Camping on the west coast can be accessible or remote. With 13 national parks and countless state parks to explore, there’s a camping destination for everyone on the west coast. From the islands and rainforests of Washington to the sprawling coastlines of Oregon and California, you’re sure to find an adventure, unlike anything you’ve experienced.
You’re probably already familiar with the west coast’s reputation. But it’s not just chilled out hippies with long hair to be found on the left side of the country. Beautiful beaches, rugged mountain ranges, and sprawling forests all await the adventurous ones ready to get out in the woods.
To tell the truth, the list of good camping destinations on the west coast is nearly endless. Unfortunately, we don’t have time or space to cover all of the incredible places you could see. So instead, we’ll focus on a couple of parks that are both beautiful and expansive.
Each of these destinations has a variety of campgrounds and services and can be a great destination for a single traveler or the whole family to explore.
Camping Destinations On The West Coast
Olympic National Park, WA
Home to the Hoh Rainforest, one of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States, Olympic National Park is as unique as it is expansive. The Olympic mountains are a young, rugged mountain range that offers a wide range of hikes ranging from quick jaunts to week-long expeditions.
There are more than fifteen campgrounds in Olympic National Park as well as several along the nearby west coast of the Olympic Peninsula. Best visited in the summer months when the weather is warm and the sun is out. This is one of the rainiest places in the United States, so don’t forget your rain jacket.
Crater Lake National Park, OR
It may be Oregon’s only national park, but Crater Lake really packs a punch. Although the primary attraction is the beautiful body of water for which the park is named, there are over 183,000 acres of old-growth forests, volcanic formations, and towering evergreens to explore.
The park is covered in snow for eight months out of the year, so be sure to visit in the summer months, unless you like the cold.
This park is steeped in lore and interesting facts to be discovered. From bizarre pinnacles exposed by erosion to a thirty-foot tall floating hemlock that has been poking out of the lake for over a century, the deepest lake in the U.S. is a perpetual surprise.
The Redwoods, CA
We’ve all seen photos of the magnificence that are the Redwoods of Northern California. However, the reality is far more spectacular. Home to the tallest trees on Earth and with nearly 40 miles of scenic coastline, this is an environment unlike any other.
There are four developed campgrounds and eight backcountry sites in Redwoods National and State Parks. So whether you prefer to get off the beaten path or are looking to take the whole family out for some frontcountry fun, The Redwoods are perfect.
Some of the trees here are more than 2,000 years old and can grow to be over 350 feet tall. If you’re looking for nature to awe you, then a camping trip in the coastal redwood forests of California is just what you need.
Joshua Tree National Park, CA
The southernmost destination on this list is Joshua Tree National Park, CA. Located at the junction of the Mojave and Colorado desert ecosystems, Joshua Tree is as stunning as it is historic.
Located just a couple hours from the major metropolitan area of Los Angeles, it’s amazing how remote and wild the park can feel once you get off the main road.
The park has held significance to native cultures for generations and is also a historic destination for rock climbers. The park is littered with enormous boulder formations of all shapes and sizes.
Although Joshua Tree has numerous campsites of various types, it regularly fills up during the high season (Feb-May). Don’t let that discourage you though, just reserve ahead or visit during the offseason (Jun-Sep). You won’t regret it.