8 Best National Parks for Primitive Camping in Northwestern U.S.

Primitive camping is also referred to as backcountry camping, and this basically means going beyond the comforts of a well-equipped site and moving into the undistracted nature of an area. We like to start with national parks when discussing backcountry camping. We does a solid job of detailing each environment and providing important tips, warnings and resources.

Each U.S. National Park below has a page that elaborates on trails and weather conditions, making it easier to plan a safe adventure. Be sure to review all safety info before setting off on the top primitive camping destinations in the Northwest.

1. North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park is a hidden gem wedged within the state of Washington and a popular uncrowded alternative to other national parks across the country. Vast forests and sparkling lakes define the modern-day Eden. Permits protect the land and help rangers keep track of campers for safety reasons, so you must obtain one, no matter the time of year. North Cascades permits will detail the area you are designated to camp, to prevent overpopulation and usage of the grounds.

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier allows backcountry camping year-round, with a wilderness permit. Campers must follow guidelines on their form to assure they are camping in the correct designated area. The people at the park work hard to preserve the delicate nature and wildlife that makes the area so special, so avoid interaction with animals and follow the “leave no trace” policy, which applies to all parks. Mount Rainier is a lovely place to day hike if not ready for an overnight excursion.


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