Within a two-hour drive of Seattle there are breathtaking scenes to take in and places to stay in nature. Camping is an opportunity to re-connect with the beauty of state. The Pacific Northwest is home to bald eagles, orca, black-tailed deer and other wildlife. The west side of the mountains are tempered by breezes from Puget Sound, and the east side of the Cascades is several degrees warmer. Either way, the landscape is filled with hiking trails and opportunities to explore the great outdoors.

Fort Casey (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Fort Casey
1280 Engle Road
Coupeville, WA 98239
(360) 902-8844

Fort Casey State Park is located on the west side of Whidbey Island near the Port Townsend ferry terminal. The campground sits next to Admiralty Inlet, and the fort is on the bluff above. Views from the park include the inlet, the Strait of Juan De Fuca, Mount Rainier and Port Townsend. This is a small campground with only 35 sites. The sites are 21 tent sites and 14 with electrical hook-ups. The park is a great place to hike, explore the fort, view wildlife and fly a kite. The Admiralty Head Lighthouse is on the northwest corner of the park and open to the public. Reservations for the campground can be made online.

Mount Rainier National Park (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Ohanapecosh (Mount Rainier National Park)
Highway 123
Randle, WA 98377
(360) 569-6581

Mount Rainier National Park is an hour southeast of Seattle in the Cascade Mountains. This volcano rises over 14,000 feet, and can be seen throughout the Seattle-Tacoma area. The Ohanapecosh campground is on the southeast corner of the park in an area of old-growth forest. It is open in the summer months, and the length of the season depends on the weather. The campground sits on the Ohanapecosh River. This area is near Box Canyon. This is a larger sized campground with 188 camping sites. Reservations are suggested for this campground.

Lake Wenatchee (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Lake Wenatchee State Park
21588 SR 207
Leavenworth, WA 98826
(360) 763-3101

Lake Wenatchee State Park is just under two hours away from Seattle. The most direct route to the lake is to travel Stevens Pass (Highway 2). The turn-off for the park is at Cole’s Corner on the east side of the Cascade Mountains. This campground sits on one of the largest mountain lakes in the area. There are 155 tent sites and 42 electric sites at this campground. Activities available in the park include horseback riding, swimming and hiking. Camping is April through November, with a handful of non-developed campsites available during the winter. In the winter, the park is a great area for snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing. This is a popular campground, and reservations are suggested.

Washington Park Kayaker (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Washington Park (Anacortes)
6300 Sunset Ave.
Anacortes, WA 98221
(360) 661-3463

Washington Park is located on Fidelgo Island, part of the San Juan Islands. The park is 220 acres with a campground, hiking trails, forest, meadows, beaches, a boat launch and beautiful views of the San Juan Islands. The campground is open year-round, and there are 68 campsites. Electrical hook-ups are available in 46 of the 68 sites. This is a peaceful escape that is close to the conveniences of town. Anacortes is a few minutes from the campground and the San Juan Ferry terminal. Reservations can be made online.

Concrete/Grandy Creek KOA 
7370 Russell Road
Concrete, WA 98237
(360) 826-3554

The Concrete/Grandy Creek KOA is located in the North Cascades, just outside of the North Cascades National Park. This campground is centrally located for visits to the North Cascades National Park, Mount Baker, Bellingham or the San Juan Islands. This is a private campground that is open to the public. The campground contains tent sites, RV or trailer sites and camping cabins. The grounds are well-maintained for visitors’ enjoyment. Reservations can be made online.

Karen Ulvestad is a mother and professional writer/photographer, who lives in the greater Seattle area. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English Composition. Her background is in fitness, travel, photography and writing. She continually researches locations to visit, and/or entertainment opportunities for family outings and/or photo shoots. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.