Camp Murray, WA: History and Things to Do There


Camp Murray, WA is located next to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Yet, it has a longer history than that of its neighbor. As a pivotal National Guard base, it saw many wars and has a rich heritage. Now, as a campground, it offers plenty of things to do on your visit, sure to be of interest to anyone fond of the military.

The History of Camp Murray, WA

As early as 1855, during the Indian War, Camp Murray, WA was open for military training associated with Fort Steilacoom. It then became a commissioned base of the National Guard in 1889 and the official state headquarters of the National Guard in 1922.

In its time as a military base, it saw countless missions, including those during the Mexican Border Campaign against Pancho Villa, World War I and World War II, the Korean War, the Berlin Wall crisis, the Vietnam War, the eruption of Mount St. Helens, along with various other natural disaster relief, and it continued to see missions even recently in the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Things to Do at Camp Murray, WA

There’s more than meets the eye with Camp Murray, WA. With its rich history and over a century as the base of military activity, there is quite a list of enjoyable ways to spend your time at the campsite.

  • Old Arsenal Museum
  • Campgrounds
  • Swimming and beaches
  • Fishing and boating

The main attraction at the Camp Murray, WA campsite is the Old Arsenal Museum featuring the Washing National Guard gate entrance with military vehicles galore. You’ll see things like an M47 Tank and F101 Fighter Jet which, by the way, are separated by 134 feet to celebrate the number of years that Camp Murray, WA has been in service. Other distances between artifacts in the museum and campground memorialize Guardsmen who were mobilized, injured, or killed in various missions over the years.

You can make a reservation year-round to visit the Camp Murray, WA campsite, staying for a month in a regular spot or two weeks on waterfront row. Bring your RV or pitch a tent and with amenities like showers, laundry, and electricity hookups available, it’s easy to be comfortable there. Rent boats and go fishing or kick back for a swim at the beach. More than just an homage to military pride, Camp Murray, WA can be a relaxing vacation on the water if you’re the camping kind.

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