Washington state lists parks with bike/hike campsites

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[Updated for 2016 — See30 places to camp for National Bike Travel Weekend“]

Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission launched its new “interactive” website last week at www.parks.wa.gov.

Carter Creek campsites in Iron Horse State Park

Carter Creek campsites in Iron Horse State Park

I immediately tested its “search” function for a topic near-and-dear to my heart — bike/hike campsites. Happily, I discovered that more than a dozen of Washington’s 100 state parks host campsites that are set aside for those who arrive under their power.

The predecessor website never revealed this information.

Bike-hike campsites are commonly first-come first-served, reduced rate campsites reserved for those who arrive at the park by bicycle, by foot, or by kayak or canoe.

Here’s a list of bicycle-friendly and biker – hiker campsites in Washington state parks :

Bogachiel State Park — 2 hiker/biker campsites

Camano Island State Park — 2 hiker/biker campsites

Deception Pass State Park — 5 hiker/biker campsites

Fairholme Campground (National Park Service) – 88 campsites; first-come

Fay Bainbridge Park (operated by Bainbridge Island; not a state park) — 15 tent sites

Fort Townsend State Park — 4 hiker/biker campsites

Fort Worden State Park — 5 hiker/biker campsites in Upper Forest Campground

Green Mountain Horse Camp — primitive tent sites maintained by horsemen’s association

Illahee State Park — 5 hiker/biker campsites

Iron Horse State Park — 4 small campgrounds on John Wayne Pioneer Trail (in addition to 2 hiker/biker sites at Lake Easton):

Alice Creek — Milepost 2127

Carter Creek — Milepost 2123

Cold Creek — Milepost 2113

Roaring Creek — Milepost 2109

Isput Creek Campground (Mount Rainier National Park) — 28 campsites (all first come; wilderness permit required)

Joemma Beach State Park — 2 hiker/biker/kayaker campsites

Lake Easton State Park — 2 hiker/biker campsites

Lewis and Clark State Park — 1 hiker/biker campsite

Manchester State Park — 3 hiker/biker campsites

Middle Fork Campground (US Forest Service) — 39 tent campsites (closed for 2016 season due to road work)

Rainbow Falls State Park — 3 hiker/biker campsites

Rasar State Park — 3 hiker/biker campsites

Spencer Spit State Park — 7 hiker/biker/kayaker campsites

Tolt MacDonald (King) County Park — 22 campsites (reservation and 1st come) and six yurts (reservation)

Twin Harbors State Park — 4 hiker/biker campsites

As you can see, the campsites are concentrated in western Washington. Many other Washington state parks have camping facilities; these are the only ones listed with biker/hiker campsites.


One advantage of biker/hiker campsites is that people traveling under their own power can’t always predict how far they’ll get in one day. If one campground is full, it’s not always possible to pedal through the night to the next site.

Also, many of the bike-hike campgrounds are communal, so there’s always room for one more traveler.

They should be easy enough build. You just need some flat spaces, a fire ring and a picnic table or two. You don’t need a 400-square-foot pad to park a recreational vehicle or electrical hook-ups.

I’d like to see all the state campgrounds have a couple of biker-hiker spots. Virginia, for instance, has a policy that all state campgrounds set aside an area for bicyclists to pitch their tents, even when the campground is otherwise full. The Virginia Bicycling Federation explains the details.

Although Washington state doesn’t have such an official policy, I was assured by a parks customer service specialist several years ago that “they would do their best not to turn away any camper arriving under their own power (hiking or biking) but would find a site even if it was just for the night.”

Other states where parks offer “guaranteed camping” policies include Oregon, California, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota.

Also, see the Kansas Cyclist Bicycle Camping Resources by State.

The National Forests of Washington also are available for  primitive camping.

Washington national forests:

Colville National Forest
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Olympic National Forest


Permanent link to this article: https://www.bikingbis.com/2014/02/19/washington-state-lists-parks-with-bikehike-campsites/


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    • Rob Anderson on February 19, 2014 at 12:20 pm
    • Reply

    There are more Washington state parks to add to this list: Fort Casey, South Whidbey Island, Scenic Beach, Battle Ground Lake, and Seaquest all have hiker/biker sites.

    1. Thanks. Those on the list were the only ones identified on the state website with hike/bike campsites. I’m glad there are others.

      The Dungeness State Park near Sequim had a nice collection of hiker/biker campsites, but that facility is now run by Clallam County. Glad to say the hiker/biker sites are still there.

      If anyone else knows of others, please pass the info along.

    • stew on February 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm
    • Reply

    Fort Ebey State Park has a few

    • Nick on July 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm
    • Reply

    Please cite where you found that Indiana’s state parks guarantee camping. I ask this because last night, I was turned away from Indiana Dunes State Park on my bike during a bike overnight, looking for a campsite. I explained that I had learned Indiana has a no-turn-away policy, and no one there knew what I was talking about, including the attendant, the head of security at the park, and a ranger.

    1. I’m very sorry that happened, Nick. I double-backed and tried to find the information regarding Indiana and couldn’t. I first reported that back in 2012, when Virginia instituted its “guaranteed camping” policy for cyclists. I can only think it appeared in a comment or forum discussion at the time, but that no longer exists online. I emailed the Indiana DNR to confirm that they don’t have such a policy, and I’ve stricken it from this website.

    • Mike on April 28, 2015 at 7:58 pm
    • Reply

    Sequim Bay SP and Salt Creek further west both have hiker/biker sites.

    1. Thanks, Mike. Good to know for anyone bicycling the Discovery Trail on the Olympic Peninsula. Altho not directly on the trail, those parks are within riding distance if I recall.

    • Mary on June 16, 2016 at 2:32 am
    • Reply

    Thanks for this post, Gene. Do you know if hiker/biker sites cost the same as other campsites?

    1. The hiker/biker sites are less expensive. Primitive campsites are $12 per night, while standard campsites are $25 to $35 a night. Camp sites tricked out with electricity are up to $45 a night during the summer.

      All the details are here: http://parks.state.wa.us/166/Camping-Fees

    • Roy A Knaak Jr on March 2, 2017 at 11:24 am
    • Reply

    Larabee state park on chuckanut drive whatcom county also has several bike in hike in only sites.
    I noticed they are not listed… perhaps add them?

    • WE on May 24, 2017 at 2:56 pm
    • Reply

    Washington State law provides the opportunity for the park ranger to accommodate a hiker/biker that shows up to a full campground. It would be nice if it was mandatory, but this is at least a start.

    Chapter 352-32 WAC Definitions
    “Emergency area” is an area in the park separate from the designated overnight camping area, which the park manager decides may be used for camping when no alternative camping facilities are available within reasonable driving distances.

    352-32-030 WAC
    Section 12
    Emergency camping areas may be used only when all designated campsites are full and at the park ranger’s discretion. Persons using emergency areas must pay the applicable campsite fee and must vacate the site when directed by the park ranger.

    • Enzo on July 26, 2017 at 9:50 pm
    • Reply

    We were just turned away from Fort Warden, apparently their H/B sites aren’t communal and filled up. A nice lady overheard this and has let us sleep on the edge of her site. Womp womp. I’ve grown so accustomed to not having to worry about arrival time at a space that claims to be Hike/bike. I wish theee were clear expectations laid out.

    • Evy De Lano on September 16, 2018 at 6:30 pm
    • Reply


    Wanapum Dam State Park has two such sites

    • chris biggar on May 17, 2023 at 10:39 am
    • Reply

    Squiem outside of Port Angeles has 3 hike or bike sites w/ fire pits, $6 for wood. I was there a year or so ago. Squiem also has a beautiful hiking trail that leads you to a long dock where you can hang out and watch the sunset.

    • MT on July 25, 2023 at 6:56 pm
    • Reply

    As of June 2023, Fay Fainbbridge Park has removed its hiker biker sites entirely.

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