Camping: San Juan Islands What You Need to Know
Looking for camping? The San Juan Islands are a labyrinth of waterways and shorelines in Washington state’s North Pacific area. This scattered island archipelago stretches out toward our northern neighbors offering 300 miles of shoreline and over 170 islands! With such an expanse of land and water, there is plenty to explore when visiting the area. But there’s even more to offer for those of us who enjoy camping.
The San Juan Islands is best known for its whale watching as it is home to both transient and residential orca whale pods. Because of this great attraction, there are plenty of camping opportunities where you can catch a glimpse of these massive and majestic creatures.
But if you’ve come to the San Juan Islands to relax and recoup, there’s plenty of room for that too with its glamping cabins and luxury amenities. Here is a list of just a few of the camping and cabin stays in the San Juan Islands of Washington State.
State Park Camping: San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands has over fifteen state parks making them a great stop for exploring the natural area. Often without hookups or strong cell service, these are the best places to unplug and enjoy the experience of outdoor camping.
County Park Camping: San Juan Islands
At the top of this list is San Juan County Park with its access to rocky shorelines and pebble beaches. A beautiful vista of the blue waters surrounding the island, it is a perfect place to pitch a tent and go camping! San Juan Island County Park is also close to the well-known orca viewing site and lighthouse, Lime Kiln Point State Park.
Open year-round for camping, San Juan Island County Park includes reserved sites and first come first serve options from November to March for both tents and RVs.
Most sites can only accommodate up to 20 feet and have access to both water and restroom facilities.
Not only does San Juan County Park offer waterfront views of the local sea life, but it’s a great place for a picnic with its public shelters, grills, and tables. It also features a boat ramp and beach access!
Here is their website for more information: www.sanjuanco.com/466/Camping-Information
Odlin State Park Camping: San Juan Islands
With 80 acres of land and over 30 campsites, San Juan Island’s Odlin State Park is another year-round park with great amenities and waterfront views. Odlin State Park also offers a chance to examine life on land with its eagle and osprey nests, aspen groves, and wildlife reserves.
This park is a dry camping facility located 3 miles from Lopez Village on Lopez Island. It offers potable water, vault toilets, picnic tables, and fire rings.
It’s also a great space for recreation as it’s located along the Cascadia Marine Trail system. With ballfields and boat ramps, Odlin State Park is sure to keep you active.
Camping sites are available for both tents and RVs, however, larger rigs cannot be accommodated. Please see the local website for a list of open sites and their length restrictions.
For more details check out www.sanjuanco.com/
Spencer Spit State Park Camping: San Juan Islands
With its long list of water-based activities, Spencer Spit State Park on Lopez Island is a must stay. Fishing, clamming, kayak rentals, boating, crabbing, and swimming just to name a few options. But even if water isn’t your thing, wildlife viewing, and beach exploring are always an idea.
Able to accommodate both tent and RV camping, San Juan Island’s Spencer Spit Park welcomes hikers, bikers, group tent camping, and even larger trailers and Motorhomes.
This is a dry camping facility with two restrooms and a dump station for convenience. Campsites include picnic tables and fire pits.
It is said that cell service is limited at this park, so it’s a great place to go off-grid and fully immerse in surrounding activities! However, not great for those needing an internet connection so keep this in mind.
Visit https://parks.state.wa.us/687/Spencer-Spit for more!
Moran State Park Camping: San Juan Islands
Not only does Moran State Park offer five freshwater lakes to enjoy, but also amazing views of the San Juan archipelago from Mount Constitution. It also boasts over 30 miles of hiking trails, 11 miles of biking trails, and for our equestrian travelers, 6 miles of horse trails.
Located in Olga, Wa on Orca Island, Moran State Park is an active campground with a nearby concession venue, summer visitors center, and local tree farm. The campsites themselves feature picnic tables and fire rings.
While this is a dry camping experience with limited cell service, the park does have showers, restrooms, and a dump station.
Both tent camping and RV camping are allowed, however, larger rigs and trailers over 20 feet are not recommended.
Check out their website at https://parks.state.wa.us/547/Moran
RV Camping: San Juan Islands
San Juan Islands State and County Parks are an excellent choice for RV camping but if you are searching for hookups and big rig accommodations, privately owned RV parks are the way to go. Here are two RV parks that advertise partial hookups.
Camping on the San Juan Islands at Lopez Islander Resort
Overlooking Fisherman Bay on Lopez Island this park offers both tent and RV sites and with no length restrictions, big rigs and trailers are welcome. A number of sites include electricity while restrooms and showers are also available.
Campers can enjoy a heated swimming pool and jacuzzi room as well as bike and kayak rentals. And just a short distance away, guests can enjoy the resort restaurant and Tiki Lounge.
Camping without power is $38 for both RV and tent sites and just 20 more dollars to camp with electrical hookups. A dump station is located off site.
For more information about the Lopez Islander Resort check out https://lopezfun.com/
Camping on the San Juan Islands at West Beach Resort
Within walking distance to the beach, these RV sites come equipped with power, water, and restrooms nearby. The only RV park on Orca Island, West Beach is an excellent stop if you are needing partial hookups and Wi-Fi services. Dishwashing stations and showers are also available as dump stations are located off the property.
West Beach Resort is the place to go if you’re looking to bring the family as most sites allow up to six guests. And from whale watching, beach combing, and kayaking to bonfires, motorboats, and fishing, this place has something for everyone!
And if glamping is more your speed, see below for a list of cabin accommodations.
Check out the resort map at https://www.westbeachresort.com/map.html
Glamping Camping San Juan Islands
San Juan Islands is a great place to vacation with wildlife but let’s face it, sometimes you want to camp in style. Glamping is the art of doing just that. Here is a list of some of the island’s glamping options as well as cabins and lodges.
Camping on the San Juan Islands at Lakedale Resort
With over six sleeping accommodations including a fully functional yurt and hotel lodge, this lakeside resort in Friday Harbor, Wa is sure to fulfill any glamping space you’re looking for! Their largest camping cabin sleeps up to 6 people and pets are allowed in both the log cabins and lake house. Don’t worry about bringing your own linens as the canvas cabins, yurts, and lake house all have bed and bath sets. Free showers and restrooms are available to those who require them during their stay.
For those of you searching for a rustic glamping experience, Lakedale Resort has Canvas Cabins and Cottages that bring style and comfort to the outdoors. These waterfront wonders come with a patio area and fire ring. The Canvas Cottage even has running water and electricity.
If you want to take your glamping trip to the next level, the Yurts are a must! Kitchen, bathroom, Flat-screen TV, and even a private patio hot tub.
No matter what option you choose you’re sure to have plenty to do as Lakedale Resort has tons of activities both on land and on water. From outdoor sports courts and craft tents to paddleboarding and fishing, the place is loaded with things to keep the family occupied.
The resort also has a general store carrying any basic needs you may have missed and offers both RV and tent sites should you choose to bring your own accommodations.
See what all they have to offer at www.lakedale.com
Camping on the San Juan Islands at Leanto Glampground
Completely unplug at the Moran State Parks Leanto Glampground in one of their five canvas glamping tents. Tucked in 5,000 acres of forest, this camping stay is sure to connect you with the outdoors. And with five freshwater lakes and over 30 miles of hiking trails, it’s also sure to keep you busy.
These glamping tents do not have running water or electricity and as mentioned before, Moran State Park is known for having limited cell service. So, you are truly getting away when you choose this canvas abode in the woods. However, restrooms and showers are available on the premises.
Drive to the summit of Mount Constitution for views of the Islands or obey your sweet tooth and visit the beloved Sugar Shack. If you have kids, enjoy interpretive displays at the Summer Visitor Center.
Visit www.stayleanto.com/ for details about the tents and the local area.
Camping on San Juan Islands at Lopez Farms
San Juan Island’s Lopez Farm is a beautiful family-owned campground with plenty of green space and comfort. Furnished with a bathroom, kitchenette, fireplace, and communal hot tub, these cozy little cottages are great for a romantic getaway. For those extra special occasions, they offer a deluxe cottage with a king-size bed and private hot tub.
This Lopez Island stays also offers tent nests for those seeking to get closer to the bare minimum. These camping shelters provide the fun of the tent camping experience without the hassle of set up! Let the Warsen’s family do the work for you, with amenities like linens, coffee mugs, a pantry box, and a cooler all waiting for your arrival.
In your downtime, explore all Lopez Island has to offer with beaches, bays, and state parks. Or walk around Lopez Village where you’ll find groceries, bakeries, shopping, and museums.
Cottages and Camping Nests can range from $98 to $245 depending on site and season.
Meet the Warsen Family at http://www.lopezfarmcottages.com/
Camping on San Juan Islands at West Beach Resort
If you’re looking to bring the whole family along West Beach Resort is your place. With some cabins large enough to house up to eight people, this place is made for a family getaway. Choose from beachfront, ocean, or garden views as each cabin provides its own unique outdoor experience.
The Farmhouse is the largest cabin accommodation West Beach has to offer with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a full kitchen, a dining room set for six, a living room, and patio. Utensils and linens provided.
Even if you decided to go solo, there is a cabin fit for anyone. And with a public hot tub, beachside bar, boat launch, and general store this glamping experience will have everything you need in one convenient location.
Like mentioned above, West Beach Resort also allows for RV and tent camping. Please visit their website for more information. https://www.westbeachresort.com/cabins
It’s no secret the San Juan Islands is a place worth exploring.
Just a ferry ride away from boundless land and water adventures, this cluster of islands has something for everyone to enjoy. Come for the whale watching and wildlife and stay for the waterfront cabins and off-grid RV camping, San Juan Islands is a gem to Washington’s northern waters.