Camping on Vashon Island – Ultimate Guide

Sweet Alyssum Farm - Vashon Island Camping

Vashon Island is a great place to go camping. With our beautiful environment, amazing beaches and lush surroundings, camping on Vashon Island has never been more fun or more memorable.

Where to Camp on Vashon Island

Vashon Island has some great, unique camping experiences. Here are some great options to camp on Vashon Island:

Sweet Alyssum Farm - Camping at a flower farm on Vashon Island

Sweet Alyssum Farm

Camp at a working flower farm on Vashon Island. Check out everything you need to know about camping at Sweet Alyssum Farm here.

Camp Burton - Vashon Island - cabin

Camp Burton

Camp Burton is great for summer camps as well as other events on Vashon Island. Find out more about Camp Burton camping here.

AYH Ranch - Vashon Island - teepee camping

AYH Ranch

Camp on Vashon Island at AYH Ranch. Find out more about camping at AYH Ranch on Vashon Island here.

Vashon Eagles Club

A great place to camp on Vashon. Close to town and some great amenities. Learn more about camping at the Vashon Eagles Club here.

Maury Island Marine Park

Have fun camping next to the Puget Sound! Maury Island Marine Park details coming!

Outdoor and Backcountry Dining Services

Have you ever had your weekend camping trip meals prepared by a chef?  Check out these Vashon Island outdoor and backcountry dining experiences:  

Sweet Alyssum Farm - Vashon Island Camping

Windward Adventures

Windward Adventures has teamed up with Sweet Alyssum Farm to bring you a dreamy camping package on Vashon Island. Delicious meals prepared for you. Find out more about Windward Adventures Vashon Island outdoor dining services here.

Types of Camping on Vashon Island

Below are some types of camping that are available on Vashon Island. Vashon is a great place to camp. Quiet (for the most part), peaceful and laid back. Camping on Vashon Island is a special way to connect with nature… and yourself. 

Tent Camping

The most basic and popular type of camping is of course tent camping. It involves heading to a park, pitching a tent, and sleeping there for a few nights. You can choose to stay on a campsite, in the woods, a beach, or anywhere else you desire.

Tent camping is a great option for those new to camping, and that want to get started without spending a lot of money. It’s also good for families with children as it creates time for bonding and learning how to work together.

RV or Van Camping

Camping in an RV or van combines the pleasures of getting outside and getting close to nature, along with the accommodations of a small hotel. As many call them their “house on wheels”, they also provide a means of transport during your travels.

Some may say it’s not really camping at all yet it’s perfect for people who like a little luxury and those who are retired. By traveling in your own vehicle, you’re much more mobile and anywhere you park becomes your campsite. You’re also protected from the cold, heat, and bad weather. Not to mention many RVs or vans have stoves, fridges, and a full bathroom.

The primary downside is that vehicles cannot go everywhere that someone on foot or in a kayak or canoe can go. Access to true wilderness is more limited.

However, RV or van camping can also open you up to the entire country by setting off on short weekend trips, extended road trips, RV living, or van life.

You can choose to rent an RV with Outdoorsy, to get an idea of what it’s like.

Backpack Camping

Backpacking involves spending the day carrying all your gear and equipment on your back, traveling through nature. Then, you sleep outside in a tent or hammock. These kinds of trips can last anywhere from one night, to several months.

This type of camping allows for a level of self-sufficiency and the ability to spend time away from the stresses of day to day life and instead closer to nature.

You’ll need to plan your trip and let someone know of your plans in case any emergencies happen and you don’t return. Then, they can alert authorities to initiate a search and rescue.

Another important consideration is the weight of the materials you plan to take with you. With everything on your back, you’re going to want to pack ultralight gear. This also means careful packing of your backpack and what you plan to take with you.

Car Camping

There’s a lot of people out there who want to go camping, but don’t think they have the gear or all the right stuff to go. The truth is you don’t need a whole bunch of stuff, you only need a few things and you probably already have several of them.

Car camping is the perfect solution as you can use whatever you already have at home. Many hatchback cars work perfect for this by folding down the seats for more room inside. Lay down a sleeping pad or some blankets for cushioning, and you’ve got yourself an area to sleep.

It’s not the most glamorous form of camping, yet it’s simple and easy to do. If you’re on a low budget or want to try out camping for the first time, car camping can be a great option for you.


Glamping (glamorous camping) combines camping with the luxuries of a home or hotel. Across the globe there are many different types of glamping accommodations available. You could wake up in a yurt on a mountaintop, reside in the forest canopy in a tree house, or take in panoramic views in an eco-lodge.

It’s much more than a nice tent. There’s such a wide variety of different options ranging from villas, cabins, lodges, tipis, and tree houses.

Kayak/Canoe Camping

Kayak or canoe camping brings a lot of the same appeal of backpacking. You get more freedom, self-sufficiency, and other advantages to traveling by water. When traveling by boat, weight is no longer as much of an issue and you can carry more equipment.

Water travel also allows you to travel further and reach places not accessible by hikers on foot or vehicles. You can get further away from civilization and into the true wilderness by kayak or canoe.

These kinds of camping trips are best suited for groups of at least two or more in case something goes wrong. Solo trips are possible with more preparation.

In addition, it’s important to consider that rainfall can significantly change water flow. A gentle stream could become quite dangerous after heavy rainfall or with storm winds.

Overall this is a great way to explore nature and enjoy the peaceful waters. Before you go, make sure you’re aware of the weather forecast and prepare ahead of time.

Winter Camping

Winter camping is not for the faint of heart. You’re going to need some courage, self-sufficiency, and skill. If you can handle it though, it comes with some perks. With less bugs and smaller crowds you can experience a true winter wonderland.

However, if you’re not prepared it can be quite cold and challenging. For a successful winter camping trip you’ll want to get some experience with regular weather camping, and adjust for the additional challenges of colder temperatures, unpredictable weather, and snowy landscapes.

Bicycle Camping

For those who want to camp with minimal environmental impact or disruption to nature, bike camping can be a great option. This type of camping also offers the ability to access areas inaccessible by car or RV. Traveling on a bicycle becomes an adventure, similar to backpacking where you can get an escape from reality.

You’ll need self-sufficiency, lightweight quality gear, and a proper bike.

Of course, most people will not be using a bike camper on their trips. Although this is a cool design for inspiration and for those who like prepping and camping.

Motorcycle Camping

Similar to bike camping, motorcycle camping takes advantage of an open adventure. By using a motorcycle it makes it a whole lot easier to travel further distances. Not to mention, you’ll have a little more power to carry heavier gear with you. Some people even manage to tow a motorcycle travel trailer or pop up camper!

One thing you’ll need is some compact camping gear for motorcycle camping. You can check out our camping checklist for more packing ideas. A lot of backpacking gear tends to works well for motorcycle camping as it is lightweight and collapsible. To sleep, you can use a tent or even a hammock to keep it simple.

This is a great form of camping for motorcycle enthusiasts who want to experience more of the outdoors while on the road. It’s also a bit cheaper than staying in a hotel.

Adventure Camping

Adventure camping often involves traveling as a group with backpacking gear to various locations over the span of a few days. This is reserved for more serious campers, as it requires a bit more physical activity than other types of camping.

The idea is to hike and enjoy nature during the day, then in the night to find a place to prepare food and rest. It gives the ability to explore new areas, see wildlife, and enjoy what nature has to offer. Not to mention, you can enjoy the wilderness in a minimal way without disturbing wildlife.

Hammock Camping

Hammock camping offers another variation to camping that can be done anywhere you’ve got some trees to attach to. One major benefit is that you’re off the ground, so you don’t have to spend any time looking for a flat area to setup. In addition, it can be more comfortable to sleep in a hammock than the hard ground.

Due to how light hammocks are, they’re a popular choice for anyone who must be conscious of their carry weight. This option can work great for backpackers or those motorcycle or bike camping.

You can spend as much as you like with hammocks. Some offer bug nets, rain covers, and places to hook on your backpacks. Often times, hammocks are cheaper than most tent setups.

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