorly ignored by a lot of outdoor adventurers, what with the majesty of places like Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park. However, that doesn't mean it is any less interesting. It does, however, mean that the Colonial Creek campground is something of a well kept secret. Enjoy it while it lasts though, when outdoor enthusiasts discover how nice it is, it is not likely to stay that way. The campsite lies along the mystical blue-green shores of Diablo Lake and under the looming the nearby glacial peaks. This campground serves as the beginning for more than a few trails leading to places like along Thunder Creek or on top of the massive Thunder Knob. Aside from nature, the campground even comes with its own amphitheater where the talented park staff put on shows.

Moran State Park, Orcas Island, San Juan Islands

Moran State Parkhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/44124462087@N01/5753422754/

Quick Camp Site Info

# of Sites Price: Comforts: Availability:
166 sites $12-$25 for campers
RVs up to 45 feet
Running water
Flush toilets
Hot showers
Reservations available (9 months)
Open year-round

Orcas Island is quite possibly the most wonderful place in the world and the campsites in Moran State Park is located right next to many of its greatest sites. Just a short hike up a small mountain located right next to the campground is the best view of the Northwest Straits there is. The campsite itself is diverse in its variety of different camping experiences, which explains why it is split into five different areas. Four of the sites are located right along the water front of different freshwater lakes within the park, while one is located next to the aforementioned small mountain that overlooks the Northern Straits and the fifth is located by Mount Constitution that hosts a stunning CCC-era observation tower.

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