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-   -   Camping Report: Big Creek Campground, Olympic National Forest, Hoodsport, WA (https://www.fiberglassrv.com/forums/f66/camping-report-big-creek-campground-olympic-national-forest-hoodsport-wa-89251.html)

SnowballCamper 06-02-2019 08:04 PM

Camping Report: Big Creek Campground, Olympic National Forest, Hoodsport, WA
 
2 Attachment(s)
Dates 5/31-6/2/19
Site # 10

I loved this campground and I'll be back. On this first trip it was just me and the dog and cat. Next time I get to bring the girls (they were Girl Scout camping).

It's in a healthy forest that hasn't been cut in several decades, so there are mostly ~12" diameter tall straight conifer trees. What makes it great is that the understory is a healthy mix of ferns, salal, vine maple, and other native plants. I couldn't see through the center of the camping loop to the sites on the other side, but there was no thicket in the way either...very nice!

The $20 fee gets you a fire ring with swing out grill, picnic table, and a gravel spot to park within a couple hundred feet of water and pit toilet.

There are three trails to walk to: The nice stroll that just circles around the campground. A bigger loop around the big creek tributaries. And a breakout from the bigger loop that goes up to Mt. Ellinor (the mountain trailhead has great reviews on google). In contrast to the national parks, you can take your leashed pets on the trails in the national forests.

There isn't room for big rig camping, but a few bigger pull through sites could probably fit a 25' camper. There are no hookups, but water stations and pit toilets that were very clean. No dump station. With the shade, I didn't bother to put out the solar panel (and it was a short trip). Cell service on my cheapo metro pcs was zero (yay).

I explored up FS road 2419, and 014 to the trail heads. There are a few places you could do dispersed camping if the campground was full. However, these gravel roads have some serious potholes and you'll need a strong tow vehicle to make the climb. If you did, you would wake up to an amazing view above Lake Cushman.

Josh and Sonya W 06-03-2019 08:21 PM

Big Creek Campground Report
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SnowballCamper (Post 744144)
Dates 5/31-6/2/19
Site # 10

I loved this campground and I'll be back. On this first trip it was just me and the dog and cat. Next time I get to bring the girls (they were Girl Scout camping).

It's in a healthy forest that hasn't been cut in several decades, so there are mostly ~12" diameter tall straight conifer trees. What makes it great is that the understory is a healthy mix of ferns, salal, vine maple, and other native plants. I couldn't see through the center of the camping loop to the sites on the other side, but there was no thicket in the way either...very nice!

The $20 fee gets you a fire ring with swing out grill, picnic table, and a gravel spot to park within a couple hundred feet of water and pit toilet.

There are three trails to walk to: The nice stroll that just circles around the campground. A bigger loop around the big creek tributaries. And a breakout from the bigger loop that goes up to Mt. Ellinor (the mountain trailhead has great reviews on google). In contrast to the national parks, you can take your leashed pets on the trails in the national forests.

There isn't room for big rig camping, but a few bigger pull through sites could probably fit a 25' camper. There are no hookups, but water stations and pit toilets that were very clean. No dump station. With the shade, I didn't bother to put out the solar panel (and it was a short trip). Cell service on my cheapo metro pcs was zero (yay).

I explored up FS road 2419, and 014 to the trail heads. There are a few places you could do dispersed camping if the campground was full. However, these gravel roads have some serious potholes and you'll need a strong tow vehicle to make the climb. If you did, you would wake up to an amazing view above Lake Cushman.

Hi Alex,

Thanks for a great report. We are going to be heading that way on our way to Canada this summer. Did you also camp at any of the other parks in the area? Was it difficult to find an open space?

Thanks,
Josh

SnowballCamper 06-03-2019 09:31 PM

Other options
 
Josh, Some of the other options around the Olympic Peninsula that we have been to include:
On the coast, Pacific Beach State Park lets you look right onto the ocean. The sites are close together, and full hookups are available. Just walk down to the ocean beach. Reservations through https://washington.goingtocamp.com

There is Hoh Rainforest Campground in the National Park. It is FCFS but there are a couple backup locations on the route to the park. If you are into the massive trees that are mostly only found in the National Parks then this is your spot. Campground is next to a river. No hookups, and their dump station has been out of service for a while. It might be a little too tight for your 25' rig, but that's based on the shadier sites. The more open loop was closed a few weeks ago during our visit. Route 101 can be a bit bumpy at 50mph on the way there.

Then near Mt. Rainier there is Alder Lake Campground, run by the Tacoma Power Authority https://tacomapower.goingtocamp.com/home It is a larger campground with full hookups, dump station, and you're closer to your neighbor. But probably easier to get a spot here than in Mt Rainier, and more services than the National Forest options that are closer to Mt Rainier NP entrance past Ashford.

Good luck with getting a reservation for the peak season. It's our first season with the camper so we're trying to get out before school is out. My impression is that if you don't get the reservation then you just have to be willing to boondock at a national forest when the FCFS campsites are full. But I haven't looked into private campgrounds at all... Hope this helps

Josh and Sonya W 06-04-2019 12:11 AM

Camping in North Washington
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by SnowballCamper (Post 744234)
Josh, Some of the other options around the Olympic Peninsula that we have been to include:
On the coast, Pacific Beach State Park lets you look right onto the ocean. The sites are close together, and full hookups are available. Just walk down to the ocean beach. Reservations through https://washington.goingtocamp.com

There is Hoh Rainforest Campground in the National Park. It is FCFS but there are a couple backup locations on the route to the park. If you are into the massive trees that are mostly only found in the National Parks then this is your spot. Campground is next to a river. No hookups, and their dump station has been out of service for a while. It might be a little too tight for your 25' rig, but that's based on the shadier sites. The more open loop was closed a few weeks ago during our visit. Route 101 can be a bit bumpy at 50mph on the way there.

Then near Mt. Rainier there is Alder Lake Campground, run by the Tacoma Power Authority https://tacomapower.goingtocamp.com/home It is a larger campground with full hookups, dump station, and you're closer to your neighbor. But probably easier to get a spot here than in Mt Rainier, and more services than the National Forest options that are closer to Mt Rainier NP entrance past Ashford.

Good luck with getting a reservation for the peak season. It's our first season with the camper so we're trying to get out before school is out. My impression is that if you don't get the reservation then you just have to be willing to boondock at a national forest when the FCFS campsites are full. But I haven't looked into private campgrounds at all... Hope this helps

Yes, thanks a lot, this is very helpful Alex. We are equipped for boondocking as long as we can get there without destroying the trailer. We much prefer that to congested campsites.

I did manage to pull off our drain hookup once, camping in the Teton National Forrest for the Solar Eclipse. My fault, not paying attention to rocks and turning radius. Fortunately, the valves stayed in place and intact. And I hit some pretty severe potholes during the same adventure. Just have to learn to take our time when pulling the RQ25 off-road.


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