We are leaving San Diego about mid August and want to see Washington State. Our 35 ft Pace Arrow (Saturn toad) is ready to go and this is our first trip to just wander - no reservations or schedule. Any recommendations, inland along the Columbia River Gorge or Puget Sound, Vancouver Island, Whidby Island. For those, would we want to take the MH or just the toad for a day.? Planning 3 to 4 weeks!
As I am sure you know State Parks for the most part are reservation and just about impossible to find sites in on short notice. We come to one that is first come first serve often year around. It is on Whidbey Island. It is Fort Casey State Park. This is it. The ferry goes to Port Townsend. This time of the year on Sunday or Monday you have a good chance of getting a site. There are NO hookups.
Vote for parking in Randle, WA (on Highway 12) for a few days, from there you can see both Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier via the toad for day trips.
If you want to see Seattle, spend the money and stay at Lake Pleasant RV Park and use the toad. Yes, it is expensive, but the best park in Seattle area.
For a great trip, take Highway 12 from Randle, connect with Highway 101 and go up to Sequim. Stay there, do day trips in the toad up into the Olympic National Forest (Hurricane Ridge, etc.), take the ferry over to Victoria (remember your passports) as a walk on for another day trip from Port Angeles, make reservations and take the ferry across from Port Townsend to Whidbey Island (yes, expensive, but not having to drive around Seattle = priceless); then continue on Highway 20 up over the North Cascades Highway to Winthrop, then down to Lake Chelan, then back over the Cascades on Highway 2 (stopping at Leavenworth). Lots of places to stop and see the scenery and visit wineries.
Barb & Dave O'Keeffe - full-timing since 2006 Traveling catpanion Shadow (age 16) Figment II (2002 Alpine 36 MDDS) Mischief (2004 Subaru Forester Toad) FMCA - F337834, SKP #90761 Our Blog
You're going to have some difficulty finding a camping space without a reservation at a state park. I'd call Easton State Park or the private campground next door. It's on I-90 on the east side of the pass, and you'd be able to drive to Seattle in an hour or two. You could try making reservations at the private campground in Tokeland at the ocean, and then drive around seeing the sights there. Finally, there is a private campground near the entrance to Mt Saint Helen's. That is definitely something you're not going to want to miss.
You could also try one of the campgrounds along Hwy 101 west of Port Angeles. I can't remember the names except one that closed, but once there you could explore the whole Olympic Peninsula.
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The Grays Harbor area is definately worth a look see. I like the campgrounds at Mt Rainer NP. We have stayed there several times. Eastern WA in mid August is going to be a scorcher, this is our home base and I can speak from experiance. The Columbia River Gorge is very nice. There is a nice park on the WA side at Hood River OR. We like it even though there are a number of trains. Anywhere in the gorge you will have train traffic as the BNSF is on the WA side and UPSP is on the OR side. Still a beautiful place to visit.
Tom, IMHO the two nicest State Parks in Washington State are #1. Steamboat Rock, (Eastern Washington, Sun Lakes Area) on Banks Lake (about 10 miles south of Grand Coulee Dam) Tour the Dam, last tour starts at 4 PM. and the Laser Light show is at 9:30 PM. Steamboat Rock S.P. has water on 3 sides of it and it's one of the few State Parks that is sprayed twice a week for mosquitoes. You can fish Banks Lake, hike up on top of Steamboat Rock (I did that last May) golf at Banks Lake CG and if you like racing every Saturday Night in Ephrata (25 miles South of Banks Lake, on Hwy.283 across from Walmart) they race starting at 7 PM. They race stock cars, midgets, Semis and last time I was there it was Motocross under the lights. #2. is in Western Washington Cape Disappointment State Park. It's right on the Pacific Ocean where the Columbia River flows into the Ocean. The State of Washington has been spending a lot of money in this Park. It has all the big game Elk, Deer, Bear I've seen all 3 myself and lots of other critters and Birds. If you like biking there's paved bike trails in this Park. There's two Beaches, Two Lighthouses, concerts provided by the State all summer long, Rangers give history talks about the area. The U.S. Coast Guard did life saving drills twice a week when I was there lowering rescue swimmers onto the cliffs. I can't remember the name of the movie (about 5 years ago) Starring Kevin Costner about rescue swimmers, but a lot of that movie was filmed at Cape Disappointment State Park. Great Sunsets and Star gazing at night. Despite the name it's not a disappointment. Most Washington State Parks are done by reservation www.parks.wa.gov or phone toll free 1-888 Campout (1-888-226-7688) if your told any campgrond is full call back the next day because people cancel out all the time, because they made reservations 9 months ago and they don't know what there doing next week. I've always been able to get a spot even when the campground full signs are up. Right now I'm camping at Twanha State Park, (pronounced two-wan-na) it's on the south end of the Hood Canal, I'm across the street and down the road a 1/2 mile from Microsofts Millionaire owner Bill Gates summer house. Twanha is a non resvervation State Park! It's first come, first serve. If you need more info PM me! Happy Trails, Rooster
Along the Columbia River gorge there are many SP on the Oregon side. However beware most sit right next to Railroad tracks. Bend Oregon is also great place, take the Cascade lakes Highway for some great CGs. Head on up through Highway 26 and stop at Timothy Lake for some great CGs also. Then Head up toware Yakima, Washington a pick up some great fresh fruits or veggy at the local stands. Head up toward Mt Rainier NP up Highway 410. Great NF CG along the way and at Mt Rainier NP no reservations at White River CG.
My new DRW and camper on the truck the first time.
We are in Seattle now after the Good Sam Rally in Redmond. We stayed at the Bend/Sisters RV Park in between Bend and Sisters Oregon for a few days before the Rally and it was extremely nice with GREAT fishing in the private lake.
Very clean, very nice, one of the nicest that we have stayed in on this trip and our 45' Class A fit easily. The power actually was good and our coach didn't switch to inverter every 10 - 15 minutes like it does at some places where the power dips to 80 VAC.
Went Fly Fishing on the Deschuttes River by Warm Springs and had a blast.
Mark & Helen Surber
2007 Country Coach Intrigue 530
2006 Jeep Rubicon LJ