Our Opinion: Neutral? Recommend? We have mixed feelings. A somewhat scruffy campground – crowded when full - with good services, in a fabulous location. The great weather was important for a fun stay.
Date of Stay: August 1-4, 2011
Weather During Stay: Beautiful sunny days, or morning clouds and afternoon sunshine, occasional fog. Highs around 70, lows around 50.
Site Description: The site we reserved (340) was wide and level, with a front view out over the water towards Ft. Casey on Whidbey Island. Too bad for us, the neighboring site (341) was quite narrow, so we had a VERY close neighbor for most of our stay.
The 46 sites are priced according to size and view. Two sites are dry camping; the remaining 44 sites are level FHU (30 amps) on scruffy beach grass and/or gravel, with good cable TV and reasonably fast WiFi included in the fees. Picnic tables are scattered around. No fire rings. Roads (paved) are very narrow, designed way before big rigs were invented!
Sites are either “on the point” (of the small peninsula where the park is located) or “in the loop”, two rows west of the point, and are priced according to location. Sites 338 through 347 are in the front row of the Loop, with an unobstructed view; the view from the second row is blocked by those of us in the first row. Seven of the 24 sites on the Point are designated “waterfront” and are parallel to the water; for those you pay a premium price. The remaining sites on the point have somewhat obstructed views. (Click here to see map.)
The campground is part of a much larger complex that includes a small marina, the port administration building, a couple of restaurants, etc., all in historic old wooden buildings. It is an interesting and busy place, with open access to the public - people come to walk the beach, launch kayaks, bird watch, sit on benches watching the watercraft go by and generally enjoy the waterside ambiance. Campsites are amongst it all.
Rate: $52/night for point waterfront sites. $35/night for non-waterfront point sites and for the first row (waterfront) of the loop (this included our site). $27/night for the second row of the loop. 2 weeks maximum stay. Winter rates are lower ($35/$30/$27), with no stay limit (Oct-April). The two dry camp sites are $20 year round. Add a $7 reservation fee.
Phone/radio/TV: Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard. We used their WiFi while here, and it was usually reasonably fast. No obstacles for roof-mounted satellite TV dish, and they offered dozens of stations on cable TV. NPR on 88.5 from Seattle.
Elevation/Landscape/Terrain: This is a sea-level park with a northern beach feel. GREAT views of water and boats of all sizes. We were blessed with sunshine, so could see massive, snow-covered Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier, along with many peaks of the Cascade range, in the distance. Our waterfront site was expansive; views from many of the other sites would be less appealing.
Lighting/Noise: Moderate night lighting, but our very nearby neighbor liked to leave his porch light on (20 feet from our bedroom). Very quiet at night except for the occasional foghorn or bell and raucous seagulls. Quite a bit of daytime noise, human and vehicular.
Favorite Sites: We liked the sites in the front row of the loop - great views, and most were reasonably wide. Our favorites were 338, 339, 344, 345, 346 and 347. If you don’t mind paying more, the seven premium “point” sites run parallel to the water, so have a neighbor on just one side… but for $52? Too steep for us.
Hiking/Walking: Great. Walk the rocky beach (clear to Ft. Worden State Park, possibly) or anywhere in Port Townsend.
Comments: This campground is all about location, location, location. Great waterfront access and views, on the far end of the charming town of Port Townsend at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula. The park itself, though, is nothing special; narrow roads, some crowding, and lots of road and foot traffic. With the lovely weather we had during our stay, I really enjoyed the park. Bad weather would be a really disappointment, because the view is what makes this park worth the price. I would return for the view and easy access to Port Townsend; Odel preferred the Port Townsend Elks Lodge or the Escapee Park in Chimacum, 6 or 8 miles away.