Leavenworth has had a major come-up in the past decade, and I now consider it one of the most fun cities in the state of Washington! Many think of Leavenworth as a resort town, but my favorite way to visit the city is actually camping. Camping in Leavenworth is tons of fun! You get to enjoy this incredible area where Eastern and Western Washington meet, and also some campsites are walking distance from town where you can enjoy all the amenities of this quaint tourist town. There is so much to do while camping here, and I want to tell you all about it!
About Leavenworth, Washington
First, let’s get to know Leavenworth for those who aren’t familiar!
Leavenworth is a Bavarian-themed town about 30 minutes east of Steven’s Pass, Washington. There is the bustling downtown area packed with adorable shops, delicious restaurants and breweries. The scenery is stunning, with riverfront and mountain views to enjoy in the same panorama, and hikes galore. Leavenworth is famous for their fun seasonal activities, from traditional Oktoberfest in fall, to the tree lighting ceremonies around Christmas. With only a 2-hour drive to get you there from Seattle, it can accommodate anything from a quick day trip to a fun vacation getaway, any time of year!
Where to Camp In Leavenworth
With the growing popularity of Leavenworth (and the greater Seattle area in general), finding lodging in Leavenworth can be a nightmare. I have turned to camping near Leavenworth as a personal solution to the lack of available vacation rentals, and you know what?! I prefer it to most hotels in the area!
Both are located towards the east end of town and have their own advantages. Camping at the Leavenworth KOA would be ideal for someone looking for more amenities, such as a store, firewood for sale, a pool, and activities for the kids. KOA’s are awesome for families! The Alpine View Campgrounds tend to have better prices and availability, and are more of a simple spot to pitch your tent or hook up your RV. For walkability, Alpine View wins too.
If you are finding these parks full (possible during summer or Oktoberfest season), there are a few options to consider that aren’t walkable, but are a short drive. Wentachee River County Park and Icicle River RV are great alternatives to find campsites close to Leavenworth where you can easily make your way in to town for the day.
What to Enjoy While Camping in Leavenworth
There are some obvious things people come to Leavenworth for, with shopping, beer and brats leading the charge. Don’t get me wrong, I love to grab a pint from Icicle Brewing, I will NEVER leave Leavenworth without a brat from Munchen Haus, and I buy something from Pine Hill Mercantile EVERY TIME. But, I think there is much more to this town than you can get from just a walk down Main ST!
Outdoor activities are on top of my list in this area, with great options for hiking, white water rafting, swimming, and more! We often will head early down to the Waterfront Park and find a sandy spot to picnic and spend the day (a great spot to paddleboard or kayak too!). We also love the Penstock trailhead, and will hike until we find the perfect spot to climb down to the water for an icy dip. If you do swim in the Wentachee River, please DO WEAR A LIFE JACKET! The rapids are fast and the water is shockingly cold… it is considered an area to practice upmost swimming safety.
Lastly, if you are debating camping in Leavenworth, visit their calendar of events! They offer fun art festivals, live music in the square, farmers markets and more. We visit Leavenworth year round, and have enjoyed it all from Memorial Day Weekend trips to Christmas Week when ankle deep in snow.
Do you have any questions for me about camping in Leavenworth? Drop me a line, I am happy to chat!
X.O. – Abbey Co.
P.S. – If you know me, you know that I am always trying to do everything as sustainably as possible. And camping gets no exception! Here are some of my favorite items I use to reduce our family’s footprint while enjoying nature.
*Disclaimer* I am an Amazon affiliate and get a tiny kickback if you purchase anything from my links… I only share things that I use and love, and it is just a small avenue for me to earn money to support my blog as I go.
Abbey’s Campsite Favs
I love solar lanterns! Just leave them on your picnic table to absorb light during the day and you are all powered by night.
So many people bring one-use silverware camping and it makes me crazy! Opt for something lightweight and sustainable like these bamboo sets – they also pack up amazingly if you want to bring them on a hike or picnic!
Never mind that coffee made by French press is delicious anyways, but it is also the most sustainable way to make the beverage using no filters or pods. A heavy duty metal French press is a staple of our campsite!
And what would good coffee be without the perfect receptacle to enjoy them in? I love our Yeti mugs as they keep your beverage warm for hours on those chilly campsite mornings! Plus, they double great as soup and coco mugs too.
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