12 Perfect Washington Campgrounds for Kids

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The Pacific Northwest is rich with the best activities for a family that you can ever find. Up in the PNW you will find countless gems inside of Washington State, including some of the best places for family-friendly camping. It has some of the greenest trees I have ever walked beneath and a gorgeous coastline, where you could literally spend day after day. There are parks all over state, but it can be hard to narrow down where to take the kids on a Washington family camping trip.

little girl with headlamp

When you go camping with kids, you need to find the right site. The best places to camp with kids in Washington are all over, but you aren’t likely to simply stumble upon them by accident. To help you out, we’ve dug up twelve of the best kid friendly campgrounds in Washington State that have a wide array of different amenities available that can suit your family best. 

best washington campgrounds

How do you choose a good Washington family campsite?

Knowing your campsite means knowing your family. If you aren’t the type that wants to hike a few miles to get to camp, then your perfect family campsite in Washington won’t be a remote backcountry space. Some families like to hike in, while some prefer to load up the car and bring everything with them. If you’re camping with young kids in Washington, car camping is often the easiest option.

It’s your family and you know them best. Here are a few things to consider before settling on a campground. 

Choosing The Best Location for Camping In Washington With Kids

camping with kids

Some state parks are thousands of acres in size. There are parks with deep woods campsites that you can hike in to, or choose to set up closer to a road. Pay close attention to the specific site that you reserve or campground you head to. Location is key. 

When you’re choosing a campground, find one that’s got good activities for kids to do nearby.  We like to be close to the water (but not right on the beach with really young kids), so the kids can swim and paddle around.  Finding a family friendly campground in Washington that has good rocks to climb on, also give kids another fun campground activity.  

We also love choosing a campsite that’s a bit off the main traffic pattern so that the kids have more room to run and play.  In a big campground, we always look for sites on the outskirts, or corners for more privacy and space.  

Also keep in mind that access to town also means access to a lot more activities. That can be a huge plus for some families. 

Backcountry camping in Washington: The backcountry is beautiful, remote, and hard to get to. You’re going to pack up backpacks for the whole family and trek into a campsite. The backcountry is essentially a space with no amenities, that can’t be driven to. It means you probably don’t want to bring your mini fridge with a generator attached. 

Car Camping in Washington (Frontcountry Camping): The frontcountry is the spot to bring all of the frills. You have your car on hand and you can run generators, carry canoes, or do just about anything. There’s a lot less restriction on a frontcountry camping trip because of the weight of what you bring along. 

Washington Campground Amenities

Are you wanting vault toilets or full running water? Some of the cleanest campgrounds I have seen have only had pit toilets/outhouses. Some of the dirties have been those with all the amenities. Amenities can be fantastic, but remember that the number of amenities doesn’t always translate into hight quality.  

You can find wifi and free showers at some sites.  Some Washington campgrounds even have cable TV hookups, so you can really find a little bit of everything at family campgrounds in Washington.

Private vs Public Campgrounds in Washington

Some Washington campgrounds on our list are public, run by the US government. Some of them are private and have much higher fees. The difference isn’t always just in price, it can be quality and available sites. You often get what you pay for when you decide to go with a private campsite. If you want to rough it, public may be better.   Campground costs in Washington can vary quite a bit.  Public campgrounds in Washington often can be found for as little as $20/night, but a private campground with lots of amenities, can easily cost over $100/night.  

Reservations for Campgrounds in Washington

A lot of sites require reservations to be made ahead of time, especially this summer. You risk showing up and having no sites available if you don’t make reservations. Luckily, it’s simple to reserve online nowadays and the US government has a great site for all public campgrounds. I always tend to not risk it and make a reservation ahead of time!

Weather for Camping in Washington State

The weather in Washington state is often rainy and overcast for much of the year. Having a good quality waterproof family tent is absolutely essential on your trip. If you’re worried about your tent’s waterproofing, get this spray, and apply it to your tent fabric to add some extra waterproofing. Thankfully, most of the state doesn’t get too hot in the summer, so you won’t have to camp in the heat on your Washington camping trip.

READ: 9 Hacks for Camping In The Rain With Kids

rainy day camping

The Best Kid Friendly Campgrounds in Washington State

Family Camping In Olympic National Park Kalaloch Campground

Closest City: Forks
Reservations: Required May-Sept, First come, first served the rest of the year
Best time of year to go: Year-round

olympic National park

Olympic National Park is one of the most iconic spots in the entire state of Washington and it’s got lots of classic Washington State camping. Olympic national park encompasses a massive amount of the northwest part of the state and breaks off onto the coast as well. Kalaloch family campground is one of the only places to camp on the southern coast of the park, and it’s magnificent. You get to overlook the water and have easy access to a beach within the park. This is the best Olympic National Park campground and gives you a great chance to let your children explore the ocean. 

PRO TIP: If planning on a beach or mossy forest picnic, make sure to take camping chairs for kids and a baby camping highchair to prevent sand from blowing in your food or from having to sit on a soggy log. Camping with a baby here is fantastic, but only if you have a way to keep everyone clean and dry!

Mt. St. Helens- Seaquest State Park Camping With Kids

Closest City: Castle Rock
Reservations: Reservations are suggested
Best time of year to go: Year-round

Seaquest State Park covers over a mile of Silver Lake’s shoreline, giving you and your family easy access to tons of water sport activities on your family camping trip to Washington. There are tons of easy trails in the area to explore and you can hike into the visitor center to learn more about the park. If you’re looking for an educational trip with your kids, this is the one. Stay in a hut, cabin, yurt, or a simple rustic site.  

Jones Island Kayak Camping in Washington

Closest City: San Juan Islands
Reservations: First come, first served
Best time of year to go: Year-round

Are you looking for something a bit different and more based on adventure for your kids? If so, check out family camping in Washington’s Jones Island State Park. This is a marine park that is only accessible by boat. That means you’ll be kayaking or motoring out to the island to stay there for a night. The nature of the park leads it to have nothing but some composting toilets and designated campsites. You can reserve group sites ahead of time if you’re coming with a large group. 

Leavenworth KOA

Closest City: Leavenworth
Reservations: Reservations Required
Best time of year to go: Year-round

If yu’re looking for a great place to camp during your visit to Leavenworth, the KOA, is full of great amenities and is an easy spot to camp with kids in Washington.  With stunning views of the Cascades, you’ll love feeling like you’re really connected with nature here.  Of course, family friendly campground at Leavenworth is packed full of amenities, including full hookups, a swimming pool and even a hot tub and sauna for guest use.  

Mt Rainier- Ohanapecosh Campground for Families

Closest City: Ashford
Reservations: Reservations available
Best time of year to go: Summer and fall

mt rainier camping

Ohanapecosh campground for families sits in the southeast corner of Mt Rainier, tucked away from the typical hustle and bustle the park can have. There is a huge amount of trails that weave around the park heading directly out of the campsite. You can head up to the hot springs and check those out or adventure towards dozens of waterfalls. Bring your fishing gear and catch your own dinner with the kids. This is the best family campground in Mt Rainier National Park for kids.  

Camping at Steamboat Rock State Park

Closest City: Grand Coulee
Reservations: Reservations necessary in summer
Best time of year to go: Summer and Fall

50,000 feet of freshwater access is what makes Steamboat Rock State Park one of the best campgrounds for families in Washington. You can bring all of your floatation devices and spend the entire day out on the lake in the summertime when you’re camping at this kid friendly campsite. In the spring and fall there is plenty of hiking around and the park is much quieter. 

Family Friendly Camping at Deception Pass State Park

Closest City: Whidbey Island
Reservations: Reservations necessary in summer
Best time of year to go: Spring, Summer, Fall

Washington’s most-visited state park is Deception Pass. This park has both freshwater and saltwater access so your kids can explore lakes and the ocean in the same trip. It has all of the amenities to make your stay comfortable on your Washington family camping trip. It’s the kind of place that attracts families of all types. While your site will be fairly private, it’s easy to make friends with your neighbor when camping with kids. Deception Pass is a great place to camp if you want access to the beach, while still being right in the forest when you’re camping with kids. Deception Pass has some of the best camping in Washington for families.  

Kid Friendly Campground near Ocean Shores Washington State

Closest City: Ocean City
Reservations: Reservations Necessary
Best time of year to go: Spring, Summer, Fall

If you’re looking for a full service RV camping resort in Washington state that’s near the beach, and has lots of activities to keep the family entertained, you’ll love the Ocean Shores RV park.  It’s only a 20 minute drive to the beach, though the kids may be happy staying at camp all day with a basketball court, pool, horseback riding and miniature golf.  This is also a good Washington campground for family gatherings since there are also 3 rental cabins available, so everyone doesn’t have to rough it as much.  

Camping With Kids In Rasar State Park

Closest City: Concrete
Reservations: Reservations Suggested
Best time of year to go: Spring, Summer, Fall

The North Cascades has a ton to offer in terms of exploration and recreation. Rasar State Park sits in the west edge of the cascades and offers a ton of great adventures that your kids will love, including exploring the river, checking out wildlife, fishing and swimming. Even in the winter you can still come to this site and look up at the higher peaks that are full of snow. Explore rivers and mountains during your stay here with simple amenities, but nothing too fancy. 

Lake Wenatchee State Park Kid-Friendly Campground

Closest City: Leavenworth
Reservations: Reservations Suggested
Best time of year to go: Year-round

This pristine blue alpine lake has everything to offer to you and your family. The Washington lakefront campground is five miles long and over 200 feet deep in its center. This is a great spot to go to try out winter camping with kids with heated restrooms and warming shelters. You have access to miles and miles of cross country trails with sledding hills galore for your kids. 

Fort Flagler State Park Family Campground

Closest City: Port Townsend
Reservations: Reservations Required in Summer
Best time of year to go: Summer and Fall

Fort Flager is as rich in history as it is in fun-filled activities for the family. This is a great place for camping with large groups in Washington state where you can bring all of the children even in your extended family. There are plenty of activities to do that range from hiking and boating to crabbing and clam-digging. You’ll never get tired of exploring this geologically-diverse state park that’s great for camping with kids in Washington. 

Sequim Bay State Park Campground for Families

Closest City: Sequim
Reservations: Reservations Suggested
Best time of year to go: Year-round

Just inside of Puget Sound sits Sequim Bay State Park. If you want to experience a true rain shadow and the beautiful forest that’s created from it, Sequim Bay has hundreds of miles of trails to explore. You can bring boats and explore the shoreline or stay inland and explore the interpretive trails of the Olympic Discovery Trail. This is one of the best family friendly Seattle Campgrounds you can find. 

These 12 family campgrounds in Washington State offer the perfect mix of nature and great activities nearby.  All of them are in stunning locations that will make your family camping trip to Washington even more memorable.  If you’ve stayed at any of these kid-friendly Washington campgrounds, please comment below and share more about your experience there!

About Jessica Averett

Hi, I’m Jessica, a mom of 5 kids and married to my favorite adventure partner. I love to bike, ski, camp and hike. We've visited over 40 countries with our kids, but are equally happy on the road as we are exploring our home state of Utah.

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