- Caption: Olympic Discovery Trail.
- Written by Dave Helgeson
Editor’s note: The following article is reprinted with permission from the Northwest RVing Blog hosted by MHRV (Manufactured Housing and Recreational Vehicle) Show Association.
Are you one of the many readers of NorthwestRVing.com that lives in Western Washington? Have you had enough of the wet soggy weather and long dark nights this time of year? Then load up the RV and head to Sequim, where there is a little less rain and the nights shine a little brighter through the first week of January.
Since Sequim lies in the rain shadow of the lofty Olympic Mountains, the town and surrounding area receives less than half the annual rainfall of Seattle aka “Rain City”. Less rain equates to drier weather and more opportunities for active RVers to enjoy the outdoors.
During the day enjoy a hike or bike ride off the extensive paved Olympic Discovery Trail, harvest crabs during the winter crabbing season or enjoy some beachcombing on the 5.5 mile Dungeness Spit.
At night there is no need to retreat into your RV as there are two huge Christmas light displays to brighten your night. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe hangs over 3 million Christmas lights between their properties at River Bridge Park and Blyn at the south end of Sequim Bay. Each area is free for the public to stroll through and enjoy the lights. Since you are in the rain shadow you can likely leave the umbrella in the RV!
With December being the off-season, campgrounds are uncrowded, negating the need for reservations, and allowing you to make this a spur of the moment RV trip that fits your schedule. Make it a weekend RV getaway for the whole family as there is something for everyone to enjoy.
When you go
Olympic Discovery Trail: For the most part, the trail follows the route of an old railroad grade stretching from Port Townsend to LaPush. Multiple trailheads allow you to select a portion of the trail that is right for you and your family. Many portions are ADA compliant. The trail runs right through Sequim Bay State Park, is across the street from the RV parking at 7 Cedars Casino and is a short drive down the road from the Dungeness Recreation Area campground.
Crabbing: Crabbing is open in Sequim Bay and surrounding areas (WDFW Area 6) through December 31st, 2021. Since Sequim Bay is sheltered from the Straights of Juan de Fuca by two interlocking sand spits, the water is typically calm and tranquil for those on or near the water this time of year. If you don’t have a boat to drop your crab pots from, the John Wayne Marina allows crabbers to crab off their Breakwater Float near the opening of the breakwater. The gate to this dock (float) is open to the public from 6AM to 10PM. There is a cleaning station with running water on the dock for your convenience.
RVs are allowed to park in the boat trailer parking lot during the day at no charge, overnight camping is prohibited. Having your RV there makes for a convenient spot to take a break and warm up while you are waiting for crabs to crawl into your pot. Click here for complete rules and regulations. The lot is relatively level and is just a short walk from the dock. There are restrooms and a restaurant available at the marina for those that want to leave their RV at camp. While you are there, keep an eye out for harbor seals at the marina as they frequent the area.
Christmas Lights: As mentioned, there are two large displays of Christmas lights on the outskirts of town. On the west side of Sequim is the Railroad Bridge Park. The park features a wood railroad bridge built in 1915 which, along with the approach ramps, is festively adorned with Christmas lights. Look for the signs off Hwy 101 or let your onboard navigation guide you to N48°05.120 W123°08.808. It is best to visit via your tow vehicle or dinghy as access and parking is limited. 24-hour RV parking is available at the nearby Walmart if you need somewhere to leave your RV while you visit Railroad Bridge Park. Note: Bring a flashlight or have your phone ready to provide light as the approach to the bridge from the parking area is not lit. Southeast of Sequim you will find many more Christmas lights across the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s properties in Blyn.
Sequim Bay State Park: Offers full hook up and primitive campsites for RVs. The park offers many hiking trails along with direct access to the Olympic Discover Trail. The Park also contains nearly a mile of shoreline for those that enjoy strolling the beach (tide permitting). While there, make sure and walk down to the boat launch at night and look to the south end of Sequim Bay for an impressive view of the Blyn Christmas lights reflecting over the water.
Dungeness Recreation Area: Offers 66 primitive forested campsites, a stunning view of the Straights of Juan de Fuca, easy access to the Dungeness Spit and a variety of hiking trails in and around the campground.
Cedars Casino: Allows RVers who are Totem Rewards Members, or you can sign up for free to become one, to park overnight for free in their RV Lot. They offer 8 water / electric sites as well as a dozen of non-hookup sites on a first come first served basis. The parking lot is paved and set back from the highway providing a quiet nights sleep. If you don’t have auto levelers on your RV, be sure to bring an ample supply of leveling blocks as there is a considerable slope to the RV parking lot.
Author: Dave Helgeson, DaveH@northwestrving.com Dave Helgeson is the MHRV show director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.