Camping In Olympic National Park

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Located just 2-hours outside of Seattle, Olympic National Park is one of the most diverse parks in the US. With a mix of old-growth rain forests, glacier-capped mountains, and Pacific Ocean coastline, there’s an endless mix of areas to explore.

The dense vegetation at Olympic makes it easy to get away from the crowds. Camping in the park is remote and secluded, creating a peaceful experience. This is especially apparent if you’re coming from the hustle and bustle of the city.

There are fourteen campgrounds at Olympic National Park with over 800 campsites for tents and RV campers. About half of the campgrounds in the park have minimal amenities such as pit toilets, fire rings, and picnic tables. Not all campgrounds have potable water, and some are accessible only on foot. But the rugged nature of the park leaves campers with fantastic views and endless opportunities for viewing wildlife.

There are also overflow campgrounds and discounted primitive campgrounds in the surrounding area which we’ll cover in this article.

Reservations: All of the campgrounds in Olympic National Park are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Kalaloch, Mora, and Sol Duc are the only campsites that accept reservations ahead of time.

Seasonal Closures: Most campsites within the park are open year-round with the exception of Dosewallips, Sol Duck, and South Beach.

Water and bathrooms: None of the campgrounds in Olympic National Park have showers or laundry facilities. The campsites have a mix of flush toilets and pit toilets available depending on their location. Nearly all of the campsites have potable water spigots.

Electricity: There are no electric hookups in Olympic National Park with the exception of Sol Duck which is maintained by the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. 

RV camping: The max RV length for campsites throughout the park is 35 feet, and the majority are suitable for motorhomes up to 21 feet long. There are dump stations located at Fairholme, Kalaloch, Mora, and Sol Duc campgrounds.

Cell phone service: Mobile coverage is spotty throughout the park and you’re unlikely to find a reliable connection at any of the campgrounds.

Pets: Leashed dogs are welcome in all of the campgrounds.

Camping In Olympic National Park

camping at deer park campground in olympic national park
The Deer Park Campground

Deer Park Campground

Deer Park Campground is a rugged, tent-only location with no potable water and minimal amenities. To get there, you must drive up 9 miles of steep gravel road which is only open from June through October. Reaching 5,400 feet in elevation, you’ll find 14 campsites with vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings. All of the sites are first-come, first-served.

Your reward for making the climb is some of the most outstanding mountain views in Olympic National Park.

When the sun goes down and the stars come out, the sky gets pitch black so you can see millions of twinkling stars. There is a great deal of wildlife throughout the area, and the remote location makes it an ideal place for campers who are looking for an authentic, natural experience.

  • 14 Tent camping sites
  • First-come, first-served
  • Typically open June-October
  • Vault toilets
  • *No potable water*

Dosewallips Campground

Another one of the most remote campgrounds in Olympic National Park is Dosewallips. This small, walk-in only campground is free to spend the night, but getting there can be a challenge. Road wash-outs prevent you from driving straight to the campsites. Instead, visitors will need to backpack their gear into one of 30 campsites. The trek is 6.5 miles long so it’s not for the faint at heart.

Despite the difficulties getting there, Dosewallips is a serene and beautiful space nestled away from all the sounds of people. It’s located near the Dosewallips River Trail where drinking water can be filtered from the stream; you’ll need it because there is no potable water here!

Fortunately, there are pit toilets and miles of hiking trails to explore. The area is full of wildlife and there’s no shortage of photo opportunities.

  • 30 Walk-in tent camping sites
  • First-come, first-served
  • Open year-round
  • Vault toilets
  • *No potable water*

Fairholme Campground

The Fairholme campground is located near Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. It is perhaps one of the best lakeside campsites in the park. There is a boat launch a short distance away for those who want to get into the water for fishing. A key to remember here is that, as a popular location, it can fill up fast and does not take reservations. Rather, it is a first-come, first-served location.

Campsites come in a large variety, from flat waterfront spaces to steeper areas a short walk from the lake. Fortunately for a big campground, the campsites are somewhat private which is perfect for a family vacation.

As one of the larger campgrounds, it has amenities such as flush toilets, a dump station, and potable water. RVs up to 21 feet long can fit into the spaces. There is a lodge within walking distance that offers kayak rentals, goods, and food.

  • 88 Tent and RV campsites up to 21 feet
  • First-come, first-served
  • Open year-round
  • Flush toilets
  • Potable water
  • Dump station

Graves Creek Campground

Located in Quinault Rain Forest, one of the best features of Graves Creek Campground is that it’s located right on a stream. That creates a quiet, serene experience for campers.

Graves Creek is a year-round campsite, though flush toilets are only available in the summer months. Rough road conditions make driving to the campground arduous and for that reason, RVs and trailers are not permitted.

At the campground, you’ll find 30 campsites with pit toilets, picnic tables and fire rings. There is no potable water so you’ll need to pack your own or bring a water filter. The best sites back up to the river, creating a nice backdrop for visitors. The area is very wooded and secluded, creating a peaceful experience for campers. 

Those who have visited Graves Creek call it a magical destination, tucked into the wooded area with water surrounding it. The Pony Bridge Trail is nearby, which is a five-mile hike back and forth. There are a few trailheads throughout this area as well as opportunities for fishing in the Quinault River nearby.

  • 30 Tent campsites
  • First-come, first-served
  • Open year-round
  • Flush and pit toilets
  • *No potable water*

Heart O’ the Hills Campground

Heart O’ the Hills is a fantastic campsite surrounded by old-growth trees. The dense forest gives campers ample privacy, and incredible shade. The area is recognized as a great location for families because of the summer range program there. As a year-round campsite, there are tent and RV pads for motorhomes up to 21 feet, and just a couple for 35 foot RVs. There is no dump station here, but you’ll find flush toilets and potable water.

During the winter months, the campground turns into a walk-in only tent camping site because heavy snowfall is common.

In a popular location, Heart O’ the Hills is the closest campground to Hurricane Ridge and Port Angeles. The Hurricane Ridge Visitors Center provides good access to area.information including for available trails.

  • 105 Tent and RV campsites
  • First-come, first-served
  • Open year-round
  • Flush toilets
  • Potable water
camping in the hoh rain forest olympic national park
Hoh Campground

Hoh Campground

The Hoh Campground is located in a temperate rain forest surrounded by old-growth trees and moss. It is easily accessible, but the drive feels like you’re heading out to the middle of nowhere. You’ll travel over huge bridges and drive deep into the forest where deer and elk are abundant. The location may feel extremely remote, but there is a small town with a grocery store just 15 minutes away.

There are a total of 78 sites at the campground and some are suitable for RVs up to 35 feet long. For those who get to the campsite early enough, there are some riverside campsites available just along the Hoh River.

Amenities are minimal with flush toilets available in the summer only, vault toilets for the rest of the year, fire rings, picnic tables, and potable water. The campground is open year-round and available on a first-come, first-serve basis only. During the summer months, ranger programs are available for the kids. 

One thing to remember about staying in a rain forest is there is a lot of precipitation! You can expect high humidity and lots of morning dew.

  • 78 Tent and RV campsites
  • First-come, first-served
  • Open year-round
  • Flush and pit toilets
  • Potable water
camping at kalaloch campground overlooking the pacific ocean in olympic national park
Kalaloch Campground

Kalaloch Campground

The Kalaloch Campground has some of the most sought-after campsites in Olympic National Park – those looking out over the Pacific Ocean. This oceanside campground is large, with 170 campsites available. Because of how popular it is, it does require reservations from May through September. This can be done at Recreation.gov. Outside of peak season, the sites are first-come, first-served. There are numerous locations for tents, 21-foot RVs, and a few 35-foot sites as well.

Kalaloch Campground has flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station. This campground is easy to get to with well-paved roads and paths. There are beach access trails here which will take visitors right down to the water.

Campers enjoy Kalaloch Campground for various reasons. Perched on a bluff near the Pacific Ocean, it is peaceful and relaxing. It is easy to see animals in this area (including sea otters out on the water and, occasionally whales or dolphins just offshore). The Kalaloch Creek Nature Trail is nearby and runs for about a mile into the forested areas. Ruby Beach and Beach Trail are also nearby and provide excellent views of the water.

  • 170 Tent and RV campsites up to 35′
  • Reservations required May-September
  • Open year-round
  • Flush toilets
  • Potable water
  • Dump station

Mora Campground

Mora is a forested campground on the coast. The large trees provide a private and quiet experience not far from the pacific ocean. It is near the Quillayute River and offers some excellent views a few steps away from just about every campsite. This campground has much to offer including excellent trails, and it’s only 2-miles away from Rialto Beach.

With 94 total campsites, there are locations for both 21 foot and 35-foot RVs. You’ll find flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station available and the area is well-maintained.

Mora Campground does require reservations during peak season, from June through September which can be obtained on Recreation.gov. Campers will find that the rest of the year, sites are more readily available and are available on a first-time, first-serve basis. It is possible to reserve otherwise unreserved campsites during peak season at the Mora Ranger Station.

  • 94 Tent and RV campsites up to 35′
  • Reservations required June-September
  • Open year-round
  • Flush toilets
  • Potable water
  • Dump station

North Fork Campground

North Fork is the smallest campground in Olympic National Park. It’s surrounded by temperate rain forest, with a dense ecological expansiveness around it. Because this is a remote campsite, it can be hard to get to, making it less commonly used. The only road in is a dirt road, though there are no large ruts to worry about navigating over.

This peaceful place is best for tent camping only. With minimal amenities, you’ll find pit toilets, but no running water. 

North Fork is a densely wooded campground at only 520 feet elevation. There are many trailheads that stem from the area, and it’s close to Lake Quinault, which is a popular fishing and boating spot.

  • 9 Tent camping sites
  • First-come, first-served
  • Open year-round
  • Pit toilets
  • *No potable water*
camping at Ozette campground in olympic national park
Staircase near Ozette Campground

Ozette Campground

Ozette is a small campground located next to Lake Ozette. This lake is an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy lakeside camping and go fishing during the summer months. 

It is a bit out of the way to get to Ozette Campground, but that is also what many people are looking for. The waterfront area allows for direct access to the lake where you can see lots of wildlife. The Shi Shi Beach trail is also right next store if you want to do some hiking later in the day.

There are no reservations necessary here as it is a first-come, first-served location. You’ll find minimal amenities with just pit toilets available and potable water.

Located just off the water, during the winter or heavy rains it can flood out some of the campsites and make accessibility difficult. It is available year-round except for these times. There are a total of 15 campsites here with a few options for RVs up to 21 feet.

  • 15 Tent and RV campsites up to 21 feet
  • First-come, first-served
  • Open year-round
  • Pit toilets
  • Potable water

Queets Campground

Queets Campground is located near the Queets River. It’s very secluded and a bit harder to get to, but it can provide some excellent experiences for those looking for a remote destination. The only way to access this campground is from the Upper Queets River Road area because a mudslide took out the secondary access road.

The location is first-come, first-served, and has 20 total campsites, which are best used for tent camping. Because of the limited access, RVs and trailers are not recommended. The amenities are minimal with pit toilets only and no potable water, though there is direct waterfront access which is one of the campground’s best features.

Dense trees and moss hang from every direction. There are trails that take off from the campground worth exploring, many of which run along the waterfront. For those seeking primitive camping, this location can be ideal.

  • 20 Tent camping sites
  • First-come, first-served
  • Open year-round
  • Pit toilets
  • *No potable water*
camping next to sol duck waterfall
Sol Duc waterfall

Sol Duc Campground

One of the larger campsites in Olympic National Park is Sol Duc. This location is perhaps one of the best for those who want to be in an old-growth forest with large, towering trees but also sleep nearby lots of amenities. It is also located on the river, which makes for great experiences for all campers.

The Sol Duc campground is open year-round and does require reservations. With a total of 82 campsites, there are options for both tents and RVs up to 35 feet. You’ll find flush toilets, running water, and a dump station. There are also electric hookups for RVs although that area of the campground looks more like a parking lot.

The campground is maintained by the Sol Duc Hot Springs resort so it’s well-maintained and there are opportunities to visit the swimming pool, mineral pools, restaurant, and shop.

Numerous hiking trails in the area make this a great place to stay if you love hiking. The Lover’s Lane Loop Trail is one of the most popular trails. It loops 6-miles through the old-growth forest and there is barely any elevation gain so it makes for an easy walk. Four other hiking trails from the campground range in distance from 0.5 to 6 miles. The Sol Duc fall hike will take you along the river where you can see salmon in the fall and it ends with a cascading waterfall. Guided kayaking tours are available in the area as well so there is no shortage of activities!

  • 82 Tent and RV campsites
  • Reservations required
  • Open year-round
  • Flush toilets
  • Potable water
  • Dump station
  • Electric Hookups

South Beach Campground

South Beach campground offers exceptional views of the Pacific Ocean from a bluff above. In every direction, there are natural beauties to see – from the ocean views to the beaches and the dense forests. This is a moderately sized campground, so there are not too many people and the environment is quiet.

South Beach has 55 total campsites with spaces for tents and RVs up to 35 feet. Reservations are not available and instead, it is a first-come, first-serve location. This campground has a limited camping season from late spring through September, though dates change each year based on availability and conditions.

At the campground, you’ll find flush toilets, but no potable water. Campers will be able to access the beach right from their tents. The campsites are well spread out, giving you more room for privacy. The smell of the ocean coming in at dawn is one of the best ways to wake up, and the crashing waves all night are incredibly soothing.

  • 55 Tent and RV campsites up to 35 feet
  • First-come, first-served
  • Typically open July-September
  • Flush toilets
  • *No potable water*

Staircase Campground

Staircase Campground is located near the Skokomish River, with direct access to the water. If you get lucky, a few riverside campsites are available! An old-growth forest surrounds the sites with towering trees and lush greenery.

Of the 49 campsites, 5 are walk-in only. The rest can accommodate tents and RVs up to 35 feet. This is a first-come, first-serve only campground. In the summer, flush toilets and potable water are available. In the winter months, it’s considered a primitive campsite with pit toilets only.

While Staircase is not the most well-known of all campsites, it is an excellent choice for those searching for privacy. The dense trees give it a quiet and remote feel. As far as activities go, there are several trails nearby; although not directly from the campground. The river is also a desirable location for fishing.

  • 49 Tent and RV campsites up to 35 feet
  • First-come, first-served
  • Open year-round
  • Flush toilets
  • Potable water
camping near ruby beach at olympic national park
Ruby Beach

At A Glance: The Best Olympic Campgrounds

  • Best for RV camping: Fairholme, Kalaloch, Mora, Sol Duc
  • Best ocean views: Kalaloch, South Beach
  • Most secluded: Hoh, North Fork, Ozette, Queets
  • Free campsite: Dosewallips

Backpacking Permits In Olympic National Park

There are dozens of tiny campsites scattered throughout Olympic National Park for backpacking. But staying overnight at one of these sites requires a wilderness permit. Permits must be booked in advance, there are no walk-up permits that can be obtained. You can reserve a permit up to 6 months in advance through Recreation.gov

Permits cost $8 per person plus a $6 reservation fee. 

Free, Dispersed Camping Near Olympic National Park

If you don’t want to stay in the park, there are multiple free dispersed camping sites located in the Olympic National Forest. This is a great place to stay if you have pets, want to save money, or if you’re looking for less rigid campground regulations.

Camping in the National Forest requires that you follow leave no trace principles such as packing out all of your trash. These campgrounds within the national forest are free and come equipped with vault toilets:

There are also discounted campgrounds where you can stay for less than $20 per night.

Elwha campground near olympic national park
Elwha Campground

Private Campgrounds Near Olympic National Park

Because most of the National Park campgrounds do not have electric hookups, showers, or other amenities, campers may prefer to stay in a private campground nearby. Some private campgrounds with quick access to the park include:

Road trippers who spend more than one week per year camping should consider joining a discount camping club. These clubs cost a small yearly fee to join and allow you to save up to 50% on participating campgrounds.

Our favorite membership clubs to join are:

kayaking on crescent lake near camping and lodging in olympic national park
Crescent Lake

Lodging At Olympic National Park

Four lodges within the park are the perfect place to stay if you want a comfortable bed to sleep in, but still want to wake up right next to the trails.

Kalaloch Lodge is located right next to the Kalaloch campsite and shares the same fantastic ocean views. The lodge consists of regular hotel rooms and separate cabins. There are dining options, a gift shop, and plenty of opportunities for hiking.

Lake Crest Lodge is on the north end of the park right on the shores of Lake Cresent. With the option to stay in hotel rooms or lodge rooms, or tiny cabins, you’ll also find a dining hall, gift shop, and kayak rentals.

The Log Cabin Resort is another vacation destination on Lake Cresent. It shares many of the same features as the lake crest lodge including kayak rentals, a cafe, deli and gift shop.

The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort maintains the Sol Duc campground and RV park. You’ll find high-end amenities here including mineral hot springs, a swimming pool, gift shop, on-site massages and miles of hiking trails nearby.

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