Campgrounds usually begin taking reservations nine months in advance, and the hot spots fill up fast. Planning ahead is recommended, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some last-minute gems for those of us who didn’t realize we needed to start making our summer plans last November.
If you want to head out camping this summer but haven’t booked a site, you’re in luck. I’ve done all the work for you and combed the openings. As of this (mid-June) writing, these campgrounds all had weekend openings in both July and August – though options are much more plentiful if you can look ahead to August.
Your summer camping adventure awaits – what are you waiting for? There’s a site out there with your name on it – book it now!
Dash Point State Park (Federal Way) – Close to home for Seattle-area residents, this could make a great first camping trip – even for just one night.
Lake Sylvia State Park (Montesano) – This campground has easy walking trails for little legs, a playground, and swimming beach. There’s plenty to keep the kids happy & busy!
Penrose Point State Park (Lakebay) – This campground has lots of walking and biking trails, and also has a great beach for the kids to explore.
Newhalem Creek Campground in the North Cascades National Park – National Park campgrounds tend to be a bit more rustic, a bit more private, and a bit more quiet than some of their state- or privately-run counterparts. And one of the most attractive features of this campground is that over 50 of their sites are first-come, first-served, meaning they don’t take reservations for them and make a last-minute camping trip possible. Be advised that Loop C, which contains the first-come, first-served sites, is closed for the 2016 season due to fire damage. However, reservations are still available for Loops A & B at recreation.gov.
Alder Lake Park (Eatonville) – Owned and operated by Tacoma Public Utilities, Alder Lake Park has a huge number of camp sites and offers access to Alder Lake.
Sequim Bay State Park (Sequim) – This park offers opportunities for beachcombing, swimming, boating, and even has a basketball court.
Larrabee State Park (Bellingham) – Lots of hiking, and lots of beauty! This is a great option for new campers – seclusion and nature without venturing too far from civilization.
Potholes State Park (Othello) – This park offers swimming, boating, volleyball, and horseshoes.
Curlew Lake State Park (Republic) – While this might seem a bit out of the way for residents on the west side of state, sometimes it takes a bit of traveling to escape the crowds. Check out Curlew Lake State Park – because of the distance, it’s got plenty of vacancies all summer long to give you the opportunity to camp with your family!
Ellensburg KOA (Ellensburg) – Curious, but not quite ready to jump into the deep end with this whole camping thing? Consider staying at a KOA campground, which has all of the traditional camping fun with resort amenities to keep everyone happy. This one not only still has summer openings, but also has a pool, camp store, cut firewood, playground, sports courts, a game room, and even wi-fi!
Still trying to find a great spot? Check out all the Washington State Parks on their reservation website. If you’d rather stay in a national park, all reservations are handled through recreation.gov. And don’t forget that there are also tons of options through private campgrounds, too.
Where are some of your favorite camping spots?