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Where to Stay in Olympic National Park: Camping Guide + Best Lodges

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From campsites on driftwood-strewn beaches to historic lodges with modern amenities, we’ve got you covered for where to stay in Olympic National Park. Plus we’ve included some important information you’ll want to know if you plan on camping in the park. 

Hurricane Ridge Olympic National Park Washington

Nearly 1 million acres of Washington’s Olympic Peninsula are protected lands of the UNESCO World Heritage listed Olympic National Park. This park is known as one of the most diverse national parks in the country.

Choosing where to stay in Olympic National Park is an essential part of planning your visit to this breathtaking natural wonderland. With its diverse ecosystems ranging from rugged beaches to temperate rainforests, finding accommodations that suit your preferences and itinerary can greatly enhance your overall experience. 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the various lodging options within and around the park, including the best campsites in Olympic National Park (based on our personal experience!). We highlight the unique features and amenities of each, to help you make the most informed decision for your unforgettable adventure in Washington.

Olympic National Park Camping & Lodging Guide


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Olympic National Park overview

Mount Storm King Olympic National Park
  • Open: Year-round (some seasonal closures from October – May)
  • Entrance Fee: $30/vehicle, $25/motorcycle, $15/hiking & biking, or free with your America the Beautiful Pass
  • Wildlife: Black bears, dear, elk, bald eagles, whales and sea otters are among the wildlife frequently spotted in the park
  • Established: June 29, 1938
  • Ancestral Lands: Given the size of Olympic NP, 8 tribes called this land home; Hoh, Jamestown S’Klallam, Lower Elwha Klallam, Makah, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Quileute, Quinault and Skokomish.
  • Area: 922,650 acres (3,733.8 km2) 

Be sure to check out our complete guide to Olympic National Park for all the best things to see and do, and all the information you need to plan your visit.

Best campsites in Olympic National Park 

We spent 4 days road tripping and camping our way through Olympic National Park. Below are a few of the top recommended campsites we stayed at in the park. Plus a few campsites we haven’t personally had a chance to stay at, but come highly recommended. 

Lyre River Campground

Campervan at Lyre River Campground in Olympic National Park
  • Location: Northern part of the Olympic Peninsula, near Sol Duc Falls
  • Type of campground: Free campground
  • Facilities: Pit toilet, fire ring, picnic tables, potable water, trash
  • Cost: Free, with the Washington Discover Pass
  • Exact location

The Lyre River Campground is a perfect place to stop for the night if you are camping in Olympic National Park. It’s FREE if you have a Discover Pass ($30 for the year, good in all Washington State Parks). If you’re camping between June 15 and October 15 each site costs $10 per night and you have to self register.

There are only 11 spots, first-come first-serve, and we got one of the last ones when we arrived around 7 p.m. It’s a stunning little riverside oasis that we were happy to call home for the night. If only all campsites were like this one! 

Note: There is no phone service down by the river where the campground is located, but if you drive to the entrance, you’ll have a somewhat strong signal.

Shi Shi Beach

Camping on Shi Shi Beach
  • Location: The very northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula
  • Type of campground: Olympic National Park backcountry site
  • Facilities: none (backcountry camping)
  • Cost: $10 per person for a Makah Reservation Permit (purchase this at the Washburn General Store in Neah Bay); $10 per day parking fee ($20 min for overnight)
  • Exact location

For a magical beach camping experience, camping on Shi Shi Beach is a must-add to your Pacific Northwest bucket list! It’s arguably one of the coolest places to camp in Washington.

Though it requires a hike and a wilderness permit, the effort pays off with stunning sunset views, oceanside bonfires, and waking up to unique sea stack rock formations just outside your tent. 

Be sure to pack enough drinking water, as the stream along the beach was polluted during our visit and unsuitable for drinking, even with a filtration system.

For all the details you need, check out our comprehensive guide to camping on Shi Shi Beach.

Enchanted Valley Camping Area

Enchanted Valley Camping Area Olympic National park
  • Location: Central Olympic Peninsula in the Enchanted Valley backcountry
  • Type of campground: Olympic National Park backcountry site
  • Facilities: rustic drop toilet, fire pit (most sites have one), tent pad, and most sites have “benches” made from stumps
  • Cost: $6 non-refundable permit application fee, plus an $8 per person per day fee if camping permit is granted
  • Exact location

The Enchanted Valley, true to its name, is among the most breathtaking spots in Olympic National Park. Renowned for its abundant wildlife, including black bears and elk, camping in this majestic valley is one of our top recommendations.

However, reaching the Enchanted Valley requires some preparation and a hike of over 13 miles. Fortunately, the trail is beautiful throughout and moderately challenging, making it suitable for hikers of all ages.

This adventure is also one of our favorite hikes in Olympic National Park.

To camp in the Enchanted Valley (which we strongly suggest), you’ll need to secure a permit. Our guide to hiking the Enchanted Valley provides detailed information on how to get a permit and what to expect on the trail.

Hoh Rainforest Campground

Hall of Mosses trail in Hoh Rainforest Olympic National Park
  • Location: Hoh Rainforest inside Olympic National Park
  • Type of campground: National Park campground with tent and RV sites + ADA Accessible campsites
  • Facilities: flush toilets and potable water, but no electric hook ups, dump stations, or showers
  • Cost: $25 per night (book online)
  • Exact location

Nestled in the heart of Olympic National Park, the Hoh Rainforest Campground immerses campers in a lush, moss-draped ancient forest with countless shades of green. 

This campground offers 72 sites, including a group site and an ADA accessible site, each equipped with fire rings and picnic tables. 

Campers have access to flush toilets and potable water, but there are no electric hookups, dump stations, or showers. The sites can accommodate tents, and many are suitable for trailers and RVs. 

For camping during the busy summer season, it’s essential to reserve your spot six months in advance when reservations open online. 

The majority of annual rainfall (an impressive 140 inches per year!) occurs outside the busy summer months. During the off-season, sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, but consider staying in a campervan over a tent during the wet season.

Due to its location in the center of the Olympic Peninsula, the Hoh Rainforest Campground makes a great base for exploring the west side of the park if you are there for only a few nights. However, if you have more time you can make your way around the entire peninsula while basing in this campground. 

Kalaloch Campground

The Tree of Life on Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park
The “Tree of Life” on Kalaloch Beach
  • Location: Southwest coast of Olympic National Park
  • Type of campground: National Park Campground with tent and limited RV sites
  • Facilities: flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station (for a fee), but no electric hook ups or showers
  • Cost: about $25 per night (book online
  • Exact location

Kalaloch Campground sits atop a high bluff with stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. This campground features 168 sites, each equipped with fire rings and picnic tables. 

While only a few sites offer direct ocean views, all campers have access to a pathway leading down to the beach. Most sites are surrounded by ample vegetation, providing a sense of privacy.

Amenities include flush toilets, potable water, and a dump station available for a fee, but there are no electric hookups or showers. The campground is part of a larger complex that includes a lodge, restaurant, and store. The sites can accommodate tents and smaller trailers, with limited spaces for large RVs.

As part of Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kalaloch Campground serves as an excellent base for exploring the park’s southwest region.

Tips for camping in Olympic National Park

Camping in Olympic National Park

The Olympic Peninsula has several great campgrounds, offering scenic views and varying levels of facilities.

If you’re up for it, we’d definitely recommend spending a night on one of the Olympic Peninsula’s famed beaches. It is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Here are some tips for finding the best campsites in Olympic National Park.

1) Use these apps for finding campsites

  • The Dyrt: This one is at the top because it is our favorite campsite locating app with the largest database of campgrounds (44,000+ campsites and counting!) and over 1 million user-submitted reviews. Plus, it’s super user-friendly, and has some pretty cool features, like outdoor gear contests and forums to connect and seek advice from fellow campers, that you won’t find on any other camping app. 

Try their Pro Membership for FREE for 30 days and gain access to the offline version of the app, utilize their trip planning feature AND get exclusive discounts on campsites and gear!

TWS The Dyrt banner (30)
  • Hipcamp: This site/app is a resource for finding unique camping stays listed by private landowners. Since they are on private land, these sites will all be near Olympic National Park, but not directly inside the park. 
  • iOverlander: This app lists GPS coordinates of campsites, and it also has propane fill-ups, water, hotels, restaurants, mechanics, and other points of interest for those on road trips.
  • Freecampsites.net: Not an app, but this website (albeit clunky and out of date) has some good spots listed that aren’t always on other apps, as they are crowd-sourced.

2) Consider getting a Discover Pass 

The Washington Discover Pass is $30 for the year and is good in all Washington State Parks!

We used this pass a ton, and our favorite campground on the OP (Lyre River Campground) was free for us since we had this pass.

3) Make reservations well in advance

If you’re traveling during peak season, make campground reservations (where possible) just to make sure you have a spot! In popular places, it is advisable to make your campground reservations as much as 6 months in advance!

4) Get your backcountry permits ahead of time

Backcountry permits are required for all backcountry sites in Olympic National Park. This includes many of the peninsula’s beautiful beaches. 

Read up on the National Park Service website to see where permits are required and whether you should make a reservation.

FYI: They are limiting the number of permits given out to prevent overcrowding in the backcountry. So if you’re traveling during a busy time of the year, it’s a good idea to reserve your permit ahead of time.

You can reserve your permits online and pick them up at the ranger stations. We collected our permit for Shi Shi Beach at the Port Angeles Ranger Station.

Lodges in Olympic National Park

If camping isn’t your thing, there are plenty of lodging options in and near Olympic National Park on the OP. Here are some top recommended lodges: 

Lake Crescent Lodge (Olympic Naitonal Park)

Lake Crescent Lodge: Situated within Olympic National Park, this iconic lodge offers a charming and historic retreat on the shores of the stunning Lake Crescent. Established in 1915, the lodge provides a range of accommodations from cozy lodge rooms to rustic cabins, all surrounded by the natural beauty of old-growth forests and crystal-clear waters.

Lake Quinault Lodge (Booking)

Lake Quinault Lodge: A historic and elegant getaway on the shores of Lake Quinault. Built in 1926, this grand lodge exudes rustic charm with its cozy rooms and inviting fireplaces, offering a peaceful retreat amid lush rainforests and pristine lake views. 

Kalaloch Lodge (Olympic National Park)

Kalaloch Lodge: Perched on the rugged coast of Olympic National Park’s Kalaloch Beach, Kalaloch Lodge offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean. This rustic lodge provides a range of accommodations, including cozy cabins and lodge rooms, all designed to blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings. 

Olympic Lodge by Ayres (Booking)

Olympic Lodge: Located near the entrance of Olympic National Park in Port Angeles, Olympic Lodge makes a comfortable and convenient base for exploring the park’s diverse landscapes. This modern lodge features spacious rooms with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and well-manicured grounds. 

Airbnbs near Olympic National Park

For a unique Airbnb, check out these fun places to stay:

Glamping in Olympic National Park
Rainforest Cabin in Olympic National Park
Bubble Tent in Olympic National Park
Tiny House in Olympic National Park
  1. Glamping near Port Angeles: Even if you’re not much for camping, this gorgeous spot offers amazing views from the comforts of your (plush!) tent.
  2. Tiny Rainforest Cabin: If the “tiny home” movement intrigues you, this rustic cabin might be the perfect spot to try it out. Surrounded by rainforest, the setting couldn’t get much more ideal than this!
  3. Bubble Tent: One thing’s for sure—you’ve never stayed in a place quite like this! With a clear roof you can sleep beneath the stars (as long as the sky is clear!).
  4. Tiny House with private beach: If you’re passing through Olympia at the beginning or end of your OP road trip, this adorable tiny home would make a perfect home for a night. With a private beach and kayaks for your use and a gorgeous interior, we might extend our stay for a couple nights!

Bonus! We have loads of info on how to book Airbnbs, red flags to watch out for when booking, and our favorite Airbnbs around the world in our Airbnb article

FAQs about where to stay in Olympic National Park

Hurricane Ridge Olympic National Park

Here are some quick answers to the most frequently asked questions about where to stay in Olympic National Park. 

What is the best town to stay in to visit Olympic National Park?

The largest town on the Olympic Peninsula, and best town to stay in for visiting Olympic National Park is Port Angeles

Located on the northern edge of the park, Port Angeles offers convenient access to many of the park’s major attractions, including Hurricane Ridge, the Hoh Rainforest, and Lake Crescent. 

There is a variety of accommodations, dining options, and amenities in town, making it a comfortable base for exploring the park. Additionally, Port Angeles is a hub for outdoor activities and offers ferry services to Victoria, British Columbia, adding to its appeal as a central location for visitors.

Can you stay overnight in Olympic National Park?

Enchanted Valley Chalet Olympic National park

Yes!

There are plenty of campgrounds and lodges located within Olympic National Park. We’ve listed the best campsites in the park above. 

What is the closest city to Olympic National Park?

Port Angeles, located on the northern coast of the peninsula, is the closest city to Olympic National Park. It is just a 15 minute drive from the city to the park entrance. 

However, it is really more of a big town than a “city,” with a population of just 20,000 people.

How many days are enough for Olympic National Park?

Mount Storm King Trail Olympic National Park

We’d recommend 2-4 days to explore Olympic National Park. 

If you make quick stops at all of the highlights, you could probably see everything in two days. It would be really rushed and lots of time spent driving. You could also stretch this out to a week, taking more time to linger in each place and add in a few more stops.

Can you get around Olympic National Park without a car?

Getting around Olympic National Park without a car can be challenging due to the park’s vast size and limited public transportation options

While there are some shuttle services and tour companies that offer guided excursions within the park, we’d highly recommend having your own vehicle to do some exploring.

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Where to stay in Olympic National Park | Two Wandering Soles
Where to stay in Olympic National Park | Two Wandering Soles

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