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Has been closed for many years. Will likely be closed until further notice
Great place to camp early and late in the season. It’s not as crowded, but you still enjoy the sites. Leavenworth is about 20 minutes away. Throughout the season, there is plenty to observe around the campground from wildflowers to critters playing.
We enjoyed one night at this national campground. Nice spacious private sites. Clean fire rings and adequate bathrooms. There was wild roosters running around which was difficult for our retrievers who are pheasant hunting dogs. The mossy cliff was beautiful and fun foot bridge. We were warned there’s a lot of rattlesnakes in summer,but we camped in February.
Crossing through the dry and rugged terrain of the eastern most portion of Washington, the pleasant surprise of the forest campground of Swauk could not have come at a better time. Just after the rolling hills met the forested tree line this quaint campground welcomed me to the Washington I had wished to find on my adventures. It was a first taste of the glory of the Pacific Northwest and a perfect way to find the solitude and beauty of the land during late fall.
Pulling into Swauk you first will find a recreation area where cross country skiing is permitted during the winter months and during summer months families can enjoy horse shoe pits, picnic and barbecue areas. Parking here is plentiful and invites you to enjoy the land in its entirety.
I noticed a small trail behind a shelter area and followed it to the gentle moving stream which passed throughout the back of not only the recreation area but also the camp. Here you could truly get a glimpse of the beauty and wonder of the trees opening up and increasing in size, the ferns growing wild and abundantly and the pine needles lining the forest floor creating a barrier which seems to trap sound and create a hush over the entire area.
The shelter when I had passed housed a large fire place and additional picnic tables making this a perfect location for those chilly nights you find in the forest.
Just beyond the recreation area the campground welcomes campers with large sites and plenty of room to spread out and enjoy a day, a weekend or a week. A self service pay station is located at the entrance to this portion. Single sites are $18 while doubles are $36, envelops are available alongside other rules and regulations for the campground.
Once you have secured your campsite at this location you will place your tag on the site itself in a small plastic placard located at the entrance of each site to signify it is taken. this allows you to navigate away from the campground to explore the forest and the many areas of interest near the Cascade Loop or the Gingko Forest.
Vault toilets can be found in two locations, one at the mid point of camp and the other at the entrance and provide facilities, however no running water is available at these sites. Running water can be found in the recreation area however if it is needed. You will want to make sure you are able to sustain without power however because that is not available at any portion of the campground.
This site overall is a great way to enjoy Washington and I found that visiting was an unexpected treat. To visit the facilities make sure you understand that this is not a State facility thus the Discover Pass is not accepted. Instead you will want to make sure you display a National Park Pass, as this is a site maintained by the Forest Service, though I will say no one was there to check it and there was no clear signage to mark this.
* Bring your own firewood. There are signs posted throughout camp mentioning that you cannot cut trees in the area for any reason. There is no firewood station at this campground either so if you are planning on having a fire make sure you come prepared.
* Because this site is a part of the Forest Service there are also signs posted about saving the vegetation. This means you will want to park only in the areas that are marked clearly. If you have a rig which does not fit within the bounds, consider another site at the campground.
* If you need supplies you will want to find them in the larger cities or towns along the way. When I was here I noticed there are very few stops which provide basic essentials for many miles.
Just off I90 in Eastern WA at Vantage. This is primarily a rock climbers base camp, but also serves well for a great overnight stop where you can camp right on the edge of the canyon, get in some nice vista views,& a short hike to a"falls". You will share this spot with other campers, busy even in winter. One note about access, the entrance to this camping area has some pitch to it. Better suited for high clearance vehicles, and brave souls in truck campers……
Stayed in this campground on the last part of my first solo trip. I was a little anxious due to not having this site reserved ahead of time but I made it to the campground early and picked a suitable enough site for one night. The Rangers in the visitor center at the campground were super great. The site I ended up choosing was okay, but the site next to it kind of over run into my site, and the couple next to me too full advantage of that, so it left me slightly uncomfortable. Otherwise, the campground itself was clean and well maintained. The trails that lead out of the campground were great and branched off in every direct so I hiked in the area for an entire afternoon. I would potentially try to fins another campground in this area if I'm ever out that way again, but if nothing presented itself I would stay here again. The river being just down the bank from the campsite provided fantastic ambiance and white noise when bedtime rolled around, especially considering the other people in the sites next to mine were in very close proximity.