Outings + Activities | Family Fun | Travel

Camp on the Sunny Side: 8 Eastern Washington Camping Adventures

Petrified forests, biking paths, basalt canyons, Lewis & Clark trail and more

horsethief at columbia hills state park
Columbia Hills State Park | Credit: Tara Schmidt (taramarie) on flickr CC

East of the Cascades, camping season starts early in spring and lingers late into fall for one big, blazing reason: sunshine. In this land that’s part desert, part open forest, the clear sapphire-blue sky stretches for miles overhead. Rivers twist their way through narrow basalt canyons as they race to shallow lakes that sparkle in the sun. Rolling hills dotted with sage and wildflowers are criss-crossed with gentle hiking trails. The eastern Washington landscape is warm, dry and very different from its western counterpart.

Camping over here is delightfully different as well. Imagine your family waking up from a tented slumber to watch morning sunlight polish the surrounding basalt cliffs, or noshing on s’mores around an evening campfire on a desert plateau beneath a massive sky full of bright stars.

Where to go? We've uncovered eight of the best sunny camping adventures for families in Eastern Washington.

Tips: If you go, pack extra sunblock and wide-brimmed hats to protect your kiddo’s skin and eyes from the sun’s rays. You’ll want to be aware of the increased possibility of encounters with ticks, rattlesnakes and poison oak over here too, all hazards that are seldom worried about in the Western Cascades and Olympics. Be prepared for the chance of windy evenings by packing along things to weigh down your tablecloth and tent. 

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