Larrabee is a Washington State Park about 80 miles north of Seattle. It has 2,748-acres for camping that has 8,100 feet of saltwater shoreline on the Samish Bay. It is the State of Washington’s very first State Park that is known for its postcard views of Samish Bay and the San Juan Islands.
Camping at Larrabee State Park
There are several campsites available, 51 in fact, with 26 utility sites, a dump station, and six showers. We camped at Larrabee in early May and didn’t have a problem finding a campsite – reservations aren’t available until May 15th onwards, but it’s pretty empty before then anyway.
Larrabee State Park is truly a beautiful place, lush vegetation everywhere, and your tent is laying under a canopy of majestic Redwoods. The scenery all seems magical, almost like a fairy tale. You can imagine yourself slowly meandering into your tent after a long day of exploring the park and hitting sliding yourself inside your sleeping bag for a dreamy night.
All fine and dandy, except for one glaring problem…
There’s an in-service train track for Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Amtrak that goes through the state park that hoots and honks its way into wherever destination all night long.
That’s all night long and into the morning as well. And it’s loud. Very loud. You can forget about a good night’s rest if you camped out here. For a much better camping experience, I recommend you head out to Camano Island State Park instead. There’s no train, and it offers a much better camping experience.
If Trainspotting is up to your alley, then Larrabee State Park is the place to camp.
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Larrabee State Park, A Pacific Northwest Treat
Although the coast is the main draw at Larrabee, freshwater Fragrance, and Lost, lakes offer excellent trout fishing. Park visitors often enjoy the complete 21-mile meander along Chuckanut Drive and discover the charm and taste of Northwest Washington on a side excursion.
Access to the beach is easy, and all you have to do is walk through a tunnel that runs under the railroad tracks. From there, you can explore cliffside; there are warnings of how dangerous some trails can so proceed with caution.
There are two shelters for picnics that you can reserve online or calling (888) 226-7688. Each picnic shelter can accommodate 50 to 100 people and has electrical outlets, a barbecue grill, and covered picnic tables. There are also 45 uncovered picnic tables available for first come and first serve.
The park is right on the Puget Sound and offers some boat launch only during high tide. Be aware of low/high tide cycles because it might make your watercraft impossible to retrieve. There are a launching permit and trail dumping permit required for $5.
The city of Bellingham is close by and worth the visit if you have the time. It’s not the prettiest city, but there’s a boardwalk near the South Bay that’s worth a visit. If you have even more time, check out Whatcom Falls about an hour away.
I love coming to Larrabee State Park for photography. Sunsets directly opposite the shoreline so you can frame different shots with the shore illuminated or included the Sun in your composition during low tide. You can walk the trails near the coastline and over the cliffs to find some interesting spots to photograph, but be careful because the trails are hazardous.
|Exposure||Manual exposure, 3 sec, ISO 100|
|Lens||Sony FE 24-240mm|
|Location||Washington State, United States|
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