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Our Favorite Campsites Near Seattle: The Gearhouse Guide to Car Camping in Washington


Campsites Near Seattle

With warm weather here and summer just around the corner, the camping season in Washington has officially arrived. One of the great things about living in Seattle is the outdoor access. You don’t have to stray far from the city to find yourself on an adventure. Between the Cascades, Lake Washington, Puget Sound, and the Olympic Peninsula, there’s enough wilderness within driving distance from Seattle to keep a willing adventurer busy for a lifetime. If you’re new to the Seattle area, new to camping, or just want a refresher on campsites near the city, continue reading below for Our Favorite Campsites Near Seattle: The Gearhouse Guide to Car Camping in Washington.


Best Coastal Camping Campsites Near Seattle: Deception Pass State Park


Deception Pass Camping
Image Credit: Trip Advisor


If you’re looking for coastal campsites in Washington, you don’t have to go all the way to the Olympic Peninsula. Deception Pass State Park offers coastal camping with stunning water views just an hour and a half away from the city. Deception Pass is a narrow strait separating Whidbey Island from Fidalgo Island and connecting Skagit Bay to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As the most visited state park in Washington, the campsites at Deception Pass fill up months in advance, but there are a few first-come, first-serve campsites reserved for those who show up on foot or by bike. The park spans over 3,854 acres, with 77,000 feet of saltwater shoreline, and 33,900 feet of freshwater shoreline spread across three lakes. Campsites are in three different areas around the park, with 18 tent sites and 2 utility sites at Bowman Bay, 7 tent sites and 49 utility sites at Quarry Pond, and 147 tent sites and 83 utility sites at Cranberry Lake. Deception Pass tops our list of campsites near Seattle for its combination of convenience and incredible water views.


River Access Campsites Near Seattle: Tinkham Campground


Campsite in Washington
Image Credit: The Dyrt

Tinkham Campground is another of the many stellar campsites near Seattle. The campsite sits on the bank of the South Fork Snoqualmie River in Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and offers riverside camping with phenomenal mountain access. The surrounding area is great for hiking and fishing in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. With 46 available sites tucked under a canopy of Douglas fir, cedar, and western hemlock, there’s plenty of room to spread out and enjoy everything the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest has to offer. This campsite near Seattle offers single-family sites with a handful of accessible sites. Sites feature picnic tables, fire rings with grills, access to vault toilets, and drinking water.



Best Quick Getaway: Blake Island State Park


Blake Island State Park
Image Credit: Explore Washington State

Blake Island State Park may be the closest to the city of all the campsites near Seattle. The island sits between Vashon and Banbridge Islands and is only accessible by boat. The entire island is a protected state park with three separate camping areas and 5 miles of trails circumnavigating the island. Campers on Blake Island can enjoy views of Vashon, the iconic Seattle skyline, the Cascades, and Mt. Rainier. Take the ferry or sail over on your own boat. Blake Island may only be a stone’s throw from the city, but you’ll feel like you are worlds away.


Best Lake Campsite: Lake Wenatchee State Park


Lake Wenatchee State Park
Image Credit: Hip Camp


Drive just over 2 hours toward Leavenworth, and you’ll find yourself looking at one of Washington’s most striking lakes, Lake Wenatchee. Lake Wenatchee is a glacial-fed lake high in the Cascades with crystal clear water and breathtaking mountain views. With over 155 sites in the park, there’s plenty of space to spread out. This campsite fills up fast and is immensely popular during the hot summer, so plan ahead and reserve your site early. Stand up paddle, fish, kayak, swim, canoe, or hike in the nearby mountains. Lake Wenatchee State Park has it all.


Best Campsite to explore Mount Rainier: Cougar Rock Campground


Cougar Rock Campground
Image Credit: National Park Service

Arguably the most sought-after of all campsites near Seattle, Cougar Rock Campground in Mt. Rainier National Park offers views of Washington’s most impressive mountain. Cougar Rock Campground is an ideal home base for exploring the park. Situated on the Nisqually River surrounded by old-growth trees, this campground gives visitors access to Longmire, Paradise, and of course, the waterfall for which the campground is named. Cougar Falls Campground has 173 campsites, 5 larger group sites, running water, and flush toilets. The campsite is open from late May to late September and offers a mix of reservation and first-come, first-serve sites.


Planning a camping trip? Let the Gearhouse trip planning department fine-tune your trip and help you find the perfect campsite near Seattle for your next adventure. Stock up on outdoor gear and meet like-minded adventure buddies at Gearhouse.


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