Are you looking for the ultimate guide to Whidbey Island camping? Look no further! Camping on Whidbey Island, Washington, is a wonderful way to explore the natural beauty of the region. From rocky beachfront to lush forests and rolling hills, Whidbey Island has something for everyone, particularly if you're interested in exploring the beautiful landscapes of the Olympic Penninsula or Deception Pass State Park.
In this guide, we’ll share all the best spots to camp, tips on what to bring, and advice on how to make the most of your stay. So, grab your tent and get ready to explore all that Whidbey Island has to offer!
Also, make sure to check out Traverse the Pacific Northwest's Complete Guide to Camping at Deception Pass State Park.
Location and Getting There
Whidbey Island is a large island located in the Puget Sound off the northwest coast of Washington state. Spanning over 200 miles, it is the largest island in the continental United States and home to some of the most stunning landscapes and spectacular views in the Pacific Northwest.
Whidbey Island has become a popular destination for camping due to its plentiful campgrounds, picturesque scenery, and close proximity to Seattle and Vancouver. Whether you are looking to spend a weekend or a full week camping on Whidbey Island, there are plenty of options for getting there.
To get to Whidbey Island from Seattle, the most direct route is to take the Washington State Ferries which takes about half an hour. Alternatively, travelers can also take a ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, which is about an hour’s drive from Seattle. If you plan on driving to Whidbey Island, you can take I-5 north to the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry or I-90 east to Edmonds and the Kingston ferry. Once you are on Whidbey Island, you can access all of the Whidbey Island campgrounds.
Best Time to Go
When it comes to camping on Whidbey Island, the best time to visit is usually during the summer months of June through September. Not only are the days typically longer, but the temperatures are milder, making it the ideal time for outdoor activities. The Whidbey Island campgrounds are particularly busy during this time and advance reservations are strongly encouraged.
Another great time to visit Whidbey Island for camping is in the fall when temperatures are still comfortable and the scenery is spectacular. This is also an ideal time to spot some of the area’s wildlife and take part in activities such as fishing and kayaking. With fewer crowds and lower prices, fall can be a great time to enjoy camping on Whidbey Island and all that the island has to offer.
Campgrounds on Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island is a beautiful place. But, as most campers who have spent time there will tell you, there is a nearby Naval Air Station meaning that you may hear aircraft flying over the park which can create quite noisy conditions. This is something you should keep in mind no matter the time of year you're visiting.
North Whidbey RV Park
This is a well-regarded spot for RV camping on Whidbey Island. The campground offers 100 full hookups for RVs and is in a very convenient location: at the entrance to Deception Pass State Park.
Group fire pit
Fully furnished cabins
Supplies for purchase
Fire pits and picnic tables
Cranberry Lake Campground
The lovely Cranberry Lake Campground is a large campsite within Deception Pass State Park. It has over 230 individual campsites to choose from and is very popular in the summer. Of the several campgrounds in the state park, Cranberry Lake is the most popular.
Need to Know
There are more than 230 sites
Not wheelchair accessible
Pets are allowed
Campfires are allowed
The Bowman Bay Campground is another great option in the park. It has 19 campsites and 1 RV hookup close to the beach. This campground also has showers and a restroom.
Cliffside RV Park
The Cliffside RV Park is another great RV camping spot on Whidbey Island. It's right on the shoreline, offering visitors amazing views of the islands and the Olympic Peninsula. You can even see all the way to Vancouver Island.
Need to Know
There are RV sites with full hookups
Tent campsites are also available
There are fully furnished yurts and trailers for rent
At the campground, you can expect:
Restrooms and showers
Picnic tables and fire rings
Quarry Pond Campground
Quarry Pond Campground is the only campground open year-round at Deception Pass State Park. It's also one of the smaller state park campgrounds. If you're headed to Whidbey Island last minute, you're far better off headed for Cranberry Lake Campground as its much larger and you're more likely to get a spot.
Need to Know
There are 60 sites available
Kitchen shelter and gazebo in the campground
Located near Goose Rock
Pets are allowed
Campsites cannot be held for a late arrival
Rhododendron Campground is a small campground on Whidbey Island with 15 sites to choose from. It sits within Rhododendron Park which includes a picnic area, picnic shelter, trails, and restrooms.
Need to Know
There are several nearby trails, like Timber Road Trail, Ballpark Trail, and Grandpa's Legacy Trail.
The bathrooms are pit toilets
Only 3 sites accommodate RVs
The sites cost $15
These are the only campgrounds on Whidbey Island but there some of the most popular. You might also want to check out:
Fort Casey Campground
Vista Group Camp
To Do Nearby
When you're camping on Whidbey Island, there are plenty of activities and attractions to explore in the area. Visit Deception Pass State Park and Fort Casey State Park to explore the natural beauty of the island's beaches and trails. Stroll through historic Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve and take in the sweeping views of Admiralty Inlet. Take a boat ride out to the popular Cama Beach State Park or whale watch out of Langley or Coupeville.
For those looking for a fun-filled day, check out the local amusement park at Puget Sound Park or the nearby action-packed laser tag facility at Laser Quest. For a change of pace, spend the day shopping in nearby downtown Langley or Oak Harbor. Make sure to save some time for a visit to Penn Cove Water Festival for a great opportunity to learn about the cultural heritage of the Island.
If you're looking for a quiet escape from it all, head to one of the many Whidbey Island campgrounds or campsites for a relaxing evening under the stars. With so much to do nearby, you'll never run out of options while camping on Whidbey Island.