Whether you prefer the simplicity of tent camping or the comfort of RVs there are plenty of campgrounds on and around the Hood Canal to choose from. From your campsite you can take day trips to explore surrounding forests, rivers, and beaches or just relax under the trees and listen to the birds. For some inspiration to plan your Summer trip to the Hood Canal the staff at Hood Canal Adventures have made up their list of top 5 favorite drive-in campgrounds.
#1 Collins Campground
Collins Campground is located within the U.S. National Forest in the Brinnon area. Nestled under giant Bigleaf Maple trees and directly on the Duckabush River, it contains only 16 sites with no-hook ups: and this is why we love it! From here you are within only a few miles from some of the areas most popular hiking trails including Murhut Falls, Ranger Hole and Duckabush Trail. Shellfish can be gathered nearby at the Duckabush or Dosewallips tidelands when the season is open for clam and oyster recreational harvests. The campground is first come / first served and is open mid-May through September. Visit fs.usda.gov or call the USFS Hood Canal Ranger District (360) 765-2200 for details.
#2 Seal Rock Campground
Seal Rock is another U.S. Forest Service campground in the Brinnon area, however this one is located directly on the Hood Canal with beach access. Forty-one tent and RV campsites are shaded beneath the evergreen trees, some with water views. There are no RV hook-ups but the campground does have fresh water, flush toilets and electricity in the restrooms. Oysters litter the beach at low tide for you to harvest and cook up over your campfire. The campground has an area to walk-in your small boat or kayak for exploring the Hood Canal or harvesting Dungeness and Red Rock crab. Hood Canal Adventures of Brinnon will deliver your kayaks, paddle boards, and crab pots if you choose to rent. Seal Rock Campground is first come / first served and open April through late September. Visit fs.usda.gov for details.
#3 Twanoh State Park
Twanoh State Park really has it all! Located on the southern end of the Hood Canal just outside Belfair, you’ll enjoy 22 full hook-up campsites and 25 tent sites, a pump-out station, boat launches and a dock, showers, covered picnic areas, group sites, a staffed park office and store, and even kayak rentals. Over 3,000 ft. of marine shoreline offers shell fishing opportunities and warm summer waters are perfect for swimming and water play. A few campsites are open all year but the beachfront area is open April through mid-October only. Twanoh State Park is first come / first served. Visit parks.state.wa.us or call 360-275-2222 for details.
#4 Potlatch State Park
Potlatch State Park is a 57-acre camping park with 9,570 feet of saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal. The park's beautiful grounds are home to a variety of activities, from interpretive programs for kids to boating and shellfish harvesting. The park has 19 tent spaces, 18 utility spaces, one dump station, one restroom and two showers. Sites have no hook-ups. Maximum site length is 60 feet (may have limited availability). Two of the tent sites are for primitive use (hikers and bicyclers) only. The Park is divided by Hwy 101 so choose sites that are further away from the road if possible.
#5 Lake Cushman
OK, this isn’t actually a campground but the Lake Cushman area is stunning and well worth exploring. Lake Cushman is located near Hoodsport between the Hood Canal and the Olympic Mountains. Its clear blue waters are framed by beautiful forests and snowy mountain peaks. Popular activities include fishing, hiking, climbing, boating, kayaking, and swimming. There are several campgrounds at the lake but we couldn’t agree as to which is our favorite. Therefore, here's a short list to start you off: Skokomish Park Lake Cushman with 80 RV, tent sites, boat launch, and lake access; Staircase Campground with 49 tent and RV sites on the Skokomish River at the Olympic National Park’s most southern access point; and Big Creek Campground, a 64 site U.S.F.S. Campground which also serves as the trail head to several hiking trails.
The Hood Canal area offers opportunities for camping whether they be county, state, federal, or private campgrounds. There are many back-country and boat-in only camping areas to explore. Come find your favorite! To discover more campgrounds in the area click here.
Christina Maloney is owner of Hood Canal Adventures in Brinnon, a Fisheries and Marine Biologist, and a local outdoor enthusiast.