Visiting a place with historical significance is a magical thing. Sure, there’s no shortage of beautiful parks across North America. But knowing the ground you’re standing on was once the field of a legendary battle, a spot regarded as sacred, or the home of an ancient civilization sparks something more. It lights up your imagination and creates a reverence for the very air about you that heightens the natural scenery’s aesthetics.
RV camping in Fort Worden Historical State Park can offer one such experience. Looking for something fun and educational in your next adventure? Read on for all the history, nearby campgrounds, things to do, and everything else you’ll need to plan a trip to remember.
Fort Worden Historical State Park Facts
Appreciate your visit all the more with this quick history primer before your visit. Below are some of the most interesting Fort Worden Historical State Park facts!
- Fort Worden was a base for the US army and navy operations for over 50 years. It was considered an important point for defending Puget Sound.
- Three forts—Fort Worden, Fort Flagler, and Fort Casey—were equipped with artillery batteries to defend the north-western seaboard in case of attack. The three forts were called a “Triangle of Fire.”
- Several large officer’s quarters were built to house the fort’s active soldiers. One such building has been restored to its original, Victorian-era design and can still be toured today.
- The expected attack during World War I never did come. But, the fort was a hub buzzing with activity while it was in operation. It served as a training center for many troops just before being sent to European fronts.
- While most of the Fort’s batteries had been dismantled and sent to Europe for active use by the end of WWI, it remained the Harbor Defense Command headquarters during WWII.
- When all batteries and other armaments were disbanded after WWII, the park was used briefly as a center for troubled youths before being bought by Washington State in 1957 to convert into the historical park we enjoy today.
Best Fort Worden Historical State Park RV Parks and Campgrounds
Let’s find your home base for the journey. Our list of the best RV parks near Fort Worden Historical State Park has five excellent options to settle into.
Point Hudson Marina & RV Park
Open sites next to the beach are the best part about this RV campground near Fort Worden Historical state park. You’re also within walking distance of restaurants and bars in Port Townsend for a night on the town. Shower, toilets, and laundry are available free with WiFi for a fee.
More information: Point Hudson Marina & RV Park
Gilgal Oasis RV Park
If you’re looking for simple, affordable RV campgrounds near Fort Worden Historical State Park, Gilgal Oasis might be the perfect spot for you. This small park has all the amenities you’ll need, a comfy clubhouse with a full kitchen, full hookups with WiFi everywhere. Well-maintained grounds separate each site with grass for a stay that feels like home.
More information: Gilgal Oasis RV Park
Rainbow’s End RV Park
Rainbow’s End is a quaint RV campground 45 minutes away from Fort Worden. The layout and landscaping of the park are the biggest draws. Fruit trees are scattered about the grounds around a small, shaded trout pond in its center for a nice way to spend some downtime.
More information: Rainbow's End RV Park
Fort Worden Beach Campground
This beachside spot is one of the RV campgrounds in Fort Worden Historical State Park. It is extremely popular with travelers thanks to the convenience, price, and location. Some people book as far as a year in advance. Once you do land a reservation, rest assured that you’re in for one of the most coveted bases to explore Fort Worden and Port Townsend.
More information: Fort Worden Beach Campground
Fort Worden Upper Campground
This second RV park in Fort Worden Historical State Park rests in the center of a forested area. It’s the perfect spot to hit some hiking trails and feel a bit more privacy and seclusion in your stay. The site features electric and water hookups and a dumping station nearby. Like the beach, this site is quite popular, so book well in advance!
More information: Fort Worden Upper Campground
Best Time to Visit Fort Worden Historical State Park for RV Camping
With moderate temperatures year-round, there are plenty of options for the perfect date to visit. This handy guide will make finding the best time to visit Fort Worden Historical State Park for you even easier.
RV camping in Fort Worden Historical State Park is a great chance for snowbirds to flee bitter winter winds. The temperature never drops below freezing, even in the dark of night. Winter is also your best chance at enjoying the beachside views all for yourself since it’s the low season. If you’ve never tried off-season RV camping before, this is a great chance to see the best version of winter RV camping
Flower lovers will want to aim for Fort Worden Historical State Park RV camping in the spring. The Fort is home to the Centennial Rhododendron Garden. No matter what point of spring you visit, you’re bound to see a feast of color because of the sporadic blooming times of the over 1200 species of flowers. Aim for mid-April to May to enjoy a peaceful stroll through this verdant garden in full bloom.
A seat plopped on the sand, a good book, and the cool waters of the Puget Sound await your summer Fort Worden Historical State Park RV camping trip. Expect perfect weather that tops out at just 70 degrees Fahrenheit—never too hot in the day and brisk summer nights for a pleasant stay. July and August are the busiest months of the year, so book well in advance, especially if you plan to camp in the park.
Fall is one of the most event-filled times of the year for a Fort Worden Historical State Park RV camping trip. While the park will always be a sight to behold all year, exploring Port Townsend is highly recommended in fall. There are festivals, plays, live music, and museum tours scheduled several times per week. No matter what your interest may be, you won’t find a dull moment in fall!
Things to do in Fort Worden Historical State Park
Things to do in Fort Worden Historical State Park
Now that all the planning is out of the way, time to get into the adventure! Get started with this list of things to do in Fort Worden Historical State Park.
- Walk along the beach. The Puget Sound offers over 1,300 miles of pristine coastline to enjoy. That makes it an easy place to find some quiet solace with a view.
- Explore the batteries. The artillery cannons have been removed, but you can still see the remnants of the bunkers there. Some have underground passages that are open to the public to explore.
- Check out the officer’s quarters. This building was once home to 33 commanding officers at Fort Worden. It’s now a museum that has been faithfully restored to its Victorian-era decor. Get an interesting peek into home life a century ago.
- Visit the Lighthouse. The Point Wilson Lighthouse was commissioned in 1914 after shoreline erosion threatened the safety of the original 1879 structure. It’s still in operation today and is one of the most photogenic spots in the park.
Tips on Visiting Fort Worden Historical State Park
Before you roll out, check out these last-minute tips on visiting Fort Worden Historical State Park!
- Pack a flashlight! The fort’s abandoned bunkers left plenty of dark corridors to explore and peek into.
- A Discover Pass is required for entry to all state parks in Washington state. Consider buying the annual pass even if you’re planning a day trip—it’s just $35 versus $12 for a single day. You could always visit other parks on your way in or out of Fort Worden.
- Quiet hours in the park are enforced between 10 PM and 6 AM. That means no engine generators may be used during this time. Plan accordingly.
- Water hookups are shut down from November to March 15th to avoid freezing pipes. You can still find potable water in the park; just pack a container to carry it.
RV Rental for Fort Worden Historical State Park
That wraps up our guide with everything you’ll need for an educational and restful stay at this fascinating park. Don’t have the wheels to get you there? Cruise America’s got you covered with Fort Worden Historical State Park RV rentals. Their line of RVs has everything you’ll need to enjoy all that the park and Port Townsend have to offer.
Make some memories on the road like you never have before. Book a Fort Worden Historical State Park RV rental