We are so lucky to live in a state with so many beautiful options. There are literally hundreds of beautiful, forested campsites that you can drive to. Some are "first-come, first serve," but at many you can make a reservation in advance. Then it's as simple as parking your car, setting up your tent, and you're ready to light your campfire and enjoy dinner and s'mores! (okay, does everyone know about s'mores?? They're my favorite part of camping! First, you take a marshmallow and roast it on a stick over the campfire, then you put the toasty marshmallow between two graham crackers along with a piece of Hershey's chocolate... mmmmm... it's a delicious treat!)
1) Fort Flagler - We camped here a few years ago with two other families. We had so much fun! It's a beautiful area. The camping area is on a high bluff, overlooking Puget Sound. You camp surrounded by beautiful forest, but the saltwater shoreline is just a short walk away. There are also some historic remains from a military fort that you can visit. It's fun to explore the old, abandoned fort. Fort Flagler Campground is about 2.5 hours drive from Bellevue.
2) Deception Pass- This is a really beautiful area along the strait of water connecting the Skagit Bay with Puget Sound. There are breathtaking views from cliffs overlooking the water. A beautiful bridge spans the straight. Deception Pass is 1 hour and 45 minute drive from Bellevue.
3) Alta Lake- This is a camping area located beside an alpine lake. Some people like to fish for trout in the lake during the summer. The area is on the border of where the forested, lush green Western Washington meets the drier, more desert-like Easter Washington. Alta Lake is about 3.5 hours drive from Bellevue.
4) Cape Disappointment- Don't let the crazy name of this park scare you away! This camping area is not a disappointment at all!! It's a beautiful spot along the Pacific Ocean, at the southwestern tip of Washington State. There is a charming lighthouse that you can see high on a bluff. There are plenty of reservable tent sites, but if you don't want to camp in a tent, you can reserve a "Yurt" or cabin at this park. Cape Disappointment is about 3.5 hours drive from Bellevue.
Camping in Mt. Rainier National Park:
The following two campgrounds are located in Mt. Rainier National Park. These are beautiful, of course, but extremely popular, so you will need to make a reservation well in advance. Both of the campgrounds are approximately 2.5 hours drive from Bellevue.
1) Ohanapecosch- This campground is located in the southeast corner of the Park. It has beautiful old-growth forest and the area offers views of Mt. Rainier and surrounding mountain ranges, as well as many hiking trails.
2) Cougar Rock, near Longmire- This campground is 2 miles from Longmire in a beautiful part of Rainier National Park. I'll be camping here later this month, so I'll let you know how it is!!
This is just a very small sample of the many wonderful places to camp in Washington State! You can explore many more opportunities on the State Park Website. Also, if you are not quite so brave about camping in a tent, many of the parks offer Yurts, Cabins, or Platform Tents (click on the tab that says "cabins/yurts" on the website link above).
These accommodations are rustic, but not quite as rustic as sleeping in a tent ;-)
So... hopefully the sun will come out soon and the temperature will warm up so we can enjoy these summer activities!! Contact me if you have questions about any of the information in this blog. Also, if you have a favorite campsite that you'd like to share, please let us know!