Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

winter camping in Washington

Photo: Washington State Parks

Winter camping in Washington State Parks: Try it, you might love it!

With proper gear and preparation, camping can be a year-round family activity.

Try something new: Winter camping in Washington State Parks!

With the proper preparation, a summer tradition could become a great, COVID-safe winter activity, too.

It seemed that camping really exploded in popularity this past summer as a way to give your family a change of scenery during the pandemic without getting on a plane or slogging through a crowded amusement park, for instance.

More than 100 parks are at least partly open in the winter.

You’ll need to do your research: Some parks are open just for day use, but some are allowing camping. Some take reservations; some do not. For details on winter camping in Washington: check the state parks winter schedule.

Obviously, winter camping will come with a whole different set of rules and guidelines, and we do not claim to be the experts on this. However, a quick check revealed that REI has a lot of good resources and so does, to name just a few. Apparently you can even buy a heater for inside your tent. Who knew?

To refresh yourself on group-camping with COVID precautions (and to just enjoy a great read), review “My family survived COVID camping” from earlier this year.

Also, the parks folks point out that their “roofed” accommodations such as houses, cabins and yurts are a way to enjoy the parks with the comforts of warmth, shelter and electricity. (We have to agree.)

Read also: 11 state parks that are great for a fall or winter excursion.

Another resource: 17 tips to make car camping comfortable and successful

winter camping in Washington

This is the Tamarack Cabin at Fields Spring State Park in southeastern Washington. Photo: Washington State Parks


About the Author

Julie Hanson

Julie Hanson is a longtime journalist, South King County resident and mom to a 15-year-old girl.