Make the Case: Car Camping at Potholes Campground

Still feeling the groove after a weekend on the coast at Kalaloch, The Car Camp Company crew decided to head points east from Seattle. An outdoors buddy who had missed camping the previous week was back in state, and with another pal looking to get out of Spokane for the weekend, we split the difference by camping at Potholes Campground just outside of the Central Washington hamlet of Othello.



  • 3-4 hours from Seattle - always a great trip heading east on I-90, especially now that the construction seems to be finished on the pass
  • If not departing from Seattle, you'll find your route on main highways until the last 30 minutes
  • Not too many places to stop along the way and make it a trip through Americana, but still a pleasant drive


  • Around $60 for 2 nights, plus $10 per car per night (eye roll)
  • Spread out piece of property with mostly RV spots, but they are separated from car campers
  • Plenty of car campsites with all types of surroundings from heavily tree'd to on the banks of the reedy reservoir
  • Exposed sites could be troublesome during windy weather like we had, and we had our own wind problems even with decent tree coverage
  • The rangers really, really care about how your car is parked. We had three cars and had to re-park three times to appease them. Didn't ruin anything, but certainly had that feel of messing with you just because they could


  • Plenty of it, especially if you love birds and fishing
  • Columbia National Wildlife Refuge is just down the road, and noticeably full of animals to look at 
  • Vantage, the Columbia River, The Gorge, Ancient Lakes, Moses Lake - depending on your activity of choice, they're within an hour drive

Overall, even though the campground itself wasn't a vision of #PNW glory we've all come to expect with snow capped mountains and gushing waterfalls, it certainly provided a lovely setting for some car camping. Between the water fowl and various trails, there is a fair bit of nature to enjoy on-site.

If you have a boat, I get coming here on the regular.

Still, most of our time was spent off-site, either on safari in the nature preserve or mountain biking around Ancient Lakes, making Potholes Campground our home base, but not necessarily our dream home. 


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