Washington State is beautifully sculpted with lakes, mountains, and coastlines making it ideal for camping throughout the year. The scenic spots are visited for camping by both locals and outsiders all year round. Check out the article to learn about camping laws in Washington.
With that being said, no matter where you’re from, certain state-related camping laws must be followed to occupy a campsite in Washington. You must also stick to all the camping rules and regulations established by Washington State Parks if you plan to camp there.
Camping Laws In Washington
- Camping should be done in only designated areas or areas that are marked for camping by a ranger.
- All camping parties should depart the campsite by 1 pm. If not, an additional fee for that day has to be paid.
- If not mentioned otherwise by a ranger, additional fees for the use of utilities should be paid.
- In any campsite, the total period of stay from April 1 to September 30 should be from 10 days to 14 days, while the stay limit from October 1 to March 31 should not be more than 20 days.
- The maximum number of occupants for each campsite is 8 persons with 1 vehicle and 1 RV. If the camping party is traveling by bikes or motorbikes, the total number of two-wheelers for each campsite should be 4.
- Camping management plan should be followed in case of an overnight stay in any rock climbing route.
- In the case of a “reserved” sign, only the camping party that has reserved the campsite is allowed to occupy it.
- No State Park facilities should be used for residence purposes.
- One person can book multiple campsites by paying the total fee as well as relevant information of all the camping members in the other sites as well.
- Emergency campsite can be used upon the payment of fee and direction from the ranger.
Washington State Park Rules and Regulations
- Vehicles entering state parks must have the Discover Pass. Failing to display it would result in a $99 fine.
- Check-in and check-out time is 2:30 pm and 1 pm respectively.
- All day-time use areas in the park close at dusk.
- Campsites cannot be held for future arrivals.
- A maximum of 8 people is allowed per site.
- Quiet hours should be maintained from 10 pm to 6:30 when no noise-making appliances or devices should be used.
- Pets are allowed with up to 8 feet long leash at all times.
- Smoking is prohibited in cabins, vacation houses, or similar rustic structures.
- Alcoholic beverages are restricted to designated camping
- Metal cans or glass bottles are prohibited on beaches.
- Harming or feeding wildlife is strictly prohibited.
Best Places To Camp In Washington
For a combination of forest and beach camping, the Kalaloch Campground located near Seattle is a great option. You can explore the shorelines and if you’re lucky you can also witness dolphins and sea otters.
The site is suitable for experiencing dispersed camping partially because if though there are toilets this campground doesn’t have any shower facilities.
You can make reservations on any of the 148 out of 170 sites. For all you last-minute adventure seekers, there are 22 first-come-first-serve sites that you can choose from.
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
If you want to camp with your loved ones in a remote spot, the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest would be the ideal choice. To enjoy the wilderness here, you need to camp in your car. So, make sure you have the Northwest Forest Pass if you want to enter the national forest.
To camp here you must have all the camping gear to enjoy hassle-free dispersed camping. Plus, since you might end up in a spot in the middle of nowhere, you must be prepared to change a tire or have extra fuel for your engine.
Lake Wenatchee State Park
Lake Wenatchee State Park is a popular camping spot for both friend groups and families as it offers you an array of landscapes including dense forests, blue lagoons, and jagged mountains. You can take part in multiple activities including hiking in the lush green forests, sunbathing, or kayaking in the lake. The clean and picturesque park is suitable for day trips as well as night-stays.
Colonial Creek Campground
Located in Rockport, the Colonial Creek Campground is the ultimate camping spot for animal lovers. It’s a great place close to Seattle, where you can witness wildlife in proximity. The campground also allows you to enjoy viewing sunset by the water’s edge in Lake Diablo.
This dog-friendly campground is well-equipped will all the modern facilities you can think of. Plus, you’ll have access to an amphitheater, fishing pier, boat ramps, and more.
Chain Lakes Trail
For all you adventure-enthusiasts who are yearning for primitive camping, the Chain Lakes Trail is a must-visit location. Often known to be hikers’ favorite, this trail ensures a backcountry experience that you’ll rarely find.
To experience the best hiking route, you must start your journey from the Artist Point located between Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. Along the path, you’ll be able to witness a gradual change in scenery from snowy ridges to green valleys.
If you want to park your vehicle at Artist Point, you’d need a Northwest Forest Pass. Also, keep in mind that since camping is free here, you’ll not have access to any amenities.
The camping scene in Washington is multifaceted thanks to the excellent campgrounds in various landscapes that allow you to escape your busy life just for a few days. Depending on the location you choose, you’ll either be able to explore your adventurous streak or soak in the beauty of nature at peace.
However, in any case, you must abide by the camping laws in Washington to experience an obstacle-free camping trip. We’re positive that this article will guide you on everything you need to know.