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Make sure you fill your RV water before parking in your site. Reservations only no first come first serve. No cellular service, flush toilets but no showers. Site 48 has full shade great for our July visit. The only thing that bugged us was the noisy service/repair truck would squeak into campground area at 7am. As Oregon campground hosts we entered the campground at the earliest 9 on weekdays and 10 on weekends. Most of the USFS campgrounds are concessionaires with an occasional view of a ranger or law enforcement.
Positioned in a fieldy expanse, these units are right next to the casino. You pass by a gas station as you exit the highway and there’s plenty of space between sites. There’s also an international car museum directly across the path from the RV park
This is an adorable little off-shoot in a popular area and is located right on the water’s edge. Pro—so many amenities! Con—all sites seem stacked on top of one another. If privacy is a non-issue for you, and you’re seeking a stocked site for the family, this could be a good choice
Only three first come first served sites here. Busy place midweek in July. The campsites have okay privacy. Mostly shaded with water/bathrooms and trash cans not too far away. The lake is only about a two minute walk from any site. Great swimming spot and nice shaded beach with grass. The Beaver Lodge store is about a 15 minute walk in case you forget something or want to buy some short order style food.
Based on visit in August of 2019. The lake had a pretty significant bloom of algae and a lot of mill weed at this time, but it was still a great visit.
The lake and surrounding area is gorgeous. If coming from the West I recommend taking Hwy 2 across the Cascades then take Hwy 21 north across the Columbia (via the free Keller Ferry) and all the way to the Lake. The whole stretch of Hwy 21 between the border and Columbia is one of the best in the PNW. Take Hwy 20 back from Republic for more splendor.
Decent-sized IGA for groceries, convenience stores, and a few restaurants in Republic nearby
This is a big campground on a big lake, but the three loops help to create three different experiences. We camped in #79, one of seven tent sites on the somewhat isolated lower loop. All of the sites on the lakeside of this loop are pretty large and nice. Save for a few trees there isn't a lot separating each site and all are visible from the lake, so not exactly private either. South of the park are cabins across the bay that you can see and hear. During the day there is a lot of activity on the water, including speedboats blasting Nickelback (it is close to Canada).
Over a little hill from the lower loop is swimming beach and day-use area. This area was pretty busy with locals as the temperatures hit 100 during our visit. The bathroom has pay showers, outlets, and was recently renovated. Plan your showers for the morning or evening.
The middle loop is on top of hill that has a wooded slope on the lakeside. There are two distinct areas here, one is literally a loop of sites on grass in classic WA State Parks fashion. The other section is series of 10 or so sites on the hillside and in the woods that you have to park and walk into. The sites were all different sizes and distances from each other. More privacy here, but there is a trail just above the shore that runs by many of them, so keep your shorts on.
The upper loop is the largest and has mix of RV and drive-up sites in a little valley ringed by walk-in sites on top of the hill. Note that from the sites in the valley you can't really see the lake but there are scattered trees to provide some shade. Not my cup of tea, but there is another shower area and a little store operated by the hosts that had ice, wood, and some frozen treats.
Back to our experience: the lower loop is on edge of a small bay and natural marshland. We had a clear view of an Osprey nest (see pictures) that the hillside trails goes right by.
In addition to the Ospreys we saw many birds drawn to the marsh and trees, several kinds of fish, turtles, and nutria in the water. In addition to a few red squirrels we also were visited by a tiny skunk who sauntered up through the reeds on the hillside to lick the griddle I left on the ground by our table (always clean up, folks). It left without incident, but I was glad we didn't have out dog with us or else things could have ended quickly.
In the area are hikes in the Kettle River Range, the Ferry County Rail Trail (which I want to check out next time), and numerous back roads to explore. Because of the heat we did some trips in the van up to the border, Ranald MacDonald State Park (smallest in the state), Swan Lake, the city of Curlew, and of course the ice cream serving establishments of Republic.
I wish the lake would have been more pleasant to be in, that's the only reason for the 4 star review. I'm not sure if it is like that every year, so I would contact the park office or check on social media to see.
The drive into this area is absolutely beautiful. Campground is large, with at least 3 loops. The campground itself is very clean. We saw rangers checking up and driving thru at least 6x through out day and evening. There are flush toilets and spigots throughout the loops. Bathrooms had toilet paper and hand sanitizer.
We stayed in loop 3, spot 61. It was smaller compared to other spots. This campground is big so there isn’t a ton of privacy and spots are close together. You can hear pretty much everyone’s conversations around you. Lots of RVs and families with kids. Lots of sites with dogs, so anytime people did walks with their dog, a symphony of barking dogs would start. Bring earplugs.
First night in, mosquitos were absolutely terrible. Literally swirling around us as we put up the tent. Neighbors were loud past midnight, and there was construction noise over night (woke us up around midnight and 2am).
Second night, still had noisy neighbors but these didn’t stay up as late as the ones from previous night. Mosquitos were not as bad. There was no overnight construction noise.
There are some nice hikes nearby, just be sure to plan accordingly as it gets quite warm.
Overall, while the lake was nice, it was not a place for me considering how busy and noisy it was. I did appreciate how well maintained it is though.