Reservations for camping at Washington State Parks and other campgrounds are filling up fast as people anticipate a summer of few or no pandemic restrictions. A lot of people want to do the traveling that they didn’t do for a couple of years, and that includes visiting the great outdoors.
There are a lot of “first-come, first-served” campgrounds around the Puget Sound region, like Seal Rock Campground on Hood Canal, where you can harvest oysters. You can also set up camp with an outstanding view of the ocean at the South Beach Campground, administered by the Olympic National Park, or camp among the trees at the Wenatchee National Forest near Leavenworth.
The problem with that type of camping is that you’re testing your luck during the busy, summer season of outdoor recreation. If a campground is full you need a backup plan or you might end up stranded without a place to stay, far from home.
There’s a private alternative to public campgrounds that can be a good way to both camp and explore places you wouldn’t ordinarily have access to. Hipcamp, founded in 2013, is similar to Airbnb in that private property owners offer space on their land to campers for a fee.
The available spaces span the nation, and there are dozens of places in Western Washington alone. You can find places to camp on pieces of undeveloped land or a spot tucked away on a working farm. Sites are available in the mountains, on rivers, and on islands.
You don’t even have to bring your own tent at some places. Hipcamp also features owners who have set up glamping tents, treehouses, tiny houses, and renovated Airstream trailers, if you want something more rustic than a hotel or house, but less “roughing it” than a tent and a backpack.
Some owners offer several campsites on their land, but you can also find spots with complete privacy where you’re the only camper.
Like Airbnb, Hipcamp offers reviews, ratings, photos, and all the information you need to make a decision.