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One of the best campgrounds I have stayed at. Ball fields, tennis and basketball courts. The restrooms that are kept in very clean condition. Swimming and boating right there on the Columbia River. Walmart up on top of the hill 6 miles in Chelan. They have a dump station here also. Great Place for family and kids…
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.
If a single site could ever embody a feeling of being detached and isolated while also being surrounded by natures warm reception, the Lake Creek Campground would be that location.
Having checked out Fox Creek only a short distance away from this location I thought it simply could not get better, however having arrived a bit later in the day I had missed out on the riverside location I had desired. I opted to drive upward toward the Chelan Recreation Area and try my luck as the road began to change to a more bumpy terrain. Just before arriving at the area, to which I certainly could not navigate with my small car,
I found this location and was inspired to stop and see how it could differ from the last. I was elated to discover how the site was near empty in comparison and seemed to offer such a unique experience in comparison to others.
Each site was distanced at a comfortable spacing from the last and provided a comfortable amount of room to move freely. I really enjoyed the layout of these sites, while they did offer a bit less tree coverage they more than made up for that in views. In the not so distant view there were mountains visible and the escarpment of parking level and camping level made for a beautiful dynamic for camping without interruption.
A parking pad was located at the top with a few steps downward to the camping area. Though only a few feet higher than the lower pad, the barrier of the height formed a near soundproofing from the roadway or other campers.
The camping pad was equipped with standard amenities of a fire ring and picnic table but more impressively the view of the river flowing just a short distance below was like a post card. The pad site was even and hard packed but had just enough give thanks to the pine needles which lined its top layer. Camping here is no frills, no water or electricity and only vault toilets.
But with views like this who even seems to mind. It seemed like a steal for only$10 and though I had no cell service I felt safe as I saw a Forest Ranger pulling though to check on the location and make sure fees had been collected at the honor box.
If you visit this location I recommend Site 6. After driving through camp there were several very impressive sites but this one had a magical feel to it as the sunset over the treeline and beams of light filtered through well into dusk. It also provided some amazing night sky views.
- You will need an America the Beautiful Pass or a National Recreation Pass, Discover Passes are not honored here as this is a national site not a state maintained site.
- Check the entry kiosk at the pay station, this will have a full listing of rules and regulations and will additionally have information about any possible burn bans in the area.
- If you are wanting to visit the Chelan Recreation Area and do not have a 4 wheel drive or high clearance vehicle I do not advise visiting from the entry point on this side. Instead enter on the Chelan Lake entrance side.
When I was traveling the Cascade Loop I quickly learned that cell signal is something to be desired. However it was through this common issue that I discovered a happy accident with Fox Creek Campground. Nestled many miles down a well paved roadway winding through the forests a small sign indicated the turn in for a quaint campground maintained by the Forest Service.
A word of warning before you venture here, if it has been raining a lot you want to be aware that you might experience flooding in some of the campsites due to their proximity to the river. But should you venture when it is not raining, this campground is one you would fall in love with quickly if you enjoy something a little off the beaten path.
Sites are available for only $10 and the no frills camping offers only vault toilets as amenities. However each campsite is fairly even and has room to spread out without having to worry to much about your neighbors. Each site offers the basics of a picnic table and fire ring in addition to lantern hooks. Sites have clear marked paved parking areas and signage indicates there is no parking in non specified areas.
Much like other campgrounds in the area this location does not accept the Discover Pass however does require a Recreation Pass to be displayed. This includes the America the Beautiful Pass.
The campsite I decided upon was well cleared for camping however offered the canopy of tall trees to keep the sunshine from beaming down. The pack of the ground below was even and clear of debris which made for a perfect set up for my tent and with a fine covering of pine needles provided just enough cushion to make for a comfortable evening.
Something I did notice at this location that made it a bit more unique than other camps in the area were the Mosquito Bite Free Zone hangers. I am not sure if they had been left by other campers or if they were provided by Forest Service but they were a great feature which seemed to really keep the bug away when I visited.
Being a part of the National Forest seeing the nature of the area was quite beautiful as the sunset passed through the trees and the sound of the water flowing quietly put me to sleep at night.
* Firewood is not to be gathered at the campsite but can be purchased at the Silver Falls Guard Station nearby. Otherwise you will want to bring wood with you when you travel this way because you will be quite a ways from town.
* If you are dependent on solar power, there are a few sites which have less tree coverage, however these are near the water and are coveted so arrive early to make sure you secure these.
* This area is considered to be closed waters and does not allow fishing even with license. If you are looking to recreationally fish, you might check another campground in the area off the river. Many of the river camps are not accessible for fishing.
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.
I am surprised to find how often we camp in the snowy winter months, empty campgrounds are a plus this time of year! Come summer you won't be able to get a reservation in this park, but in January it was wide open! We have stayed here for many years to enjoy the Chelan WinterFest Festival in January. The park is within walking distance of town and is perfect for the festival weekend. You may notice the pictures are of different trucks and campers as we have visited this park throughout the years! We have only stayed in this park once in the summer months, and that was for a skydiving visit. Good basic RV park style camping.
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……
My first time camping at Ross Lake was at Colonial Creek - which actually has access to Diablo Lake. It was pouring down rain - typical for the Pacific Northwest, but we still had a blast. Clean bathrooms, plenty of space for cooking, cleaning, playing card games.