Looking for the best campgrounds in Olympic National Park? You’re in the right place!

This guide will help you plan where to camp when visiting the Olympics whether you prefer car camping, have an RV, or love the solitude of the backcountry. 

We invited our friend Jess, a local to the West Coast from from Next Up Adventure, to share some helpful information about all the best camping options in Olympic National Park. 

In this guide, she’s sharing her experience and all the important details you need to know to plan your own camping trip. Let’s get started!

Pro Tip

You’ll need an entrance pass to enter Olympic National Park. If you’ll visit other National Parks, US Forest Service land, or other federal recreation sites during the year, the America the Beautiful Pass is the best value!

Hi! I am Jess, and I recently spent a month camping all throughout Washington and the Olympic Peninsula and although it’s not everyone’s dream, I can’t think of a better way to explore!

Olympic National Park is so diverse and is home to some of the most breathtaking views and outdoor activities in the Pacific Northwest. With over 900,000 acres of diverse landscapes including rugged coastlines, lush rainforests, and majestic mountains, it’s no wonder why this national park is a favorite among campers.

Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for a challenging backpacking trip or a family seeking a peaceful nature getaway, Olympic National Park has something for everyone. 

Best Campgrounds in Olympic National Park

For anyone who just wants the quick version, here are the 3 best campgrounds in Olympic National Park, according to me!

  1. Kalaloch campground has 166 sites (three accessible) and is open all year round. It has access to beaches, coastlines, and tidepools. Kalaloch borders a marine life sanctuary where sea otters have been protected. Many beautiful beaches, including Ruby Beach, are close to Kalaloch. Reservations are needed from May to October. 
  2. Sol Duc Campground has both a campground and an RV park. Although the RV park fits larger vehicles and has power, the real beauty is the campground nestled along the river in the rainforest. There are also hot springs! 
    • Although the campground is more rustic than the RV Park, the campground has bathrooms with flush toilets and no hookups. The RV park has hookups but no bathrooms, and it is about a 500m (~1/3 mile) walk to the bathrooms in the campground loop. The Sol Duc Valley is full of beautiful hiking trails, easy trails like the stunning Sol Duc Falls, as well as longer backcountry trails. I also loved swimming in the turquoise waters, which are quite cold, even in the summer.
  3. Mora Campground is also open year-round, and reservations are required in the summer. Mora campground is nestled in the rainforest along the Quillayute River. The campground has access to multiple hiking trails, and Rialto Beach and Hole in the Wall are 2 miles away. Mora campground also has easy access to La Push, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd beaches.

Best Campgrounds in Olympic National Park Map

Map highlighting key locations such as Sol Duc, Mora, and Kalaloch, illustrating options for the best campgrounds in Olympic National Park
Map of campgrounds in Olympic National Park, Washington, USA (Created by Jessica Sproat)

Note: You can click the map above for an interactive version.

Camping in Olympic National Park, one of the National Parks in Washington, is a truly unique experience. There are towering trees, huge mountain peaks, hot springs, ocean beaches, and wild shorelines. There are many campgrounds to choose from in and around the area, each offering something special you won’t find anywhere else. 

Full List of Campgrounds in Olympic National Park (and Cape Flattery)

There are many developed campgrounds within Olympic National Park.

There are also 5 campgrounds just outside the park boundaries on the Makah Indigenous land at Cape Flattery/Neah Bay. Camping on Makah land requires a recreation permit, available online or in many places in person, including the Makah visitor center.

You will find these are the best campgrounds close to Olympic National Park. There are also some backcountry camping spots available, which require a permit from recreation.gov 

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  1. Fairholme Campground
  2. Hoh Rain Forest
  3. Kalaloch
  4. Mora
  5. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Campground
  6. Staircase
  7. Log Cabin Resort RV & Campground
  8. Deer Park
  9. Graves Creek
  10. Heart O the Hills
  11. North Fork Quinault
  12. Ozette
  13. Queets
  14. South Beach
  15. Hobuck Beach Resort (Makah)
  16. Cape Resort (Makah)
  17. The Village RV (Makah)
  18. Hide Away RV Park (Makah)
  19. Sandy Feet (Makah)
Two surfers walking along the shoreline near Olympic National Park, showcasing outdoor activities near campgrounds.

Dispersed Camping Olympic National Forest

First and most importantly, there is no dispersed/free camping in Olympic National Park – no sleeping in your car, no boon-docking, or any other word for free camping within the National Park. 

Truly, there is no free camping in Olympic National Park. 

There is backcountry and beach camping in Olympic National Park, but you will need a permit to backcountry camp in ONP.

How to book the best campgrounds in Olympic National Park

There are 900 campsites within Olympic National Park. Half are reservable and half are first-come, first-served, so you will want to arrive early, especially on the weekends. 

To book campsites, head to recreation.gov. They are generally available 6 months ahead of time, with some spots released on a rolling basis.

Checkout Campnab ⭐ This site scans campgrounds for cancellations and sends you a text when sites are available for your dates. I have had 100% success with this anytime I have wanted to camp throughout North America; It’s available on desktop only. I was able to score beautiful spots at some of the best campgrounds in Olympic National Park during peak season (hello summer weekends) with ease using this software.

Reserving Campgrounds in Olympic National Park

Of the front country campgrounds in Olympic National Park, these 7 campgrounds listed below accept reservations for the summer months, usually late April-September. Reservations are made through the recreation.gov site.

First Come First Serve Camping in Olympic National Park

Additionally, the 7 campgrounds below are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Self-registration is done at the park board in the campground or online.

  • Deer Park
  • Graves Creek
  • Heart O’ the Hills
  • North Fork Quinault
  • Ozette
  • Queets
  • South Beach

Group campsites are also available at these campgrounds. Again, reservations are needed. 

  • Kalaloch: (360) 962-2271. Phone reservations only, 10 -30 people, 7 day max stay, $40 Pit toilets, water. Kalaloch does not have access to the beach. 
  • Sol Duc: Group reservations at Sol Duc can accommodate a maximum of 24 people and last up to 7 days. The campsite has pit toilets, and water is available at the Sol Duc ranger station.

Detailed guide to the BEST campgrounds in Olympic National Park

Camper reading a book by a tent at a serene forest campsite, depicting the peaceful camping experience at Olympic National Park.
A campground nestled in the forest of Olympic National Park (Credit: Jessica Sproat)

Beach Camping in Olympic National Park

In addition to the formal campgrounds listed below, Olympic National Park has 23 wilderness camp grounds, including beach camping. Permits for summer camping (May 15 through October 15) are released at recreation.gov at 7 a.m. PST on April 15. All backpacking permits need to be booked ahead of time.  

Best Backcountry Beach Camping in Olympic National Park

Rialto Beach

Rialto Beach is home to a “hole in the wall” and is a beautiful spot for backcountry camping.

The hike to the camping area is a flat one-mile trail. There is a natural rock arch and lots of tide pools, as well as stunning west coast shoreline and sunsets.

You can get your drinking water from Ellen Creek.

Shi Shi Beach 

Shi Shi Beach is a popular beach camping spot at the North end of ONP.

Because there is no cap on the number of campers in the summer months, it can be crowded. The trail is an easy two-mile trail.

There are many interesting sea stacks and tide pools, and water can be filtered from Willoughby or Petroleum Creek.

Cape Alava

Alava Beach offers wilderness beach camping in the Ozette area.

The beaches are stunning and there are a lot of marine animals and tide pools to see!

Late in the summer, water sources will dry up so be sure to bring your own water. No gathering wood from the forest for fires – stick to beach driftwood only.

Formal Beach Campgrounds in Olympic National Park

South Beach Campground

  • Cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean
  • Beautiful ocean views & beach access
  • May 19 – October 10 (2024)
  • First-come, first-served
  • 55 sites, $20 a night
  • Sites for 21 feet RVs, plus 3 sites that fit RVs up to 35 feet
  • No drinking water
  • Flush toilets 
  • No handicapped access bathrooms or beach access trails
  • More Details

Kalaloch Campground, Washington

  • High on a bluff 
  • Many campsites overlook the water
  • Great beach access from the campground
  • 160 campsites
  • No hookups or showers
  • Nearby store (Kalalock Mercantile)
  • Many cool tidepools to explore
  • Puffins!!
  • More Details

Fairholme Campground

  • Beachfront camping at Lake Cresent
  • 84 campsites
  • Lakefront sites are walk-in tent sites
  • Many hiking trails, including Marymere Falls
  • Stunning turquoise lake that is great for paddling and water sports!
  • No power, but it does have running water and flush toilets
  • Accessible sites and boat launch
  • More Details

RV Camping Olympic National Park

Because of its location, right in nature, Olympic National Park has not many campgrounds with space for big RVs. However, there are, of course, a few!

Best Campground for RV Parking in Olympic National Park

The only campground in Olympic National Park that offers full hookups and room for larger RV’s is Log Cabin Resort RV & Campground.

More RV Friendly Campgrounds in Olympic NP

These Campgrounds in Olympic National Park can accommodate RVs up to 21 feet, with a few sites for RVs up to 35 feet.

Sunset view over a tranquil sea from a beach while camping in Olympic National Park, with silhouettes of distant islands
Sunset at a beach while camping in Olympic National Park

Glamping Olympic National Park

If you prefer a few more comforts when camping check out these beautiful glamping locations in Olympic National Park. There are also many beautiful places to stay just outside of Olympic National Park.  

  1. Happy Glampers Dome: This Geodesic Dome is located 10 minutes from the town of Port Angeles and is a short drive from the beautiful Elwha River and turquoise Lake Crescent. It is equipped with a kitchenette, work space, bathroom, and queen-sized bed. You have a private deck with BBQ and lounge chairs, an outdoor shower, and a fire pit with lounge chairs. All the lights and outlets are powered by solar energy.
  2. Lake Quinault Lodge: A rustic, historic lakefront lodge nestled in the luscious Quinault Rainforest open year-round.
  3. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Rustic Cabins: Open seasonally with access to the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. Surrounded by trails, including the stunning trail to Sol Duc Falls, mountains, and the turquoise Sol Duc River.
  4. Spirit of the Wild Glamping Tent, Forks Washington: A stunning space providing direct access to the Bogachiel River. A wild, wonderland. *Propane Heat. No Electricity. No running water. Portapotty.
Vivid starfish and sea anemones in a tidal pool, typical of the marine life found near coastal campgrounds in Olympic National Park.
Exploring tidepools in Olympic National Park (Credit: Jessica Sproat)

When is the best time for Olympic National Park camping?

The best time to go camping in Olympic National Park is May through September. This is when the weather is dry, warm, and sunny, making it perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, beach combing, surfing, or kayaking.

During this time of year, you’ll have opportunities to see whales, dolphins, bears, and eagles. If you don’t mind some rain, you can also camp year-round at many campgrounds in Olympic National Park.

You may want to plan your trip in advance as campsites in Olympic National Park tend to book up quickly during peak season.

How cold does it get in Olympic National Park?

The Olympic Peninsula is located in Washington State, USA, and winters tend to be mild. The average winter temperature varies between 19°F (4°C) during the day and 32°F (0°C) at night. However, temperatures can dip much lower than this, depending on weather conditions. During the summer months, temperatures usually range between 64°F (18°C) during daytime and 45°F (7°C) at night.

It’s best to dress in layers for the area’s unpredictable weather conditions! As a result of its location near the Pacific Ocean, the PNW gets a lot of rain. When the sun shines, you will be treated to spectacular west coast sunsets.

Secondly, this area is home to rainforests, alpine areas, and coastlines, and the weather is known to change quickly. You will want to be prepared for rain most months of the year and snow at higher altitudes. Some roads close during the winter months, including Sol Duc Road. The road to Hurricane Ridge also closes during the week in the winter and is dependent on weather. (Note from Tiffany: But it is also the only PNW ski resort located in a U.S. National Park!)

You will want to be sure to check the fire situation – often, in the summer months, there is a fire ban.

What to pack for a trip to the Olympic Peninsula?

When visiting anywhere in the PNW, be sure to pack layers. You will want to have the option to layer up or take off layers depending on the temperature. You absolutely must have a waterproof jacket, as rain can start suddenly. 

A secluded campsite nestled among towering moss-covered trees, highlighting the lush environment of Olympic National Park's forest campgrounds.
Campsite in Olympic National Park (Credit: Jessica Sproat)

Top Tip

Always pack a rain jacket regardless of the time of year! The PNW is known for its unpredictable climate, so be prepared for a range of temperatures, even in the summer!

Tent Camping Tips

Make sure you have a sturdy tent if you are tent camping as part of your camping gear that can withstand winds coming off the Pacific Ocean. Tarps and some rope are also helpful to set up over your tent if it rains. If you plan to do any hiking, it’s also important to bring an emergency shelter, as well as your 10 essentials for hiking.

Wildlife in Olympic National Park

Don’t forget to research the local wildlife before you go so that you know what to expect. The Olympic Peninsula is home to bears, wolves, cougars, elk, eagles, and, of course, whales, dolphins, sea otters, and sea life. 

Other Tips for Olympic National Park Camping

Cell phone service can be limited throughout the park. Because of this, be sure to download or have offline maps and trail guides (and have a way to charge your phone).


I highly recommend having an offline map downloaded ahead of time from Gaia GPS, The Dyrt, OnX Backcountry, or another source as you will have limited (or no) signal here.

Many of the campgrounds, beaches, and hikes are within the National Park boundaries, so you will need a National Park pass. You can buy an America the Beautiful pass ahead of time online or at the entrances to Olympic National Park. This is required in addition to any camping fees.

Also, if you visit Makah land (Cape Flattery, Shi Shi Beach) – and you should – a Makah recreation pass is required.

Finally, remember to bring a camera to capture all the incredible memories and sights of your camping trip in Olympic National Park.

What to do when camping in Olympic National Park?

Camping in Olympic National Park is a dream! The entire Olympic Peninsula offers many activities for you to enjoy and is truly a nature lover’s paradise. There are plenty of options for kayaking, fishing, beaches, tide pooling, and even surfing.

You will also find incredible world-class hiking, beautiful waterfalls, including Sol Duc Falls, and hot springs. You can explore the beautiful old-growth forests and mossy-covered rainforests, view incredible alpine meadows at Hurricane Ridge, or go whale watching from one of the picturesque beaches. 

*It is also easy to head north and take a ferry from Port Angeles to Vancouver Island in Canada, continuing to explore the West Coast in places like Tofino, BC.

The Wrap-Up: Best Campgrounds in Olympic National Park

Now you know that camping in Olympic National Park is an absolutely unforgettable experience. This area is filled with adventure, history, and incredible natural beauty. Be sure to add visiting some of the best campgrounds in Olympic National Park to your list! 

Before you go…

Knowing where to stay in Olympic National Park is just the start to your camping adventure. Camping in the PNW can mean encountering a variety of weather conditions. Read my next article to ensure you know exactly what to bring and don’t forget the essentials…

What to Bring Camping (A Beginner’s Guide to the Essentials)

More Pacific Northwest Adventures & Camping Tips

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