Accessible by boat only, Long Island is a refuge rarity for camping. There are 20 campsites in five locations on the island. These, tent-only sites are primitive and available on a first-come, first-serve basis. There is one exception to this rule, during and one week prior to the early archery season for elk, the sites must be reserved. Dates for the archery season vary but are ~ 3 weeks in September, see Hunting page. During this time, campers are required to register and obtain a free camping permit for specific campsites. This can be done at the kiosk in the refuge parking lot across from the boat launch.
Please be prepared! Making a trip to Long Island (whether to camp or just for the day) requires planning and preparation. Daily tidal changes and sudden weather events can adversely affect your trip. The mudflats are messy, difficult, and can be dangerous as the mud often acts similar to quicksand. We suggest bringing a tide table, weather radio, and a reliable communication device (cell service is not guaranteed). Tide chart is available here.
Know Before You Go
- Campgrounds are primitive. Camp only in designated areas. Each campsite has a picnic table, fire ring, and access to a non-flushing toilet.
- A maximum number of five people are allowed in each campsite.
- Kayaks are ideal to access the island. A 6' tide or higher is needed. Land boats safely along shoreline near campgrounds. For more info, visit our Boating - non-motorized page.
- Fires allowed in designated pits only. Burn only downed wood and dowse fires out cold.
- Bears and cougars are on the island! Contain your food.
- Pack it in, pack it out! There are no trash services.
- Water is not available. Bring your own.
- Dogs are prohibited.
- To maintain the quiet, remote nature of the island, gas and diesel powered equipment is prohibited on Long Island.
- No individual or group may camp for more than 14 consecutive days.
- Shellfish Areas are located on the west side of the island. Harvest in public, signed areas only. Be mindful of boundary signs, as many privately owned tidelands surround Long Island and are closed to the public. Visit our Shellfish page for more info.
Campground Information & Map
Pinnacle Rock Campground (5 sites)
Located on the southwest side of the island, this campground is the closest one to the refuge boat launch on the mainland. Traveling south from the launch it is a 2 mile trip one-way. These sites offer a variety of opportunities, from beach-front to bay views to secluded forest. This campground also offers access to the shellfish area (shellfishing license required).
Smoky Hollow Campground (4 sites)
Located in the center on the west side of the island, this campground offers the closest access to the Don Bonker Cedar Grove Trail. Traveling south from the launch it is a 3 2/3 mile trip one-way. These sites also offer beach-front and secluded forest opportunities. This campground also offers access to the shellfish area (shellfishing license required).
Sand Spit Campground (3 sites)
Located on the northwest side of the island, this campground offers great bay views. Traveling south from the launch it is a 5 mile trip one-way. All three sites are beach-front. This campground also offers access to the shellfish area (shellfishing license required).
Lewis Campground (2 sites)
Located on the northeast side of the island, this campground offers access to a large grassland meadow. Traveling north from the launch it is a 5 1/2 mile trip one-way. The campsites are a bit higher up with views of a large slough and the east side hills. There is no access to the shellfish area directly next to this campground.
Sawlog Campground (6 sites)
Located in the center on the east side of the island, this campground offers a more secluded feeling. Traveling north from the launch it is a 3 1/2 mile trip one-way. Our largest and most spread-out campsite, the six sites are paired up and offer a variety of opportunities. Four of them are closer to the sloughs, while two are up on a hill. There is no access to the shellfish area directly next to this campground.
Learn more about camping opportunities in the National Wildlife Refuge System.