Best Free Camping in Washington

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Free Camping in Washington

Dispersed Camping Washington

By Sara Sheehy

There is nowhere else in the United States quite like the Pacific Northwest. In the “upper left” state of Washington, you’ll find mountain ranges that stretch to the sky, lush and moody rainforests, and a wild coastline that holds such beauty that you’ll forget that you’re within a morning’s drive of Seattle’s city lights.

Washington is chock full of great spots for boondocking and dispersed camping. So grab your tent or RV, stock up on good eats, and head to one of these campsite gems in Washington State.

See a map of all free camping in Washington.

Where to Find Dispersed Camping in Washington

Public land, rest stops, parking lots, oh my! Washington has a wide variety of free campsites. Some are best suited for a quick night’s sleep when you’re passing through, but others are begging for you to settle in for a week or more and enjoy the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Washington earns its nickname of “the Evergreen State” honestly—it has a lot of trees! If you rely on solar, keep a close eye on our Campendium community reviews to ensure your chosen location has enough sun access to keep you charged up and ready to go.

A Note About the Department of Natural Resources Campgrounds in Washington

Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages 80 campgrounds through the state that are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Though these campgrounds are free to use and are listed as such Campendium, a Discover Pass is required.

A Discover Pass gains you access to DNR properties for recreation and camping alike. The annual pass costs $35 and can be purchased online. On Campendium, these campsites have a “permit required” icon at the top of the page.

Free Camping on the Olympic Peninsula

Gorgeous old growth forests await on the Olympic Peninsula to the west of Seattle. Olympic National Park is a traveler’s favorite, filled with waterfalls, rainforests, beaches, and glaciers. Yes, that’s all in one park! There are no free campgrounds inside the park itself, but just outside is a jackpot of great sites.

Check out Forest Road 29 in Sappho for beautiful forest views and fast cell service. South of the park, in the Olympic National Forest, the secluded Campbell Tree Grove Campground offers excellent access to hiking trails.

Free Camping in the Cascades

The Cascade Mountains stretch from British Columbia, Canada to northern California, cutting a beautiful path through Washington. In the north part of the state, you’ll find solitude and few roads cutting through the landscape. Check out Hozomeen Campground, a popular waterfront spot right on the Canadian border.

A bit further south and closer to Seattle, you’ll find more people and some of the prettiest landscapes in the state. Ranger Creek Airstrip is big-rig and tent camping friendly, and each site has a picnic table and firepit. The memorably-named Tree Phone Campground is a hidden gem in Ahtanum State Forest.

Free Camping on the I-5 Corridor

If you’re moving through Washington from north to south or vice versa, the most direct route is on the I-5 corridor that stretches from the Oregon/Washington border straight through to Canada.

Free camping along this corridor can be tricky to find, but not impossible. Just south of Olympia, Washington’s capital city, the Maytown Rest Area is clean and quiet. North of Seattle, the Tulalip Casino offers up to three nights of free camping and all those sought-after casino amenities. Not far from the Canadian border, the Silver Reef Casino offers free parking and a dump station with fresh water.

Recent Washington Free Campsite Reviews

"Black Sand, Sand Dune"

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I arrived here around 7pm the night of July 2nd. It was quiet with only about 10 RVs all the way to the lake. Welp! It’s July 4th week. There are lots of people pulling in now. After reading the reviews I was worried it would be me and a bunch of crackheads. But the spot is filled with families and their toys. It’s loud, yea. But that’s to be...
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Jun 26, 2024

"Beautiful And Private Campsites "

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We pulled in around 2am, the sites were easy to find in the dark and in the morning we were pleased to see how beautiful the place was! While we were there we only saw a few other campers and the spaces were very separated. We Intended to only stay a short night and continue on but when we went to start our car at 11am it wouldn’t start due to a...
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2 reviews
Jun 24, 2024

"Open Again"

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They are open Thursday-Monday. Beautiful area, though not much sun to be found if you use solar power. I was just happy to find a free spot on a Saturday when everywhere else was full.

7 reviews
Marysville, WA

Tulalip Casino

Jun 19, 2024

"Good Spot"

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Tualip casino RV parking is great. Spaciousness and the casino next door and they paid me $12.35 to stay here.

17 reviews
Jun 18, 2024

"Shifting Sand, Quiet on a Tuesday Night"

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Followed Juniper Dunes Rd. to the main parking area, then continued down Juniper Rd. following the GPS coordinates listed here, which was a mistake. My AWD SUV got stuck in the fluffy sand, but I managed to dislodge it, gun the engine and turn around. Car-camped in the large parking area and it was mostly quiet except for the whistling wind...
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2 reviews