The best camping near
Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, WASHINGTON

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Camping Washington Lake Chelan National Recreation Area
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Most Recent Lake Chelan National Recreation Area Camping Reviews
Marble Creek Campground

This campground is off Cascade River Road near-ish Marblemount. 

Marble Creek campground takes reservations. We tried our luck with no reservations and we were able to score a spot for three nights. There were several sites available when we stayed there, but it was during the week. 

We stayed in site 3, which was great because it was along the river and the camp host told us it was the only spot with direct river access. There was a place to park our car, a picnic area, a slightly elevated platform for our tent, river access down an embankment, and trees where we set up our hammock. It was a fantastic site. 

The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There were two separate toilets close to us. The closest looked more run down but I found it to be clean and not smelly. 

There is also public river access, so we went for a cold dip both at our site and in the public area. 

We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire. 

There are a couple of hikes nearby. We did Hidden Lake, which is a short drive to the 4 mile gravel road to the trailhead. The hike is incredible and you can actually see the whole mountainside you hike from the public access beach in the campground, which was pretty cool. 

I really liked the campground. The camp host was super nice and the spot was one of my favorites. I will definitely be returning.

Klipchuck

This campground is located about a mile off Highway 20 and it is one of the larger campgrounds I have stayed in. 

Klipchuck campground does not take reservations, which was great for us, though we did see several people come by in the evening when it was full. 

We stayed in the last site, which was great because we didn’t have anyone on one side of us. The site itself was fairly standard. There was a place to park our car, then a few steps up to the picnic and tent area. 

The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. Given that this is a larger campground, both the toilets and dumpsters got a lot of use. The toilets were standard, but the amount of use meant that there was a significant smell. The dumpsters have are the type that are for the protection of bears. But there was garbage overflowing on one side. I was easily able to open the other side, which was half empty. An encouragement– read the instructions and safely dispose of your garbage. 

We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so we had a nice fire. 

There is a hike right off the campground, which we did. It was strenuous and a little sketchy(steep hillside slopes with a narrow, slippery path to follow) but the views were pretty amazing. 

This campground is close(driving) to Mazama, and some beautiful hikes– Goat Peak Lookout, hikes in Winthrop, and more.

Lone Fir Campground

 This campground is located directly off Highway 20. As in, close enough that you will hear road noise anytime a car goes by. But aside from that one downside, this campground is pretty great. Lone Fir campground does not take reservations, and as a last minute adventurer, I really appreciate that. There were a few sites open when we came on a Thursday and we chose the last site on the loop. But by Friday night, it was full. I was very pleased with the size of each site. There was a place dedicated to parking our car, a space for fires/ picnic table and a separate space down a little hill, surrounded by trees, for our tent and our hammock. For an off the highway site, we also had a fair amount of distance between sites. Our site had the water spigot for a few sites, so we had visitors on the edge of our site. The campground has toilets and dumpsters, but no showers. There is an interpretive trail right off the campground, and while advertised as wheelchair accessible, the trail had been washed out, bridges were down and many logs were on the trail. It was still very pretty. We were able to gather lots of firewood in the surrounding woods, so had a nice fire. This campground is close(driving) to Mazama, and several beautiful hikes– Blue Lake, Maple Pass, Cutthroat Pass, and Cutthroat Lake– and more. We also got beautiful sunsets. All in all, a good campground. I would definitely stay there again.

Location is great!

Located directly in front of the North Cascades Visitor Center. The campground is as described. We tent camped in loop A near the hike-in sites. Of course it was rainy but we were still very happy with this campground. The bathrooms were clean and had one electric outlet. The water spigot was in front of the restrooms. The bear box was excellent and there were plenty of trees for privacy. There is one general store nearby but no restaurants so I’d recommend coming prepared. The NP Rangers are lovely and pointed us in the right direction for hikes. We drove into Newhalem to hike the Ladder Creek Falls Trail behind the Gorge Powerhouse. It is beautiful! Then we drove up Lake Diablo - Gorgeous!

Functional unmarked campground

Travel delays got me into the Wenatchee area pretty late and I missed all the walk in spots at the main campgrounds. It was dark and I don’t know the area so this app really helped me. This site is unmarked off the side of the road and questionably a ‘real’ campsite, though there was one other group there in a similar situation. I didn’t see any ‘no camping’ signs like I saw elsewhere. It’s pleasantly right on a river. There are no fire pits or amenities of any kind.

A Night Out

To celebrate my sisters birthday, we went camping at gold basin and then went up to hike goat lake to backpackthe next night. It was a beautiful night, we left the fly off of our tent. Bugs were minimal, had a fire with s’mores and dinner, of course. Only half the sites were open, it was a Friday night, but really not super busy, plenty of spots available. Looked like the showers were not open if you were hoping for them. I believe we spent $28 for the site and an extra car. We had 2 tents on the site. Brand new picnic table. The River was absolutely beautiful, plenty warm, had a great time. The toilets were clean but dark, needed headlamps even if it was daylight and cloudy.

Where's the host?

Stayed there Thursday thru the labor day weekend and never saw the host. I was here the year before and the host were always driving around on the golf cart checking on everyone. I left briefly on Friday morning to pick up my friends and when I came back my hammock had been stolen. Apparently while I was gone the "host" stopped by and left me a note to tell me I hadn't paid even though I did. Even worse they just had a coffee can with an honor system for the firewood. If your gonna be a host you should actually be there to I don't know host. I was afraid to leave my campsite after my stuff got stolen so but other then not having an actual host it was ok

Ranger Review: Stream2Sea at Big Twin Lake Campground

Winthrop is an interesting place for campgrounds.  I did a bit of driving around and exploring my options, of which there were a few, before settling on this site.

Campground Review:

Big Twin Lake Campground is located 3 miles south of Winthrop, which makes it feel a little out of the way, in a good way.  They have both tent and RV sites.  The camp host made a variety of helpful suggestions for spots to camp, both in the traditional tent spots and further out in the 90 acres they have. 

The tent and RV campsites are mostly close together, under a spread out stand of trees, all with lake views.  There are 'orchard' spots available as well, which have more space between them. We settled on a spot at the end of the tent sites, before it turns into the orchard.  So one side of us did not have other campers, which was nice.  There is little to no privacy between the tent sites, but it ended up not being an issue the night we stayed.  The spot had a nice fire pit (but there was a burn ban, so no fire for us) and a picnic table set up.

The campground offered paddle boats, fishing, and I understood there was swimming available, though we did not utilize these items.  I did buy ice from the campground at a decent price.  They have toilets for use at both ends of the campground and a pay shower at the larger bathrooms. All in all, it was a decent stay.

Product Review: As a Ranger for the Dyrt, from time to time I get to test products. At Big Twin Lake Campground, I tested a variety of the Stream2Sea Products.

Prior to staying at Big Twin Lake, I had been camping and hiking in the summer sun, so I had plenty of time to test their products.  I tried their Standard Sunscreen, Tinted, Chap-stick with sunscreen, Shampoo/Body wash, and Leave in Conditioner and the Body Lotion.

Here is what I have discovered: 

1) These products seriously work.  I was using the Stream2Sea sunscreen while my hiking/camping buddy was using a different sunscreen. I was surprised that the Stream2Sea worked better - he got burned, but I did not. 

2) The sunscreen kept me cooler while in the blazing sun. 

3) The Shampoo/body wash works great as a way to clean dirt off yourself if no showers are nearby.

4) The sunscreen/chap-stick does not taste like sunscreen. 

5) The non-tinted sunscreen goes on white and, honestly, tends to stay that way.  I was completely fine with that as I'd rather be pasty and my skin healthy.  

6) I love the way the body lotion feels, it does seems to be very hydrating. 

7) Stream2Sea is coral safe, which I didn't get to test but love about them and they are biodegradable.  A company that cares about the environment and makes products that seriously work - that makes them all-stars in my book.

Great park!

My husband and I stayed in the north campground and absolutely loved it. Sights were not too terribly close. Quick walk down to the water. Lake is absolutely beautiful. South campground had a store with hot food and ice cream (we didn’t try anything) as well as basic supplies. Only about a 20 minute drive from Leavenworth.

Absolutely beautiful!

I was so caught up in the beauty here, I didn't get a lot of pictures. This was my favorite place on the Mountain Loop Highway. It's a medium size camp ground, standard picnic table and fire pit at each site. As with many places on this loop,you must bring your own water. There is no drinking water. There is trash collection and vault toilets as well. I loved how peaceful this place was. The river was beautiful. I was able to relax and read my book. It was amazing! Highly recommend!

Beautiful area far removed from Cities

Its a rough road to get here. Must travel about 12-15 miles on dirt road that has sections that are all potholes. Though I did see a few others with regular sedan cars, I would recommend using a truck, at the very least make sure the car as good clearance. 

Outside of that the area is wonderful. 

Many trail heads around for hiking, nice creeks and a river near by. You know you're on the mountain and away from the cities. 

This particular site has no potable water available, got to pack your own in. 

We lucked out on weather, remained dry. But was mostly overcast, not a problem either. Kept it cool around low/mid 70's 

Oh and no cell service that I could get up there. Other providers may have better luck. Not a big deal if your going up there to disconnect.

single camp site is 18 and 36 for a double site. There were quite a few folks around, but still it was quiet. I'm sure the rushing sound of the creek may have covered the sounds of other humans.

Grandby lake

The site is convenient. Only 15 minutes away from town but you feel secluded. Close to a lot of great trails. Campsites are very close together with the exception of a few. Bathrooms are clean.

Great Campsite

Stayed at Klipchuck Campsite on 8/23. Very quiet and clean. Early Winters and Driveway Butte hiking trails are at or near the Campsite. There is also a path to the creek, which is clear and clean,, and peaceful to listen to from your Campsite. On a clear night, which we had, The stars were AMAZING. Will stay again when in the North Cascades

Way too crowded

A pretty lake. The campground felt more like an outdoor hotel. The beach get ridiculously crowded. There is a handy little store that sells everything you might need. Even ice cream.

Not recommended

Great day park, not so great for camping. We stayed in spot 5 in loop 1, or the woods campground. There was a capped pipe that appeared to be waste water dump but was not. When we asked the park attendants why it wasn’t labeled or locked they had no answers. We ended up with an ant infestation in our camper and we camp very clean. It’s very barren and hot. The good was the camp was quiet and the sandy swim beach was nice, but only during the week. It was packed on the weekend.

Fav campground

Beautiful views anywhere you look. Not a short drive by any means to get there but worth the trouble. Family camped in spot number 1 which is a walk-in. Def recommend this one. It’s conveniently close to a pit toilet and has a view of the water. Situated far enough from other sites to feel like seclusion.

Scenic but crowded

The views here definitely make this primitive campground worth the drive but the neighbors definitely dictate your level of enjoyment. Located right on Baker Lake, this is a great spot to camp at for your water activities. The sites have the typical fire Ring and table but they are so crowded you may as well just use your neighbors.

1 right now but 5 soon

I have to give this a one star for now since alit if trees have been cut because of a fire. The grounds are charred but within a few years it should be better. The undergrowth is taking over for now. The campground does sit next to a stream and it will be really relaxing once the tree cover comes back.

Favorite off the path campground

This campground is primitive with only water and pit toilets but an absolute delight. The river is amazing and on a clear day you have amazing views of Mt Baker. You can go either direction to play on the water of Baker Lake or just relax. The spacing is good between campgrounds and each comes with a table and fire ring. I personally observed all bear precautions as rumors of bears around were plenty.

Favorite off the path campground

This campground is primitive with only water and pit toilets but an absolute delight. The river is amazing and on a clear day you have amazing views of Mt Baker. You can go either direction to play on the water of Baker Lake or just relax. The spacing is good between campgrounds and each comes with a table and fire ring. I personally observed all bear precautions as rumors of bears around were plenty.

Cozy, quiet, primitive

This is a nice campground away from the large mass of people up the road toward diablo lake. It’s right off the hi-way and next to a river and easily accessible. They have put toilets and a nice set up with decent to large spacing between spots. It was actually astounding for this type of campground how spaced out you are. The big draw for me were the massive old growth trees here. I would definitely stay here again.

Fire recently

A forest fire has recently made its way through this campground. The forest service is cleaning it up as of June 2019. The sites were level and quiet. This campground would be a nice spot away from the crowds. It is close to baker lake.

Fantastic

We were surprisingly pleased with this campground. Our site was was a tent site only. The sites are spread out and do offer a little privacy. The sites have a picnic table, fire pit and a bear box. The restrooms a bit dated and you could defiantly tell they need to be updated. Diablo lake is beautiful and plenty of hiking trails to keep you busy. We will be back.

Ranger Review: Wenzel Double Never Flat Fabric Airpad at Lake Wenatchee

Campground Review:

While the lake and amenities were amazing (boat and paddle board rentals all day!) The camping itself wasn't our favorite. The sites didn't offer much privacy and had paths (to the bathrooms) right through many sites. We arrived on a Sunday and left on a Monday so it wasn't too crowded, with many open spots so the privacy didn't bother us too much. This is a family campground for sure, but we'd honestly consider going back just for the Lake and the views! 

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Product Review:

As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get products to test from time to time- today I am testing the Wenzel Double Never Flat Fabric Air Pad (https://wenzelco.com/double-neverflat-fabric-air-pad/). Honestly, we're HUGE fans! I'm plus sized and my fiance is quite tall and we fit on the pad, had the best camping sleep of our lives, and the pad didn't deflate! A little bouncing didn't effect it either ( ;) ). I'd recommend this bad boy to anyone! We really loved it and will definitely be purchasing other Wenzel products!

Awesome for a large campground

Gold Basin Campground is on the Mt Loop highway, in the Mount Baker- Snoqualmie National Forest.  It is stunning. I really love this area! This is a large campground with over 99 sites, due to flooding damages the sites are currently first come first served, but generally they are reservable. The sites are large but close together. There is a huge grass field with plenty of space to get a baseball or soft ball game going, maybe a soccer game. There are amazing showers and flush toilets! There are drinking water spigots, trash cans close to the sites. The river is gorgeous, so get a site along the river obviously! Wildlife viewing abound.

Gorgeous camping in the Mt Baker National Forest

The Clear Creek campground is off the Mountain loop Rd in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Clear Creek is only ten minutes or so from Darrington WA. Only 13 campsites with tent pads, picnic tables, and fire rings. Vault toilets were also available. Firewood is not available on site, but local residents have firewood for sale at the roadside. The creek and the Sauk river are absolutely beautiful. There is so much wildlife in the area, keep an eye out, I think I saw a wolverine by the creek, couldn't get my camera ready in time,

Awesome campground in the beautiful Mount Baker National Forest

The Red Bridge campground is on the very scenic Mountain loop Rd in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. It's a very beautiful drive. Nestled in some great trees, there are 13 sites with shade, right along the river. The camp host was very nice and sold firewood on site. There are no hook ups, and no water spigots so be sure to plan accordingly. There are bear proof trash cans and vault toilets available. Each site has a tent pad, picnic table and fire ring. This campground provides ample hiking, fishing and I saw people kayaking plus its not far to a hike to some glacier caves! Also check out the old red trestle bridge just outside of the campground. At $15 a night you have to see this place. 
I highly recommend Red Bridge campground.

Shaded campground on Mountain Loop Road

The Bedal Campground is off the mountain loop highway in the Mount Baker- Snoqualmie National Forest. Settled in some old Growth forest it provides a good amount of shade to most sites. There are around 20 sites and some are reservable, the sites run about $15 a night, All campsites include tent pads, picnic tables and fire rings. There are Bear proof trash cans, recycling, and spigots near by each site, The sign said there was a boat launch, but it was next to a trail that led to the river. I expect a canoe is the largest boat you would be able to launch. I have to mention the crazy amount of small waterfalls/cascades on the way in. this place is surrounded by some of the nicest forest I have seen.

Waaaay out there

It’s a ways from anywhere unless you happen to live in the middle of nowhere. It’s a great place for big groups. Get a few sites together and bring your bikes. Many sites are in full sun which is not awesome, but there are some really cool lakeside sites. It’s cool for tow behind tubing, a little morning fishing, daytime swimming in the swim area. If you need a day trip there’s plenty of hiking and the town of Winthrop is pretty cool even though it’s pretty touristy, once we took a day trip horseback riding, too. It’s awesome, totally relaxing and gorgeous. Be advised that it is like all high altitude areas really hot in the day and reallly cold at night. Bring shorts and sweats.

Best site in the area

I’ve loved Gold Basin since I was a kid. It’s a solid middle tier campground. Nothing fancy, but a lot of room. Bring the bikes, bring some sports equipment to play in the open field. Bring a swimsuit. The water is icy cold, but if you go downstream on the far side of the river there’s a clay patch that is there some years and not others depending on myriad factors. Try to get a spot on the river (not that it needed to be said) and you’re in for a sweet camp. Sit at the site supervise the kids through echolocation and it’s all good. I bet you could go fishing, but probably not a lot there for the most part. You could possibly even bring a small tube and find a little run into the slow water area.