Camping in Olympic National Park

Discussion in 'Washington' started by jm88, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. jm88

    jm88 Member

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    I am just wondering what your experiences are in the Olympic National Park since most of the campgrounds are first come first served (or for any first come first served campground in WA). I have done it before in smaller campgrounds with a tent and could find one, but I don't know if I like the idea of hauling a trailer all over the place and not being sure I will find a spot. If I did this, I would probably try it on a Thursday or maybe even Wednesday if needed as I would imagine there would be better luck on the weekdays. I would just love to hear recent experiences on this.
     
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  2. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    Well, we will be doing it for three days towards the end of July. We will arrive on a Tuesday. My reading on the net indicates that we will find a spot given midweek and decent arrival time. We will either be at Heart O Hills or Fairholme. Given that they don't allow reservations tells me that they must not fill up for the most part. There is one that does allow reservations on the ocean. I myself was nervous as this is just into a 3 week trip for us, but it will all work out. I was at Fairholme once the Tuesday after labor day and there was a total of 2 campers including us in the whole place - that was awesome.
     
  3. jm88

    jm88 Member

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    Great, that is good to know. I think you are talking about Kalaloch as the one on the beach. I went there about 10 years ago and I don't believe they accepted reservations at that time. It was mid-September and I arrived before 10:00 AM on Friday hoping to get one of those ocean front sites I heard about. There were a lot of other sites open but I did manage to find one ocean front site to throw the tent up on. Saturday evening and through the night was probably the heaviest rain I have ever had while camping. When we got out of our tent Sunday morning at about 9:00, there was a small motorhome parked right out in front of the site asking if we were leaving today and they said they would wait for the spot. Even though you have until noon to check out, it feels like you need to hurry a little with someone watching over you so I didn't like that part. But it is pretty cool to have a site where you can see the ocean. If you remember to post after your trip, please do. I probably wouldn't be going until August anyways as I have other places reserved up through July. Or I might decide on Mt. Rainier during the week sometime.
     
  4. ollodart

    ollodart Member

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    The campgrounds in Olympic National Park are run by the park service and they fill up very quickly. You need to make reservations for sure via recreation.gov. My two cents is to stay south of the park at Oceans Shores or Pacific. You're right on the beach and they have hook ups. The campgrounds in the park are remote. There are a few on the rivers on the north end of the park (Hurrican Ridge) which are also nice. There is no way you want to go there without reservations. July/August is the time to go. It's a rain forest and the dry season is August. Another great place to camp is Port Townsend (Victorian Town) on the North Eastern part of the Olympic Peninsula. I thing you would like that. You can also take a ferry to the San Jan Islands and Camp there. I think Orcas Island would be a good choice.
     
  5. jm88

    jm88 Member

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    Thanks for the advice. We are going to Ocean Shores once and even along the Hood Canal. You can't make reservations at any of the Olympic National Park campgrounds except Kalaloch and Sol Duc. I was looking to maybe to go Fairholme, Heart of the Hills, or Hoh.
     
  6. Mausinn

    Mausinn Member

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    There are two camp grounds at Lake Quinault that are quite nice. Willby Creek and Falls Creek. Neither one accepts reservations. There are two small general stores on the road around the lake, both are within minutes from the CGs. Both of these CG's are less than 5 miles off highway 101. We went up to Graves Creek campgrounds, it is about 12 miles past Quinault, and 8 miles of it is on graded gravel road. That campground has 30 primitive sites with better than average pit toilets, but other than that it is all dry camping. No water sources at all. I suppose if you have a water filtration device you can get water from the river, the CG is right on the river with great views. The signs say that the road is not recommended for trailers or RVs, but when we went there was a pup and an older canned ham in the CG. The Graves Creek CG is very quiet and secluded, there are 30 sites in the CG, but there were maybe 6 campers using the CG when we were there and it was Memorial Day Weekend. There is also a CG at North Fork, it only has 9 sites, but we haven't been there, so I can't tell you anything about that.

    When you get to Ocean Shores, stop in at Kool Katz and Dawgz and I'll give you some treats for your dogs if you have any with you, or you could just stop in and say hi.
     

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