This time last year, Park Chasers was planning our first trip to Olympic National Park in Washington. At more than 1,400 square miles it is one of the largest parks on the West Coast. It’s also one of the top 10 most visited National Parks in the entire park system. Because of its size, its popularity, and the location of the surrounding gateway communities, many visitors find camping to be the best option. Understanding your choices when camping in Olympic National Park is the first step in having a memorable trip.
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Camping in Olympic National Park
During our June 2016 trip, Park Chasers camped in two locations: Kalaloch Campground on the Pacific Coast and Heart O’ the Hills Campground near the Port Angeles entrance. These two locations meant we could maximize our time on the trails, see the best of Olympic, and not spend any more time in the car than we had to.
As of Spring 2017, only 2 locations take reservations for camping in Olympic National Park. Kalaloch Campground along the park’s western edge and Sol Duc Campground in the old growth northern forest. Sites are not reservable at Heart O’ The Hills Campground. While there are no guarantees during the busy summer camping season, locals in the area indicated that if you plan to arrive early in the day an open campsite can generally be found.
Camping in Heart O’ the Hills Campground
At just over 100 campsites, Heart O’ The Hills campground is one of the three largest organized campgrounds in Olympic. It’s also one of the most centrally located and about 5 miles from Port Angeles, WA. Visitors to the Heart O’ The Hills area are only a short distance from key hiking in Olympic as well; Heart O’ The Forest, Hurricane Ridge, and Lake Angeles are all popular trails in the area.
Heart O’ The Hills Campground has standard national park campground amenities including flush toilets (no showers), tent pad and picnic table. There are a few campsites that can accommodate an RV up to 20-30 feet.
Directions for The Heart O’ the Hills Campground
Address: Port Angeles, Washington 98362
GPS: 48.036355, -123.429739
Heart O’ The Hills located immediately after the Heart O’ The Hills Entrance Station along Hurricane Ridge Road. Turn left after the entrance station.
Travel Notes for Heart O’ the Hills Campground
- While not as high as Kalaloch and the Hoh Rainforest areas of the park, Heart O’ The Hills still receives plenty of rainfall annually. Plan accordingly as you will likely be setting up, taking down, or spending time in the rain or drizzle. Nights can be cooler in the campground so pack a set of warmer clothes.
- There are plenty of amenities around the Port Angeles area for groceries and camp supplies. The nearest public-use showers can be found at the YMCA in Port Angeles, but plan to bring your own towels.
- There is some cell phone service available in the campground but visitors should not rely on it. Port Angeles has coverage for all major carriers.