13 great places to camp and RV in the Pacific Northwest

Where to base in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, whether you’re in a tent, trailer, or motorhome

Whether in a tent, a pop-up camper, or a motorhome, pre-kids and with kids, we have camped all over the Pacific Northwest states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. Here are some great places to camp that we enjoy, recommend, and will gladly come back to during future trips.

Note: If RVing, hookup options (electric, water, sewer) vary for each location, and you’ll want to check options when you book. If individual sites don’t have sewer, there’s typically a dump station elsewhere on the property.

Washington

From the San Juan Islands in the west to the Tri-Cities in the east, Washington state is home to public and private campgrounds galore. Each of these great places to camp are their own destinations. Most are close to various attractions and towns too.

Tokeland: Bayshore RV Park

Washington’s Willapa Bay is not the beautiful yet bashing Pacific Ocean. Land surrounds this serene space, and the tides bring big changes. Low tide exposes wide stretches of beach. Around you, quiet waters lap gently at the shore. And right behind all this, the comfy spaces of Bayshore RV Park rest outside of the small town of Tokeland.

On site there are hot showers, and the clubhouse has a pool table, kitchen, comfy chairs, a record player, books, and board games. We also suggest a visit to the nearby Grayland Beach State Park and the Shoalwater Bay Tribal Community Library.

San Juan Island: Lakedale Resort

Besides glamping tents and an adults-only cabin, this extensive woodland property also has lovely camping spots for tents and RVs. The Lakedale Resort is not only a lakeside property. The Lakedale’s 82 acres are amid 3 lakes surrounded by forested hills. Near the center of San Juan Island, the Lakedale has all the peace of being by the water. Yet you’re minutes from towns such as Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor.

Whidbey Island: North Whidbey RV Park

A hundred sites, with full hookups, not to mention a lovely playground. The park is clean and there’s clearly a lot of pride at work in it. We made ourselves at home with hot showers, and there’s a comfy day room.

Whidbey RV Park is right at the northern edge of Whidbey Island, just off the main road. It’s easy to get to Deception Pass State Park and Cornet Bay. Plus, you’re only about 15 minutes away from Oak Harbor, the chief town.

Olympic Peninsula: Fort Worden Historical State Park

This former army base is now not only a state park, but one inside the city limits of Port Townsend. Accessible paths and bathrooms make the RV-friendly campground more appealing to folks with disabilities traveling the Olympic Peninsula.

Short trails cut through small dunes to bring you to the beautiful beach, its headlands, and views of the lighthouse. Within walking distance of the camp loops, there’s also a marine science museum (right side of the street) and an aquarium (at the end of the pier nearby). The 434 acres at Fort Worden Historical State Park also have a pub, restaurant, lots of trails, and historical buildings.

Tri-Cities: Plymouth Park Campground

We love when we can camp in a green space, yet be close to town. The spots here are on a small island that’s in Lake Umatilla on the Columbia River. Easy water access makes camping here a great opportunity to get out your kayak or SUP.

Sites have electric hookups, with potable water and a dump station near the entrance. Plymouth Park Campground is also just a few minutes away from Pasco and the rest of the Tri-Cities area. It’s easy to duck into town for a tamale at Miss Tamale, a pizza from Atomic Ales, or a Dust Devils baseball game.

However, there is an important quirk to be aware of: The campground has a 10 p.m. curfew, and a gate that will be closed except for emergencies. We never found it to be a big deal, but it’s good to know in advance.

Ione: Cedar RV Park & Car Wash

You can find great places to camp even in more remote parts of Washington. Northeast Washington is the gateway to the International Selkirk Loop. It’s also home to a cave, plus the scenic Boundary Waters and its reachable-by-boat-only PeeWee Falls.

Under new management, the Cedar RV Park & Car Wash offered comfy sites on level pads, with full hookups. The couple who run the property are kind, full of stories, and want to create a family friendly RV park that’s open to tent and trailer campers too.

We especially appreciated how easy it was to hop back onto the quiet main road for taking excursions out into the region’s natural splendor. Around camp, there’s also an on-site store for snagging supplies, and we appreciated that for a few dollars we could give our RV a much needed bath.

Oregon

Our home state also offers great places to camp, including some of our favorite family campgrounds. Camping in Oregon puts you close to nature, whether it’s the state’s only National Park at Crater Lake, along the rugged coastline. Water is a common theme here: Ocean, rivers, and lakes are all easy to come by when camping and RVing throughout Oregon.

Coos Bay/North Bend/Charleston: Sunset Bay State Park

Nestled in the woods and canyons of the southern Oregon Coast, Sunset Bay State Park brings together the best of PNW coastal camping. Calm, paved camp roads make it easy to get around. The park is part of a multi-year statewide effort from Oregon State Parks to improve accessibility. Work is ongoing to improve access to facilities such as the bathrooms.

One of our favorite parts of camping here? Sunset Bay is minutes from two other iconic coastal Oregon State Parks. Shore Acres State Park preserves the luscious clifftop garden of a former timber baron. Views of waves smashing volcanic cliffs and rocks are stunning. At the end of the Cape Arago Highway, Cape Arago State Park is one of our favorite spots for sunset. However, just at Sunset Bay itself, a short trail goes from the campground right to the beach’s sheltered, kid friendly bay. Seals and pelicans often enjoy the water too.

Crater Lake NP: Mazama Campground

From June through around the end of September, the 214 sites at Mazama Campground offer camping in the thick of central Oregon forest. The trees and clearings around our campsite were a make believe wonderland for the kids. Sometimes we joined them in their play as we wandered among the trees.

The campground itself can accommodate RVs up to 50 feet long and trailers up to 35 feet. 5 of the RV sites are accessible, and 2 of those offer electrical hookups. For water, you can either come with a full tank, or there are potable water spigots on site.

The major attraction, however, is that you are just minutes from the southwestern rim of Crater Lake itself. From there, you can take in the overlooks, drive the Rim Road, and offshoot into nearby trails and attractions such as the Pinnacles.

Wasco (close to The Dalles): Deschutes River State Recreation Area Campground

Just north of the Deschutes River State Recreation Area Campground, the Deschutes meets the mighty Columbia River. Cottonwoods and Russian olive trees ring the calm campground. Designated tent and RV areas are all by the water, where the Deschutes is the star.

Showers and flush toilets add comfort to the stay at one of Oregon’s great places to camp. A Loop offers paved pads, plus electric and water hookups. Keep an eye out for riverside benches and picnic tables where you can relax and watch the Deschutes flow. The town of The Dalles is about 20 minutes west. Nearby are exhibits and more about the area: On their way to the Pacific, Lewis and Clark crossed the Deschutes here.

Florence: Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park

Fancy going to the ocean? It’s a couple of miles away. Love rivers? The broad, blue Siuslaw River runs through Florence, only about 3 miles north. Even if you’re yearning for a lake, nearby Cleawox Lake is inside the grounds of Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park. There are even dunes you can slide down and go straight into the water!

Since the Oregon Coast has a temperate environment, Honeyman is also open year-round. RVers can enjoy 47 sites with full hook-ups, and another 121 have both water and electricity. Multiple loops make up the expansive grounds, complete with open fields, sandboxes, and lots of paths for walking, biking, and scootering.

We especially love Honeyman’s proximity both to nature, and to the shops and cafes in nearby Florence. It’s also a great stop for other adventures up and down the Oregon Coast.

Fern Ridge Reservoir, Junction City: Richardson Park Campground

For starters, cell signals at Richardson Park Campground can be mixed depending on location and your carrier. But guess what? The campground also has a good free Wi-Fi network—not always easy to find when seeking out great places to camp.

Tall trees surround this 115-acre campground, but the chief attraction is Fern Ridge Reservoir. The campground offers easy access to a boat ramp and a marina, making it easy to get on the water your way.

The 88 sites offer some RV-ready sites with electric and water hookups, and free hot showers are available. A dump station is on site for campers only. When using the dump station, the camp host might verify that you’re camping at Richardson.

Richardson is about 20 minutes west of Eugene, making it a great stop for camping by some lovely Oregon flat water, but being close to town.

Idaho

Our camping experiences in Idaho are currently our most limited, but that’s something we’ll be working on. However, here are 2 places we’ve stayed at that we’ve really enjoyed and consider among Idaho’s great places to camp.

Sandpoint/Lake Pend Oreille: Sam Owen Campground

Up in Idaho’s northern panhandle, about an hour from the USA-Canada border, Lake Pend Oreille is one of the most beautiful areas we’ve ever seen. The 148 square mile blue water is so deep, the Navy has used it for submarine research and exercises.

Near the Hope area on the northeast shore, Sam Owen Campground is camper friendly, but check length requirements to make sure your rig can fit. Of the campground’s 80 sites, 59 can accommodate RVs, though individual sites vary in length limitations from 20 to 60 feet.

Sam Owen can feel rustic, and there are no hookups. However, you’re right on the water, and towns such as Hope and Clark Fork are a short drive.

Bear Lake: Paris Springs Campground

Just 5 miles outside of Paris and close to the shimmering, pale blue waters of Bear Lake, Paris Springs Campground gets you into the woods. While the sites can only fit campers and RVs no longer than 20 feet, it’s a quiet space where we could let the kids wander and romp without worry.

While here, also be sure to check out the nearby Paris Ice Cave. Even during our July visit, this chilly cave was full of ice, not to mention a small snowy hill.

The Pacific Northwest is full of family friendly RVing and camping

A merino wool fleece as part of camping wardrobes is great for a chilly night RVing

Whether Idaho, Oregon, or Washington, you’ll find beautiful nature, serene spaces, vibrant communities, and welcoming people. Camping and RVing throughout the Northwest has only deepened our appreciation for the region. We can show our kids the places we love, and help them discover and nurture their own love of the Great Outdoors, Northwest style, thanks in no small parts to these great places to camp.

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Pacific Northwest: 13 places to camp PNW
Camping PNW: 13 great places
Pacific Northwest: 13 places to camp PNW
About the author
Learners and Makers
We are the St. Clair Family: Anthony, Jodie, Connor, and Aster. As Learners and Makers, our family of four slows down, connects, and enjoys the world and each other's company. We have been traveling full time since 2022.

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