Your boondocking pictures just make me drool. When I think of camping it's not parking in an overcrowded campground with views of other campers. My dream spot could have other campers, but not as a main attraction. We usually only camp in the fall and early spring here in Washington to avoid the crowds but surely there is someplace we could go during the summer to really camp.
We drove over to Iron Creek in the Gifford Pinchot and while it wasn't full, there was nothing to do except walk around the campground. Whats the point of that.
We usually only camp in the fall and early spring here in Washington to avoid the crowds but surely there is someplace we could go during the summer to really camp.
You'll probably have to go to the same kind of places we have to go to in CA to camp in the summer to get away from the crowds.
Stay away from the coasts and Western Washington mountain alpine areas. Do some research and head inland to the lesser known areas. Some of these areas may be drycamping only, but well worth the extra effort. For instance, we've never been to this area ourselves, but you might want to look for Eastern Washington camping in the Palouse Region of Washingtion - which looks very interesting:
WIKAPEDIA describes the etymology of Palouse as being "unclear" (...unclear to complete dolts in any case). As usual, Native Americans typically are first to be 'blamed' for coming up with the name, "Palouse", for this corner region of Washington State. Easy to believe if you agree that the proto-language of American Indians was _French_. "Palouse" is most certainly derived from "pelouse" (lawn or 'grasslands') which aptly describes this terrain to the present day. It is one of many jokes and "pleasantries" (such as, les Grands Tetons, Gros Ventre, and Prairie du Chien) left to us by French trappers, missionaries, and explorers, by the end of the late 18th century - - before Anglo-Americans ever got a look at the place.
Modern Americans are want to point to commonly used names for American Indian tribes as proof of etymology (...but fail to realize that the French made the Native Americans the butt of their jokes by systematically naming them too!).
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I'm not quite sure what you are looking for in a camping location, but Washington has a lot of options. Most of Washington state wildlife areas offer dry camping very similar to what I consider boondocking (to me it's camping outside a developed campground in remote areas). These locations often have an area defined for camping. Some are in lovely areas with a stream or lake for water recreation if you are an angler. One of our favorite Washington WMA's is near Leavenworth and Twisp.
The US Forest Service has designated campgrounds, but often they are little more than a good place to explore for a better camping location. In Washington, the USFS has MVUMs (motor vehicle use maps) online that show roads and where dispersed camping is allowed. In Washington there are four forests, each with it's own unique rules. The MVUMs have the camping rules printed on the map, and the maps are available on line for Washington and all other states...
... boondocking is the only way to get away from people.
There's one other way - use Mother Nature to your advantage.
This spring we drycamped in two different Southern CA state campgrounds. One was especially pristine and beautiful, the other not as great on scenery - but both had very few other campers present and we were a long ways from the ones that were there. It probably didn't qualify as boondocking, but the camping was away from people.
Why were these CA campgrounds this way? They were inland in the desert and it was pretty warm.
I know it's a long way away from you and not really relevant to your post, but we spent two weeks on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Sep 2011 and we stayed in the SP-CG's and although the holiday weekend was crouded the rest of the time was awsome, most of the time we couldn't even see another camper in the CG (that was awsome).
i guess i'm saying if you can go through the week days before/after school starts you will have a better chance of some privacy.
To add CG's with no hook-ups tend to be less crouded also, as said already it's more trouble to get set up for dry camping but i wouldn't have it any other way now.
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To address the original question we live in Washington state as well.
Summer and good weather brings many out especially on weekends. We are retired and so try and leave weekends for the younger set.
There are many great campgrounds on the Olympic Peninsula all the way around it in fact.
Cascades are great as well. Don't forget Mt Baker, Mt Rainier, Mt Adams and of course Mt St. Helens.
Lake Chelan and the whole of the Columbia and Snake rivers have nearby campgrounds.
Lake Roosevelt and the Northeast part of the state are loaded with camping spots. The Palouse and the Southeast section of Washington is just plain wonderful.
Pick an activity you would like to do anywhere in the state and I'll bet you will find a great place to camp nearby.
I have read your state park blog and enjoyed it. We don't stay in WA anymore. We were turned off by them after making several visits to maybe 10 of them in the past. We got tired of the price, some parks are known better as a "party park" etc... Now that we are retired we are going to give it another try (during the week). Our best trips were to little known places we we've found that we canpick huckelberry's or kick back or whatever. But some campgrounds are nothing more than a parking spot and nothing more IMO. Maybe that is the excitement finding places you like. People are differant. Used to work with a guy that would pull his RV from Everett to the rest area near Elbe and stay there the whole weekend, playing cards with his brothers that come up from Oregon. If you've ever been there, you now it is not very scenic and traffic is non stop 24/7. But to him it was a meeting place to get togeher with his family. And some parks look like they don't offer anything, until you've been there. Example is Skamokawa Vista Park. Looked boring to us until a ship went by.
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