By Brooks Rice via Unsplash
By Brooks Rice via Unsplash

The Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, Department of Fish and Wildlife and Department of Natural Resources announced that camping in 22 counties have reopened for visitors beginning this week. Counties reopening for camping are all actively in Phase 2 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s “Safe Start” plan and have also been approved for camping by county officials. 

The public should check state agency websites for the status of individual campgrounds and dispersed camping. 

State Parks 
The reopening applies to campgrounds and various marine facilities. A list of open campgrounds and marinas can be found on the State Parks website, parks.state.wa.us/.

Cabins, yurts and other overnight accommodations remain closed until further notice. Group campsites will remain closed as well.

Visitors with reservations for overnight accommodations that are not opened will receive a full refund for their trips scheduled during the closure. Parks will contact affected campers. No action is required by reservation holders.

Campers are advised to make reservations for camping at a state park. This ensures they will have a camping spot when they reach their destination and reduces interactions with staff. 

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
WDFW campgrounds will reopen, as well as dispersed camping at wildlife areas for counties that have approved camping. A list of open campgrounds is available on WDFW’s website, wdfw.wa.gov/about/covid-19-updates.

Campers and recreational vehicles should be self-contained, as WDFW lands do not offer draining or dumping facilities. Campers are advised to bring their own supplies, including water, soap, hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

Washington State Department of Natural Resources
Most DNR-managed campsites will reopen on a rolling basis. Whether or not a campsite is open depends on the location of the site and any maintenance needed. Most campsites on DNR land are on a first-come, first-serve basis and do not have running water. Visitors should make sure campsites are open before heading out and have multiple backup options if a desired campsite is full. Campers should also be prepared to take care of all their personal hygiene needs.

Residents are also reminded to help to prevent wildfires by never leaving a campfire unattended. If it is too hot to touch, it is too hot to leave. Always check for burn bans before lighting a campfire. And, only use DNR-approved fire rings (circular metal rings with grates) found in many DNR campgrounds. No dispersed camping fires are allowed. 

Check the dnr.wa.gov/open page for more details on what day-use areas and campsites are open.