Camping at Larrabee State Park

Quick Facts:
  • Washington State Park website:
  • Judd rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
  • Stienstra rating: 9 out of 10, Best for Wildlife Viewing and Best Waterfront Campgrounds
  • Access to water: walkable distance, but no view of the water from campsite
  • Coin-operated hot shower, flush toilets, drinking water source
  • Activities: boat launch, small scenic beach
  • Beach type: mix of sandy and pebbly beach
  • Outdoor Fam rating: 7 out of 10

Larrabee State Park is set on the seashore near Bellingham, which is only a short drive from Vancouver. The campsites are set pretty far back from the day use area where the beach is, so there aren’t any ocean views to be had from camp.

Larrabee State Park. The posted map at the campground is a lot clearer than the State Park website. The blue sites are for RV hook-up, with the center ones being pull-through.

The campsites were fairly close together, and like the other Washington State Parks, the garbage bins are not bear proof. The washrooms and flush toilets were clean.

We arrived first and set up camp in the afternoon. The rangers were kind enough to give us some activity booklets and stickers for the kids.

The beach about 700m from the campsites, through a small ravine and requires a short walk down some stairs which makes it difficult for strollers.

The beach is a mix of sand and small pebbles, and it’s fairly small. The views of the San Juan Islands were nice but nothing that blew us away.

Clamming is not allowed on the beach.

A short trail led us up to a small bluff, which became quite sketchy as we explored further: a sheer cliff was entirely unprotected. We had to go back down the same way we came up.

After our short beach exploration, the grandparents joined us for the evening. For this outing, it was just an overnight stay on our way to visit Moran State Park on Orcas Island. It’s quite a bit of set up and take down for a one-night stay though, so we were sure if the trade off was worth it.

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