Kalaloch at Olympic National Park Camping with Kids

We spent 2 nights camping at Kalaloch Campground at Olympic National Park. I’ve read and watch great things about the Olympic National Park but I haven’t made a visit. When I found a campground opening for 2 days at recreation.gov, I snag it.

The campground is 3 hours from us. We took a short lunch break in Montesano by the playground and let the kids and dog run around before getting back in the car. We stayed at campsite A16, overlooking the ocean. The campsite is small and barely fit our 6 person Core Block Out Tent, but the view is pretty amazing. We made sure to put the rainfly on the tent since we know that it will rain through out the day.

Ocean Front View

After setting up the tent, we walked towards the ocean. It was very sandy. The Kalaloch tree of life is within a short walk. It was interesting to see all the roots hanging between the rocks, but the kids were not that impressed. We went back to our campsite when we felt the drizzle coming in. We are hoping to be able to have dinner before it pour down.

Sandy Beach
Kalaloch Tree of Life

We had the same dinner of red pasta with bread. This time we made sure that we have marshmallows, chocolate and crackers for our “s’mores”. MBP asked for it from our last camping trip in Deception Pass. AHP just ate chocolates. We then “hike” around the campsite, and play by the amphitheater.

It started raining, so we just hang out inside the tent and play MBP’s story time chess, until we start our bed time routine. MBP slept well, but AHP still struggled. This time he didn’t want his sleeping bag. It was actually easier since I just put it on top of him instead of zipping him up. It rained through the night. When it stopped raining, I opened the tent door window for a bit, to get more insulation inside.

The next morning, we had cereal for breakfast, as requested by MBP, and then we headed back to the beach. We then head back to the campsite for lunch which was mac and cheese. The boys and I walk around the campsites until lunch was ready.

The trail from the beach

After lunch we drove 1.5 hour to Hoh Rainforest. The park was busy even during the weekday. We missed the Ranger led walk, but we ended up hiking 3/4 of a mile on the Hall of Mosses. It was awesome. MBP did it all by himself and AHP goes back and forth from walking to his carrier. We were lucky because it only drizzle during the hike, but pour down rain on the end of our hike.

Little hikers. MBP walked the entire 3/4 of a mile

The boys napped on our drive back to the campsite. I can tell that they were exhausted from the hike. It was cloudy the rest of the day so we were able to hang around the campgrounds. The kids love playing in the amphitheater until we start our bed time routine.

The next morning, we packed up and was able to get out by 9:30AM.

Overall, it was a good trip. It could be better if it didn’t rain on us, but it was our first time camping in the rain and we survived. I would say, if we ever go back, I would stay longer. There’s just so much to see. I would have love to see the Ruby beach (which was close), do more hikes and go to the hot springs.

Maybe next year?

Deception Pass State Park Camping with Kids

We spent 3 days camping at Deception Pass State Park to start the summer of 2022. This camping trip was booked 9 months ahead because camp sites tend to fill out. The campsite cost us $32/night + $8 of reservation fee, which totals to $72. My parents and my sisters were supposed to come, but my parents got COVID. So it was my husband and I and our 5 and 2.5 boys along with our corgi.

We totally lucked out of the weather while camping. We arrived on Sunday around 2PM. We booked two side by side campsites, but since my parents and my sisters can’t come, we have the entire campsites ourselves. Mr. MMD and I set up tent and the kids “helped”. They took turns staking down the tents. Our sites are very close to the bathroom and water, which I definitely appreciate.

Tent set up

We spent the rest of the afternoon at Cranberry Lake. Deception Pass State Park is a huge state park, with about 4 main campsites. We chose the one closest to Cranberry Lake since the lake gets warm enough to swim in.

Busy Sunday at Cranberry Lake

We head back to the campsite to prepare dinner. Mr. MMD prepared our meal ahead of time at home. This way, he just need to heat up our food and we only need to bring one pot. We had pasta with red sauce and mushroom. The kids surprisingly ate more, especially MBP. We tried to keep the bed time routine the same, but AHP and MBP still didn’t sleep until 9PM. AHP had a difficult first night since he also missed his nap. Surprisingly, he was his normal self in the morning. Once the kids were in bed, I did some camping chore and cleaned up the dishes. I also went to the West Beach and captured the gorgeous sunset.

Capturing the sunset at West Beach

We explored the North Beach the next day, and found the Amphitheater, which was overlooking North beach and has a view of the bridge. It was a great sight. The boys and Leela, our furbaby, spent the morning in the tides, throwing rocks. We saw a washed up crab as well. MBP tried to throw the bigger rocks. I stacked some rocks, which the boys dubbed as stone man.

North Beach

After lunch, we spent the afternoon cooling off by the lake. It wasn’t as crowded as the Sunday crowd. By this time, I can tell that AHP is tired and yawning a lot. He pushed through though. We left to attend the first ranger program and learned about elephant seals. It was actually pretty interesting. The boys made some elephant seals craft after the presentation. The boys had a lot of fun.

I took the boys for a quick shower while my husband prepared dinner. It was beef stew that was prepared at home and was frozen. We put it in the cooler frozen, just in time to thaw for the next day dinner. It taste just as good. The boys were eating more than normal, which was great but we definitely to need to pack more food next time. We had some down time inside the tent after dinner while my husband showered. MBP was busy looking through his junior ranger activity book and AHP just roll around inside the tent from one sleeping pad to the next. We attended another junior ranger program / activity craft. The kids made a Vulture Turkey followed by a ranger talk. AHP won’t seat through it, but MBP was into it. He was raising his hand, asking some questions. I learned something new, like the length of their wings spanned 6ft. So they are long around 12 ft in total. But what’s really interesting is that they are scavengers. They feed through dead animals. They don’t get infected by rabies or any diseases from the dead animals.

The Amphitheater, overlooking North Beach

It was basically bed time when we got back. We tried to put the kids a little early but they still didn’t sleep until 9. The good news – they both slept through the night. It was a little cold though and my husband and I were both worried that the kids were cold. MBP was good at sleeping inside his sleeping bag but AHP was not. We have to reposition him to make sure he was inside. I was also worried that their sleeping mat wasn’t insulated from the ground. It didn’t seem to affect them though and was still upbeat the next day.

For our final day, I put 4 sleeping pads and 4 sleeping bags back to its sacks, while my husband prepared breakfast. The boys were “helping” me on the chore. I find it is easier to pack up and keep the kids contain inside the tent while packing up everything inside the tent. We had breakfast and gave MBP some screen time so we can pack up. Thankfully, 2 adults, 2 kids and one corgi fits and we got out at 10:30 right before the 11AM check out.

We definitely enjoyed our stay here. It’s a great mix of water activities, like swimming in the lake and playing with the tide pools. It was also the kids first ranger program and they definitely enjoyed it. We’ll plan to go back next year and perhaps mix in a little hike.