Situated near Lake Cushman, Big Creek Campground is one of the few, if not the only, state owned campgrounds in the area. It is not horribly far from boat launches at Lake Cushman, is reasonably priced and mosquito-filled. In fact, it is one of the only reasonably-priced areas around Cushman. Lake Cushman is a beautiful area and Big Creek doesn't lose the charm, assuming you go on the trails. This all is located on the Olympic Peninsula, near the Olympic Mountains in Washington State in the USA.


Restrooms are only available as trees and bushes or the dread vault toilet. Toilet paper is usually there, but there is no sanitation. Instant soap is highly recommended. There are no showers, so don't count on coming out smelling civil. There is no trash collection. Potable water is found only at a well-pump located near Site 14. It is probably a good idea to sterilize the water, as in most wilderness areas.

Day Trips

For day trips, you will be required to have a wilderness parking pass, which you can purchase at Lake Cushman Grocery for a small fee. It will grant you parking in the lot for the day, but no more and no less. Effective only on date purchased. If you plan on being a usual, purchasing the annual pass is probably to your advantage, as it is only $30. During your stay, there are several trails to follow, a good deal of which lead back to the grounds. Big Creek's trails aren't horribly difficult to walk, although hiking isn't out of the question if you're willing to be your own guide.


The maximum stay is two weeks. Standard fees are $10 a night and you will not need the Wilderness Parking Pass. There are either 18 or 20 campsites, which don't seem to vary in size. You can park at least three midsize cars in each spot, if not four, though anything over two midsize cars incurs fees (one of the signs, I should note, has an incorrect value on it, removing the decimal point completely. The correct amount you will have to pay (pay when you register for your site) is $5 per extra mid-size car). Within the sites, steel-built firepits, plenty of flat ground, and mostly-level picnic tables (somewhat suitable for an assortment of books and character sheets, except not suitable for pencils and dice) are provided. With the space, you can pitch at least two medium size tents. The picnic tables and steel firepit are nigh-indestructible; I am convinced they will outlive us. Check out time is at 2pm, don't be late or you'll be hit with fees.


The campground may be less full than, 'busting at the seams,' full normally, as we apparently hit it at the peak of camping all year round. Although an outdoor burn ban is in place due to high wildfire possibility, firewood is sold daily in the park. Also, the ranger was very nice and will let you stay in the parking lot if you are in a pinch for a place to stay, without fining you (or, at least he didn't mind me and three others).


Overall, I'd say if you want to save the most money, go up and camp, but show up early for when you need it. They do not offer access to Lake Cushman, which is what we were all about, however, do not let Cushman overshadow Big Creek Campground's Big Creek. Bring everything you can on your own and purchase as little as possible regarding footstuffs, as the grocery is several dozen miles out.

Directions from Seattle, Washington

Note: If you're on the Kitsap Peninsula, you can use these too, you need only drive to the Gorst Curve and exit there by the welding shop, past the mini-mart owned by my Korean neighbors, from 16.

Your first destination is the Fauntleroy Auto Ferry. There are plenty of signs along I-5 and other routes, and the dock is located in West Seattle. I say take the Fauntleroy Auto Ferry to Southworth because it is the quickest way from anywhere in Seattle for the most part. Anyways, hop on the ferry, ride it across to Southworth, making sure not to exit on to Vashon Island. Once you get off the ferry, at the end of the terminal, there will be a stop sign. Congratulations, you're not there yet.

At this stop sign, take a left. If it is the correct road, you should see a parking lot that is fenced in on your left and the larger ferry parking lot past it. If you don't see that, go back to the terminal and re-orient yourself and try again. Anyways, you will end up riding along Sedgwick Road. Eventually, it will make a very long right hand curve, then will straighten out. Hold the speed limit, if not a bit more, as ferry traffic is something like I-5 traffic, horrible. This is a long and fairly hilly road, which you will follow for some miles. Keep following it, until you hit another long curve. This one will be downhill and going to the left. Once you hit the bottom of the curve and hill, turn your right turn blinker on and turn onto the onramp. Enter the expressway and follow it for some miles more. As you enter, you'll be heading uphill, fighting the force of gravity trying to hold 60MPH.

Here comes the important part. You will hit a speed limit of 40MPH somewhere ahead, on the expressway. Head over to the furthest left lane. There will then be an offramp. Get on the offramp. It will quickly lead to a stoplight, so slow down. At the stoplight, take a left. You're going to be following this for many many miles, so keep the speed limit. Eventually, once you past the first school in Belfair (it will be on the left), there will be a large fork in the road. Take the right side. This is critical. You'll then follow this road for a long ways. It will curve all kinds of ways and send you and your mates hurtling alongside some deep water. You'll pass a state park on the right, eventually. Keep going.

Once you go over a bridge, you know you're getting closer to where you want to be. It is not a large bridge, but there are usually fishermen parked on the side of the road. This will lead you to a go left or right situation past a school. Go right. Following this road, you will pass Potlatch State Park, another campground. Keep going. Evenutally, you will see a sign on the right for Lake Cushman/Staircase National Forest or State Park (sketchy memory on the last bit). You will go through Hoodsport and see another sign of similar nature. They're very large, something like 5' by 10', hard to miss for anyone but me. You'll turn left after a gas station. The road is long, but nothing like what you were on before.

Some length past the grocery, you'll encounter another fork in the road. There is a very large sign that has two arrows on the bottom, one heading left and one heading right. Take the right. If you want confirmation, the sign should mention something about divisions on the right arrow. This is a long, fast, fun, canyon runner's road. Following this road, there should be some turnoffs on the left, leading to little parks and one leading to a part of the resort. Further towards where you want to be, there will be a sign that says something about Divisions and group camping. Drive past. Fastly. After all, the speed limit IS 50MPH. You'll run into another right-left situation. Take a left and almost immediately, a right. You should be at Big Creek.