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“West-coast experience with trains and traffic” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Larrabee State Park

Larrabee State Park
Bellingham, WA
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Ranked #10 of 70 things to do in Bellingham
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
57 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“West-coast experience with trains and traffic”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

We stayed for two nights in the campground of this park. The campground is close to a train line and quite a few of the tent-only sites are close to the road as well. Initially we stayed in #24 but switched after the first night, because the site is pretty much in full shade and very wet. The second night we were in #9 which was nice and sunny for the rest of the day and dry. Having looked around the camp ground the sites we'd recommend for tenting it are #8 through #11, #21, #22, #38 and of the walk in sites W6.
Overall it would be nice if they replaced the wooden tables with something that can better withstand the moisture under the trees.

The park itself is nice, with quite a few trails inland, which we didn't see. We enjoyed the tide pools near the beach where we saw lots of critters. The area isn't huge though. Swimming was prohibited for health concerns.

Visited September 2013
5 Thank JJTr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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162 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level Contributor
86 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 29, 2013 via mobile

Nice beach to throw stones and explore tide pools. A good walk down the hill to the beach so mobility impaired would have a problem. Nice picnic areas but as noted by the train tracks. If you don't have a Washington State park pass, you can pay the $10 daily fee at the park with an envelope drop box, so bring exact bills.

Visited December 2012
Thank riflemand
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
49 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Very nice views of the Sound”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2013

Good walking trails and clean picnic area. Plenty of place to park. Very beautiful area for sightseeing.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank Craftybrew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Location Required
Level Contributor
13 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
“not the best campground but not the worst”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2013

Larrabee is in a pretty location. It's a cheap alternative to local motels. Other than that, not a lot of good things to say.

I stayed three nights at a walk-in site and even though the walk is a good 300 feet uphill from the parking area, the sites are far from private. All the walk-in sites are jammed right next to each other. There are split rail cedar fences to make sure you know where your site ends but you will easily be able to see and hear the people camping next to you the entire time you are at your site. I expect this in a car campground, but walk-in sites should be spaced with a little more privacy in my opinion.

As others have mentioned, you will definitely hear trains throughout the night. Not the lull-you-to-sleep sound of a train yard in the distance -- but the very loud train horns and rumbling on the tracks. The campground seems to amplify the sounds via a canyon. I love the sound of trains but even I was unable to sleep through these. Expect to hear four or five trains a night, depending on the night. They last for several minutes at a time.

The car campground itself is pretty crazy. There were kids running wild everywhere. It's like a giant playground. Quiet hours seem to have no enforcement either. The group camp over a ridge from the walk-in sites was extremely noisy well into the night. The camp hosts and rangers did nothing to enforce quiet hours (10 pm to 7 am).

Additionally, even though it was raining two out of three mornings I was there (in August), campfires were banned. I was told all Washington State Parks had banned campfires until the end of September. There are big metal fire pits and the chance of starting a wildfire was laughable (this is wet, rain forest habitat with heavy moisture every morning) so the fire ban seemed a bit extreme.

If you need a cheap place to camp near Bellingham, Larrabee is the place. I wouldn't make it a destination by itself though. There are far better campgrounds in Washington.

Visited August 2013
Thank Pete S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
1 review
“Don't plan to sleep.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2013

If you are staying in a tent, don't plan on sleeping. We counted 5 very loud trains come through and where we were camping in site 45, the ground vibrated as the cars rumbled by. Second night was better after moving to site 4 and sleeping in our car. The state park website should come with a noisy warning!

Issue #2. No working outlets in the bathroom. No power = no hair dryer. Issue #3. The field area above the beach smelled. Possible septic field failure?

All that said, this area has incredibly nature beauty. Spend a few hours exploring - just don't spend the night.

Visited August 2013
Thank Donna N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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