Inside the Snow Peak Campfield, a Luxe New Campground in Long Beach, WA

A first hand look at the Japanese outfitter's debut North American campground, featuring campsite and micro cabin rentals, an onsen-like spa & more

Inside the Snow Peak Campfield, a Luxe New Campground in Long Beach, WA


Amelia Arvesen


Amelia Arvesen & Snow Peak

Tent Suite photo by Amelia Arvesen

Five years in the making, Snow Peak Campfield is finally open in the sleepy coastal community of Long Beach, Washington. Friends, family, media, and Snow Peak fanatics gathered around Takibi campfires and under tarps for a weekend to celebrate the brand’s first campground in North America.

Modeled after their experiential properties the Japanese camping brand owns in Japan and Korea, the 25-acre Campfield provides grounds for the celebrated outfitter to test products, interact with customers, and bring the brand to life. And following the 2020 unveiling of HQ USA, it’s their latest commitment to domestic expansion.

A little over two hours from Portland—and about the same distance from Seattle—I headed there on a Friday with my Snow Peak mug and most gorpcore outfits packed in my duffel to catch the festivities and check out the property for the inaugural opening weekend.

First, I’ll share a little background on the vision of Campfield, and then I’ll tell you about my 36-hour stay.

Snow Peak Campfield Campstore | Photo courtesy Snow Peak

The Philosophy Behind Snow Peak Campfield

Picture the average American campground: a dirt or gravel parking spot for a car or RV with nothing more than a splintered picnic table and ash-filled fire ring. Only if you’re lucky, you get brick communal pit toilet and showers—but let’s be honest, they’re not great. And once you're tent is pitched, the American way is to leave the campsite in favor of activities and adventure, be it hiking, mountain biking, climbing, etc, only returning to sleep. This is how camping in the States has looked for decades, influenced by the Western mentality of “roughing it” and obsession with time optimization.

But rooted in the Eastern perspective—that we belong in nature, we are not separate from it—the Japanese approach to camping identifies more directly with a harmonious way of gathering in the outdoors, one that doesn’t require sacrificing comforts and only forges closer connections. In Japan, where workers traditionally have very little time off, camping offers families and friends a rare opportunity to slow down, cook group meals, and relax together. Hence the elaborate kitchen buildouts, extensive camp furniture and shelter setups, and campfire kits—the whole point is to just be, not do.

“Japanese didn’t have a word for nature until after Commodore Perry came and we started getting Western literature,” says Noah Reis, the brand’s senior managing director, who started working for the brand in Japan. “It’s ubiquitous so we didn’t need to define it, because it was always a part of our world and lifestyle.”

Jyubako micro cabin campfire setup | Photo by Amelia Arvesen

At Long Beach Campfield, Snow Peak introduces this philosophy to the North American camper. A place where you can take your family and friends to slow down and reconnect. Here, if you want to surf, hike, fish, and more, that’s an option—but not a requirement.

“When people come here, we want them to feel a sense of ease and relaxation,” says Savannah Frimoth, the brand’s senior brand communications specialist.

At Snow Peak's Long Beach Campfield, you have just about everything you need to take a big breath and just be.

Jyubako Micro Cabin | Photo courtesy Snow Peak

What It’s Like to Stay at Snow Peak Campfield Long Beach

Say farewell to your rig once you park in the lot because Campfield is a car-less campground. No trucks driving through camp at night with their brights flicked on. With my bags loaded into a Snow Peak-esque wheelbarrow (silver and lightweight), I checked in at the Gatehouse and walked down a serene covered boardwalk leading through tall natural grass. The crunch of gravel underfoot immediately slowed my heart rate, allowing me to sync with the rhythms of nature.

Just north of the Columbia River Oregon border, the 25-acre property is built among lush coastal wetlands on the Long Beach Peninsula that took the team a year to restore (one of the reasons for the campground’s delayed opening from 2023). Thousands of plant species swish in the breeze, frogs croak at night, birds chitter above, and deer wander through camp munching the field.

Field Sites on opening weekend | Photo by Amelia Arvesen

Accommodations & Lodging Options

Guests have a choice between three different kinds of accommodations. The first is a Jyubako Suite, exquisite prefab micro cabins designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma in the brand’s signature minimalist aesthetic. Eight natural wood cabins are located just past the Gatehouse, looking out on the wetlands, and nine more are slated to open in 2025. Nightly rates start at $130.

My spot for the weekend is among the 56 available Field Sites, each situated on a spacious strip of mowed grass instead of dirt, gravel, or pavement like you'd find at a KOA. Starting at $40 a night, you can bring your own gear—no, it doesn’t need to be Snow Peak—or you can rental a full camp setup to your reservation online or at the Campstore. Rental options include tents and tarps, kitchen gear, and a Takibi expansion kit. Each site comes with a provided elevated fire pit, though fire wood is available to purchase at the store.

But if you’re looking for more of a turnkey experience, have your hands full wrangling kiddos, or are trying camping for the first time, the seven Tent Suites offer the full package. Starting at $120 a night, each Tent Suite comes with all the gear you need for a weekend of camping, including a roomy four-person tent, sleeping cots, a cooler, camp furniture, and Iron Grill Table kitchen equipment. (It's worth noting that Tent Suite guests are asked to bring their own blankets or sleeping bags.)

Tent Suites | Photo by Amelia Arvesen

"I’ve never been camping in a friendlier place.”

You can’t go wrong with any of these options. The cabins, suites, and sites are spread out enough for privacy, but you’ll inevitably mingle and get to know your neighbors, which is part of the Campfield experience—in Japan, Campfields and the brand's Snow Peak Way gatherings offer both regular campers and enthusiasts of the brand to put their collections of Snow Peak gear to use, cook elaborate meals, and meet other fans of campsite living. During my stay, I met a toy maker, a Boy Scout leader, and the Bruners, owners of a very obedient pup, whose 5th wedding anniversary fell on the same weekend as the grand opening.

"I've never really 'glamped' in any real capacity, but this weekend certainly set the bar high for any future experiences like it," says Nate Hoe, owner of Seattle outdoor store Windthrow. "Snow Peak did a great job translating the best aspects of a very Japanese camping method for American audiences. That's no easy feat."

Taylor Bruner of Southwest Portland says, “It was a really nice time to spend with very like-minded people who are from different places and backgrounds,” Her husband, Ian Bruner, adds, “I’ve never been camping in a friendlier place.”

Inside the Campstore Cafe | Photo by Amelia Arvesen

Ofuro Spa & Campfield Amenities

You’re bound to run into familiar faces as you walk the gravel paths to different corners of the property between gathering spaces and community buildings, of which offer impressive amenities. In the Wash House you will find luxurious private bathrooms and showers outfitted with enough hooks to hang your clothes and towel. A dish-washing station also features four spacious sinks for after-meal cleanup.

To the north is the Camp Store and Cafe, where you can order a cappuccino, borrow a game, build your Snow Peak collection of titanium sporks, stock up on snacks, or find a spot to sit inside or on the patio. I bought a few chocolates, a Banana Cream Olipop soda that I haven’t tried before, and a pair of insulated camp pants. I was also tempted by the utilitarian cargo vest everyone who works at Snow Peak seemed to be wearing.

Ofuro Onsen & Spa | Photo courtesy Snow Peak

Lastly but maybe most importantly, there’s the onsen-inspired Ofura Spa, the best example of how Snow Peak—and EFA Architects, who designed the property—wanted the buildings to complement and integrate with the surrounding natural beauty, rather than detract or distract from it. During my visit I was first in line for it's Saturday morning opening.

Nestled among the trees, and almost invisible from the other side of the campground, the spa’s hanging roof and beams are evocative of a Snow Peak tarp and tent. Even the changing room cubbies, each outfitted with a Snow Peak camping bucket, are carefully considered. After stashing my belongings I waded into the large soaking pool set to 104 degrees. Once pruney, I alternated a few times between the cold plunge and the indoor sauna, growing braver every time I dunked in the icy water. The whole Ofuro Spa smells like the comforting sauna, which I learned is built from temple-grade Hinoki wood, reportedly the first use of the slow-growing tree in a U.S. spa.

The bliss only continued after leaving the spa. On the porch of one of the Jyubako cabins, tea master Yoshitsugu Nagano, visiting from New York, was hosting a Chanyou tea ceremony. Seven of us sat cross-legged on bamboo mats while Nagano tells us the history of this samurai ritual. He instructs us to meditate on the current moment as we drink matcha from bowls. Moments like this only add to the unique camping experience one is unlikely to find elsewhere stateside.

The Campfield ethos encourages cooking | Photo by Amelia Arvesen

What To Do For Food at Campfield Long Beach

While almost everything you need is on site at the Long Beach Campfield, food is one detail that you’re left to take care of for yourself. Snow Peak’s bread and butter is camp cooking—the brand's catalog features hundreds of pages of products ranging from cutlery and cutting boards, to modular camp tables and wash stations—so guests are encouraged to bring their own food and take the time to cook their own meals. We cooked the entire weekend, and you’ll want to be prepared to do the same when you visit. Although the Campstire has snacks, drinks, treats, and some ingredients like butter and milk, it’s not enough for a whole meal.

If you don’t want to cook every night, the coastal town of Long Beach is a 5-minute drive away. Eateries include Dylan’s Cottage Bakery & Delicatessen, 42nd Street Cafe and Bistro, The Depot Restaurant, Lost Roo, Surfer Sands, and Current Surf Coffee and Cocktails. It's a bit rough around the edges, but that's part of the charm. (If you're keen to stray even farther from camp, Astoria, across the great Columbia River on the Oregon side, is a historic town with a number of impressive breweries, riverside restaurants, and classic dive bars.)

At camp, even if you’re not preparing a feast, preparing and cooking food together can reinforce the immersion in nature with others. On our first night, I learned new things about mushroom foraging from a fellow camper while we sliced shiitake caps and morels, and picked thyme and rosemary leaves off the stem.

At dinnertime on our second night, as we scooped heaps of rice, chicken, and veggies prepared by friends of Field Mag Camp Yoshi, light mist turned into a heavier rain in proper Pacific Northwest fashion. But the weather only enhanced the communal dinner by ushering a big group of us under one Snow Peak shelter. Gathered around the campfire for takibi time, comfortably sat in canvas camp chairs, we feasted, traded stories, and played games. And after the rain stoped, we stayed put because we enjoyed one other’s company.

It was sad to leave these new friends and this beautiful place on Sunday. There’s nothing like driving 55 mph on a winding two-lane highway to snap you back to reality. But I’ll return again soon in early summer with my husband, my dog, Kona, and a few friends to recreate the magic of Campfield’s opening weekend. And then hopefully again soon thereafter.

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