Summer is officially here, and one essential summertime activity is camping. We’ve got some lovely camping sites near the Yakima Valley bordering stunning lakes, sitting at the base of the most beautiful mountains, and offering a plethora of locations for recreation such as hiking, swimming, fishing, boating and more.

Yakima camping
Most of the campsites in Washington will require a Discover Pass in order to stay. Make sure to check the requirements of any sites you plan to visit. Photo credit: Seb Hutchinson

Remember, with the hotter months comes fire bans! Make sure to check your local news and weather stations for fire danger levels, and practice fire safety when you are allowed to burn.

Most spots in Washington will require a Washington State Discover Pass to access these areas. Having one in your car is always a good idea, as you will most likely come upon a location where one is required. To purchase a Discover Pass, visit here. You can opt-in for an $11.50 day pass or a $35 yearly pass.

Clear Lake South End, North End and Day-Use Areas

For those who enjoy day trips into the mountains or want to spend a few nights out, Clear Lake offers three spots at its North End, South End, and day-use area.

The day-use area is perfect for woodland picnics, with an awning for undercover meals and outdoor gatherings and several nice spots with fire pits and picnic tables. The day-use area also has a paved loop trail with a few spots for wildlife observation along the banks of Clear Lake and information about the species of animals and trees in the area. It is also host to docks for fishing, so those looking for a spot to fish should mark Clear Lake on their maps but get there early, as it’s popular in the summer and fills up quickly. Clear Lake’s day-use area is $5 a day, with no overnight camping.

Yakima camping
Clear Lake is a perfect spot for water recreation, like swimming, paddle boarding, and kayaking. Photo credit: Jolie Frazier

At the South End of Clear Lake, there is a camping area that is popular among campers in the Yakima Valley, perfect for accessing the lake for water-based activities such as swimming, paddle boarding, and more (Boat launch is not accessible). There is also potable water access.

The North End of Clear Lake is another camping spot that accesses the lake for water activities, with several sites for RV and tent campers available for overnight camping. There’s no drinking water access, but there is access to the boat launch into Clear Lake.

Overall, Clear Lake has several fantastic areas for camping. All spots, overnight and day use, have toilets accessible, as well as picnic tables and fire pits.

Ohanapecosh Campground

Ohanapecosh Campground is a favorite among those who have been there, with incredible views of crystal clear glacier water running through the rivers, a visitors center, and, most importantly, accessible restrooms with running water. Located just outside Packwood and Mount Rainier National Park and is a gem of a site to camp overnight or visit during the day.

Yakima camping
Glacier water flows from the tops of the mountains and through Ohanapecosh, splitting the campground, and making amazing views. Photo credit: Seb Hutchinson

Several trails are located within the parameters of this campground, and with access to Mount Rainier National Park, it’s the perfect place to visit while you camp. Ohanapecosh Campground has spaces for both tents and RVs, running water, restrooms with running water, and is wheelchair accessible.

Ohanapecosh also has several activities, from their visitors center with exhibits on Mount Rainier, local geology, wildlife, and a gift shop, to their amphitheater, where park rangers and educational speakers host seminars, entertaining videos, and activities about the local flora, fauna and geological formations of the surrounding land.

For more information on how to book, visit the Ohanapecosh Campground website. Camping fees do not include admission into Mount Rainier National Park.

Peach Beach Camping and RV Park on The Columbia

Peach Beach Camping and RV Park is a unique spot outside Goldendale, only an hour and a half from Yakima. It rides on the edge of the Columbia River, nestled right next to the bridge where you cross into Biggs, Oregon.

Peach Beach Camping and RV Park is an excellent place for those who don’t necessarily like to “rough it” when it comes to camping, but it is perfect for those who like to take it easy and spend time outside and near the water. With full RV hookups, restrooms with showers, and access to a lagoon that reaches out into the gorgeous Columbia River, it’s no doubt one of the highlight spots for campers around Yakima. Peach Beach Park requests that guests only burn propane fires and respect the rules of the neighboring orchards.

Yakima Sportsman State Park

Yakima camping
Fishing is a popular activity among visitors and locals in the valley! Plenty of camping spots offer ample fishing spots. Photo credit: Jolie Frazier

For those looking to be in nature but keep close by, you can’t get better than Yakima Sportsman State Park, located just outside of Terrace Heights. With two miles of hiking trails, fishing access, a sand volleyball court, a playground, camping spots, and picnic tables, this park is a treasure for those who want to experience the best nature offers.

A Discover Pass is required to visit the park, whether for day camping or overnight visits, so make sure to get that beforehand. Yakima Sportsman State Park is tent and RV friendly, with full hookups, a dump station, and accessible restrooms with running water and showers.

There are so many fantastic camping areas to visit around Yakima for adventure and recreation, but these are some of the best ones around for those looking to stay close or those who are coming from out of town and want to pay a visit to our beautiful forests and natural areas.

It is a good idea to visit the websites of each campsite listed, and note any RV size limitations, fire restrictions, whether you may need a pass, or if you can just grab your sleeping bag and marshmallows and head on out right away. Happy camping!

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