One of the joys of living (for the time being) in the Pacific Northwest is the multitude of available campgrounds. Whether you prefer the mountains or the coast (or even the desert), you’re never short on places to choose.
While you often have to reserve some spots in advance, you can still find non-reservable walk-in campsites if you didn’t. We had the pleasure of seeing a campground over the weekend at Camano Island State Park in Northwest Washington.
Camano Island State Park and Cama Beach
There are two state parks that we looked at for camping in Northern Puget Sound. Camano Island and Cama Beach. Camano Island State Park is the only one where you can drive in for a first-come-first-serve campground while Camano Island State Park has cabins only. I’m more of a camping guy, so the choice was clear.
The publicly-owned state park is about 68 miles north-west of Seattle. It has 173 acres of recreational area and over 1 mile of rocky beach shore. You could spot whales and or eagles in the protected area. Several trails swing around through dense forests and down to the shoreline.
The campground’s upper loop is perched a few hundred feet above Lowell Point and the accessible south beach of Camano Island State Park. The lower circuit, which is open year-round, has a few sites with great views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains.
Camano Island is urban but surrounded by nature. Most beaches fenced off by private property with very limited public beach access except for designated parks, and Cama Beach and Camano Island State Park is one of them.
We camped at the upper loop, which is more primitive but quiet, and it still retains the sense of being near the water. There’s five well-kept cabins, an amphitheater, and a group campsite with a modern bathroom.
Camano Island Things To Do
Adventurers passing through the Cascadia Marine Trail can use the private campsite down on the south beach. The marine trail is made for human and wind-powered vessels only and goes from the southern inlets of Puget Sound all the way through the Canadian Border.
There is also a half-mile nature interpretive trail, Al Emerson Nature Trail, that’s an easy hike but offers fantastic views of fir trees, ferns, and other Pacific Northwest Vegetation.
For larger groups, the park has one kitchen shelter and a group camp that can accommodate up to a hundred people. The camping area has modern restrooms, and showers and fees vary depending on the size of the group.
If you’re not into sleeping inside a tent, there’s are five cabins with views of the Saratoga Passage. The cabins are 12×20 feet and are furnished with a folding futon couch which sleeps two people, a bunk bed that can accommodate three, and a table with chairs. Each cabin has a fire ring with an upright pedestal grill, a picnic table, and a covered porch. Reservation can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I highly recommend checking it out if you’re ever in the Pacific Northwest.
|Exposure||Manual exposure, Multiple, ISO 100|
|Lens||Sony FE 24-240mm|
|Location||Camano Island State Park, Washington|
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