Resources to find kayak camp sites? (WA)

Any recommendations for resources to find kayak camp sites, or even campsites that are well-situated for kayak trips during the day?

Specifically, I want to get out to the Washington State coast to get away from the heat we’re experiencing around Puget Sound; I’d like to find some tent camp site on or near the coast that puts me near some day-trip kayaking, or better yet some place where I can (ideally, have to) kayak in a few miles to get to the camp site. I haven’t done a ton of camping as an adult, though recently I’ve done more, and I don’t know what the best resources are for finding campsites, especially ones that mesh well with the desire to do some kayaking.

I may be asking for a lot, but I thought I would throw it out there just in case there are some good resources I’m simply unaware of.

And/or dispersed camping…
Alternatively, a resource for finding kayak-accessible locations that allow dispersed camping would be great.

Kayak Camping
Contact the Washington Kayak Club and/or the Olympic Kayak Club. They can help.

Visit Federal And State Websites
Don’t be surprised you find out how controlled camping can be on the coast.

I would suggest you go inland. Forest Service and BLM lands are open to camping. Buy a Delorme map for your state.

Clubs, do to their size, have limited destinations available. A solo camper is easier on the resource. Thus more options are available.


– Last Updated: Jul-03-15 6:41 PM EST –

try searching into: WEST COAST PADDLERS and then Touring or Trips...also video Alaska Phillip.AK or with one L

One local Seattle paddler has 3-4 trip reports

Read Randy Washburne Kayaking The San Juan Islands.

Take a look at the Skagit from Marblemount on down or from Concrete..Concrete down is Class 1. The Seattle paddler has a report. The Skagit is free of touring pressure.

The San Juans are booked. Forgettabpoutitt !!

If looking for a raft trip there's the Tieton, ....I just went to American Whitewater for your drought info. Go there. The Yak is also runnable. I have a report there, a good trip for a solo or workable tandem as there's an immediate need to slalom and read water.

The Tieton is a rush. The T is a headlong rush downhill brook out of a reservoir. There's a rafting company. There are multiple camping ops in the T area.

Juan de,-122.7015752,13z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x548fee1447109235:0x12b9d33016fa43dc,-124.6962026,13z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0000000000000000:0x4da59c95fb4e2f3e?hl=en

There are places in between for kayaking with tides

SusanKay mentioned a couple of very good sources. Also look to Washington Water Trails. Check out the new versions of existing books that Rob Casey has recently edited.

You mention “the coast”. Are you talking about the Washington Pacific Coast? Strait of Juan de Fuca? Puget Sound? All different and as datakoll said the San Juans are booked. Don’t bother.



Not on July 4th weekend
Fort Flagler, that is. They have the standard car campgrounds which are likely to be full. Also a Cascadia Marine Trail site for kayak camping, which is first come first served. Your chance of getting a quiet site is better after the holiday weekend.

But Flagler isn’t on the west coast anyway. Hobuck Resort campground is, though. Do you like surf? Also, Lake Ozette in ONP is close to the west coast though not quite on it.

Thanks for the help
Thanks for all the advice. To answer a few of the questions that came up: I’m mostly asking about resources rather than specific recommendations so that next time I don’t end up back here asking for new recommendations. :slight_smile: So I really appreciate those pointers.

That said, I very much appreciate the specific recommendations as well. I’m targeting the west coast of the peninsula or further south, mostly because I’m trying to escape the heat, and even the San Juans are reportedly experiencing mid-eighties. Some research makes it sound like there could be some kayak-in spots around Lake Ozette (I do worry they could be full, and Ozette is well out of the way to show up and not have a place to pitch my tent).

In Case You And Others Don’t Know
DeLorme maps are a great source of information for outdoor activities. I find them better than any guide book. Launch sites, camp grounds, hiking, hunting, fishing it’s all in there. Just don’t trust that all the roads exist.

Ozette boasts a cold beer commercial campground with a hilltop. The Fed camp ground is a zero unless you occupy with your group

With kayak wheels, the coast is walkable on a boardwalk to the former Wedding Rocks beach or the northern route out to the main rocks area of the postcard grouping.

There is a San Juan Parks reservation window opening at 8AM…? March ? Be there.

Dungeness Spit has kayaking out to the lighthouse and a filled campground, Salt Recreation Area on Juan de is AAA but impossible just dropping in.

My experience is there are only one or 2 spaces available unreserved every weekend from ice out to ice in…and Ima not gonna tell you where they are eyehhahha !

Further, to complicate an overburdened situation, you gotta deal with computer money looking for a good time.

There are places around Rainier. Or to the last campground on the beach past Forksville.

There are Indian territory creeks down there worth paddling.

If you have a ‘map’, look in Google Images, you will find boat ramps, obsolete camping places, clearings of villages and gone mills. Off roaders have done away with a lot of use age there.

I have a ‘map’ attached to Garmin Nroute. Fanatstic !also no longer available.

The situation is the same all over but the SJI and Olympic Peninsula are an international destination.

WA Kayaking/Camping Sites
Long Island, on Willapa Bay, is a very popular destination for kayakers. Long Island is a National Wildlife Refuge and is the home to numerous bear, deer, and elk. The east side is mostly tidal mud, while the west side is mostly sand and gravel. There are 5-6 primitive campsites scattered around the circumference of the island.

I hope this helps.


Old fashioned paper maps
Another has already recommended a Gazetteer, and I hardily agree.

Old fashioned paper maps have been a rediscovered gem for me. I’d gotten away from using them and gotten used to relying on my mobile phone for mapping. I was flummoxed when I got out in the country where there was no cellular service. Now I try to pick up a paper map when I go to a new state. Often they are free at state welcome centers.

My last trip to Washington, I crossed into the state on a secondary road and there was no welcome center. I had to buy a map. It cost $8, but the Washington Recreation Map I bought, by Benchmark Maps, was worth it. It shows location of campgrounds, as well as detailed roads, parks and monuments, wildlife areas, boat access points, and public lands.

Paper maps. What’da ya know? And I never needed to recharge the battery!