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No Reservations, No Problem: A Panic-Free Guide to Camping on the Fly

Best no-reservation family campgrounds around Washington State

Lauren Braden

Published on: August 08, 2023

No Reservations, No Problem: A Panic-Free Guide to Camping on the Fly

Campsite at Whit River Campground near Mount Rainier in Washington; last-minute no reservation campsites for Seattle-area families
White River Campground. Credit: John Mundy/Flickr CC

White River Campground near Mount Rainier

Find it: The White River Campground is located in Mount Rainier National Park.

Details: This campground has 88 no-reservation sites featuring potable water and flush toilets. Set at 4,400 feet of elevation, White River Campground opens when the snow melts, later than Rainier’s other campgrounds. Sites right on the river are the most spacious and boast the view of the mountain looming overhead. The Glacier Basin Trail leaves from the campground, leading day hikers to the snout of Emmons Glacier. If you can, time your trip to the wildflower bloom that carpets subalpine meadows 12 miles up the road at Sunrise, usually late July or early August.

Plan B: The Dalles Campground and Silver Springs Campground (Mount Baker–Snoqualmie National Forest) along Highway 410 are reservable but sometimes have last-minute availability.

Next up: Beacon Rock

Image credit: John Mundy/Flickr CC

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