*Article by Krysta Carper at Thurston Talk on August 18th, 2022
Middle Waddell Campground and Trailhead
Camping at Middle Waddell Campground is free but does require a Discover Pass. Visitors should buy the Discover Pass before their stay at Middle Waddell Campground and display it on their vehicle’s windshield. There are no reservations at this Capitol Forest campground. From spring through summer, campers must register on-site with the campground host on a first-come, first-served basis. After Labor Day, Middle Waddell Campground is open on a first-come, first-served basis until the end of November, with no host.
Tall shady trees surrounding the campsites at Middle Waddell Campground offer respite from summer heat and privacy from other campers. It’s quintessential Pacific Northwest camping with the bonus of all-terrain fun in the sun.
With three loops, find 24 campsites complete with packed gravel parking, picnic tables for meal times and fire rings to enjoy the space into the night. Most sites are narrow, but are pull-through and suitable for camp trailers up to about 27 feet. There are no utility hookups, so be prepared to camp without all the frills. There are four clean pit toilet restrooms, firewood available and, most of the time, a friendly camp host to help you with any questions.
You can also just enjoy the ATV trails for the day at Middle Waddell. A seasonal day use area is just a short way down the road with a large, paved parking lot, picnic table and campfire ring in one corner.