Olympic Peninsula Camping and Lodging
The Olympic Peninsula, nestled in the most northwest corner of Washington state, is a natural wonderland that boasts dramatic landscapes, awe-inspiring wildlife, and sensational hiking adventures. Nestled in the peninsula is Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and an outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. Whether you prefer camping under the stars or the comforts of a cozy lodge, this biodiverse peninsula offers an array of accommodation options. This article details some of the best campsites and lodging options on the Olympic Peninsula, allowing you to make the most of your visit to this enchanting destination.
The accommodations on the Olympic Peninsula do fill up quickly, so plan ahead, be flexible with your dates, or simply book an adventure with Wildland Trekking!
Lake Crescent is a pristine destination known for its serene ambiance from the crystal-clear waters carved by glaciers. Nearby, you can access the Marymere Falls trail, where you can enjoy diverse plant life, a beautiful waterfall, and perhaps encounter Roosevelt Elk. For those in search of an adrenaline rush, you can check out the challenging Mount Storm King hike, which takes hikers up a rugged path lined with fixed ropes to exposed outcrops with incredible views.
Lake Crescent Lodge: As far as historic lodges go, it doesn’t get much more charming than the Lake Crescent Lodge. Here, you can find the ideal blend of natural beauty and comfortable lodging. With its lakeside views, eerie history, and inviting cottages, this lodge is a haven of tranquility. Guests can rent kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards to explore the lake, or grab a lavender lemonade while enjoying the views from the elegant sunroom. Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to try the local seafood specialties at the lodge’s renowned restaurant.
Fairholme Campground: Nestled amidst towering trees, this picturesque campground offers tent and RV sites along the lake’s western edge. Visitors will wake up to the sound of lapping water and enjoy the day swimming, fishing, or canoeing on the lake. There is als a general store at this campsite, where you can pick up last-minute camping supplies.
Log Cabin Resort: On the north side of Lake Crescent lies the rustic Log Cabin Resort, which offers chalets, cabins, rooms, and RV and tent sites. There’s a general store and restaurant, to fuel you before exploring the Spruce Railroad trail, an enticing trail for hikers and cyclists that was once a crucial railway for the timber industry during World War I. This north side of the lake also boasts incredible views of Mount Storm King.
Kalaloch Campground: Perched along the Pacific Coast, Kalaloch Campground offers stunning ocean views and easy beach access. It features both tent and RV camping options and serves as an ideal base for exploring the nearby Kalaloch Beaches and Ruby Beach. Visitors can walk down to the Tree of Life, a gravity-defying tree that clings onto the coastal cliffs, explore tidepools at low tide, and relax on the shore.
Kalaloch Lodge: Just a half mile from Kalaloch Campground, the Kalaloch lodge is another charming option to stay on the coastline. Built in the 1920s, this accommodation offers cabins and rooms, all of which come with a walking stick for exploring the surroundings. The lodge is committed to decreasing their environmental impact, as they implement energy and water conservation appliances and offer electric vehicle charging stations.
Lake Quinault Lodge: The Quinault Rainforest is a lush and verdant paradise, boasting ancient trees, moss-covered landscapes, and an abundance of wildlife. For a touch of elegance amidst the wilderness, the Lake Quinault Lodge is a must-visit. Perched on the edge of Lake Quinault, this historic lodge boasts magnificent views and comfortable accommodations. Relax in the inviting lobby, dine in the elegant restaurant, or embark on a hike to discover the hidden gems of the surrounding area.
Sol Duc Valley
Sol Duc Campground and Hot Springs Resort: The Sol Duc Campground is a beautiful place to enjoy the Olympic Peninsula’s old-growth forest ecosystem–you’ll camp right in the heart of it! Nearby, you can hike through fern and moss-laden trails, or fish in the sparkling Sol Duc River. This is also a great jumping off point to explore the world-famous Hoh Rainforest, the virgin temperate rainforest that gives the Olympic Peninsula its UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition. You won’t be far from luxury, though, as you can soak and relax at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort before nodding off under the 200-year old trees. If camping isn’t your thing, the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resorts also offers wonderful cabin rentals.
Hoodsport/Lake Cushman Area
Staircase Campground: On the northwest edge of Lake Cushman, the Staircase Campground is a great access point for the Staircase hike along the Skykomish River or to jump into the crystal-clear waters of Lake Cushman. Campers can easily access the town of Hoodsport to grab food or ice cream treats. This area is also an excellent gateway to explore the Hood Canal– you can even go SCUBA diving!
Hurricane Ridge Road
Heart O’ the Hills Campground: For those seeking a mountain retreat, Heart O’ the Hills Campground is an excellent choice. Situated in the foothills of the Olympic Mountains, it provides a serene setting with easy access to hiking trails, including the breathtaking Hurricane Ridge. This hike features amazing views of the Olympic Mountains, including Mount Olympus and Blue Glacier, which feeds the Hoh River.
Know before you go: sadly, the Hurricane Ridge Day Lodge recently suffered from severe fire damage. As of May 2023, the Hurricane Ridge Road is closed past the Heart O’ the Hills Campground. Always check the Olympic National Park website for the most recent updates!
Ready for a backcountry adventure? You’re in luck– the options are numerous. Below are some favorite backcountry spots across the peninsula. Make sure to come prepared– backpacking the Olympic Peninsula is a serious endeavor, and bear canisters are a must!
Enchanted Valley: The aptly-named Enchanted Valley boasts some of the finest backcountry campsites in the Pacific Northwest. After backpacking 12 miles, you’ll find sites nestled among towering Sitka Spruce, with views of impressive waterfalls cascading down the valley walls. Lucky visitors might even spot a family of black bears. From here, you can continue on over Anderson Pass, or head back the way you came for a wonderful out-and-back trip.
Hoh River Valley: Another amazing backcountry trip is the Olympic Rainforest to Glacier Trek, which journeys along the Hoh River Valley to the breathtaking high-country camp, Elk Lake. From Elk Lake, you can ascend to the Blue Glacier, and bask in the majestic views of the Olympic Mountains.
Wild Olympic Coast: Experienced backpackers can enjoy the backcountry sites on the Olympic Coast. Starting at Shi Shi Beach and heading south through beaches and treacherous headlands, you’ll find numerous backcountry campsites along this most northwest portion of the Lower 48. Hikers can pitch their tents on the sandy beaches, or find snug spots nestled among the ferns on the headlands. As the day turns to night, you can drift off admiring the numerous sea stacks dotting the coastline and wake to the sound of barking seals.
Enjoy your stay!
In addition to the accommodations listed, visitors can also find hotels in the numerous towns on the peninsula, including Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks, and Hoodsport. Whether you prefer camping under the stars or retreating to a cozy lodge, the Olympic Peninsula beckons nature lovers and adventure seekers with its unparalleled beauty and diverse landscapes. Here’s to a memorable journey as you explore the breathtaking sights this stunning region has to offer!