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worried I will not find a place to camp

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Minot, North Dakota
posts: 58
reviews: 17
worried I will not find a place to camp

We will be flying in and leaving Seattle early Sat afternoon, July 20. Then heading west.

Our goal is to hike 7 basin loop Sunday. We are very worried we will not find a place to tent/camp Sat night during the peak of vacation season. Any advice in or north of ONP?

Murdock Beach aka Round Rock Beach?

Salt Creek Rec Area is already full (we tried).

Bear Creek Campground?

Two years ago when Yosemite was full, a Ranger took pity on us and suggested that if we car camp a few miles west of the park border, no one would hassle us. We did and were far from the only ones who did that. If we can't find a place to camp, can we do that on the Indian Reservations that surround OLP?

There are 5 of us so sleeping in our van is not what we want.

Thanks in advance for ANY advice.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 6,177
reviews: 6
1. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

No, you cannot trespass on tribal land anymore than you can camp out in my backyard without my permission. Tribal police patrol the reservations, so you might well get caught. Some of the tribes, like the Makah and the Quilleute, have invested money in nice tourist facilities; understandably, they want visitors to stay there and support their communities.

Where did you plan to camp originally? I can give you a better idea of how likely it is to be crowded if you will tell me. Salt Creek is not a good backup plan. It is lovely and very popular, so it probably will be full July 20. Murdock Beach and Pilar Point are far from the trail head to 7 Lakes Basin and not good choices for you.

Port Townsend...
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
posts: 5,860
reviews: 3
2. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

It's perfectly acceptable to disperse camp in the National Forest. Keep the following rules in mind:

…usda.gov/Internet/…stelprdb5195461.pdf

seattle
posts: 583
reviews: 2
3. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

Check Klahowya Campground, a National Forest Service campground off hwy 101 west of the entrance to Sol Duc resort area, and Dungeness Recreation Area, which is a county park with campgrounds next to the National Wildlife Refuge at Dungeness Spit near Sequim. No reservations taken at Klahowya Campground and half of the campsites at the Dungeness Rec area cannot be reserved (no harm in checking if any that can be reserved are still available). It will be tough to find a campsite at either place by driving up late on a Saturday in July, though.

There is also a KOA in Port Angeles; see mixed TA reviews.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 6,177
reviews: 6
4. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

The Dungeness Recreation Area campgrounds are likely to be full in late July. Like Salt Creek, this is a well known, beautiful, and very popular spot.

Again, Sonybalony, where were you originally planning on camping? If it is one of the campsites along the trail to 7 Lakes Basin, I can tell you that you should have no trouble. Only the hardy few hike up with gear, and I have never seen any of those campsites full.

Minot, North Dakota
posts: 58
reviews: 17
5. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

Thanks for replying back so quickly.

I don't doubt the tribes have invested money in nice tourist facilities, but can you give me a name of any of their campgrounds that take reservations? We are interested in anything an hour away from the 7 lakes basin trailhead. I understand why there is a first come first serve policy and r willing to take chances any night of the week but a Sat. Because we won't get to the Port Angeles area until late Sat afternoon we really really want reservations somewhere in or near northern ONP. Any advice?

Minot, North Dakota
posts: 58
reviews: 17
6. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

re: It's perfectly acceptable to disperse camp in the National Forest. Keep the following rules in mind:

…usda.gov/Internet/…stelprdb5195461.pdf

That's what I was looking for. Thanks. Is it marked well so I know I'm not trespassing on tribal land?

Edited: 2:17 pm, May 11, 2013
Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 4,837
reviews: 4
7. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

Here is another option, they take reservations.http://www.shadowmt.com/ this is at the East end of Lake Crescent. Sites sit on a hillside behind a gas station - store. I stopped there yesterday. Would not be my first choice, but at least you could reserve a site.

Edited: 2:25 pm, May 11, 2013
Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
posts: 6,177
reviews: 6
8. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

Shadow Mountain is an excellent choice. They are fairly close to the Sol Duc Valley and to Port Angeles as well. If you can get a reservation, grab it.

Minot, North Dakota
posts: 58
reviews: 17
9. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

Thank you glaciermeadows and kaleberg. You guys are quick. We just made a reservation.

10. Re: worried I will not find a place to camp

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