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This municipally-owned parking lot (P6) in downtown Leavenworth allows overnight travelers to camp in their vehicles for one night per seven day period. While this camping is free and located within walking distance of Leavenworth's tourist attractions, it is a bare-bones, gravel parking lot with no amenities and is really only suited for travelers staying in their vehicles for a short duration.
That being said, if you are just stopping through Leavenworth for an evening and have a van, tow-along, RV, or are comfortable sleeping in your car, free downtown overnight parking doesn't get too much better than this. Most spots in the lot are flat, the lot is not too noisy (at least on a Thursday in March), and there is plenty of space for most vehicles. Additionally, I had full LTE service (T-mobile), so I was able to plan where I wanted to camp the following night.
Within the almost 4 million acres of the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest, lie countless locations for dispersed camping. This area of the southeast corner of the NF has very little traffic compared to others, we saw only one ATV for the whole time we were there. This area lies along the Washington Backcountry Discovery Route between the Cashmere and Chelan sections along NF-7400. Obviously, this is a 4X4 road and I wouldn't suggest it in anything less. Incredible sunset views of the valley in front of Chumstick Mountain, it gets pretty windy at night but there are treelines you can position against. This particular spot photographed is just up the hill off the roadside in a nice grassy clearing. More spots were just up the hill around the bend as well.
Day 1-2: GORGEOUS!!! Perfect sunny & breezy weather, insane views from the campsite. Very quiet and only a handful of first come first serve sites. Simple toilet facilities. Fire rings. All the makings of perfect car camping.
Day 3: The wind dies down and OUT COME THE MOSQUITOS. I camp a lot, I have done backpacking/car camping/overlanding in all seasons and encountered bugs-a-plenty. The mosquito swarms in mid-June are ABSOLUTELY unbearable. No amount of bug spray seemed to matter, they were flying into ears/eyes/mouths and into the flame from the cookstove by the hundreds. Not that many bites for the number of them, but I you will be COVERED in them. We ended up bailing and getting a hotel in Leavenworth for our last night because they were so bad.
We loved this spot! Visited for my first overnight backpacking trip in mid-March and there was still lots of snow on the ground. The road to the trailhead wasn’t plowed so we ended up hiking in 1.5 miles. Hike was pretty snowy/icy but we managed without too much trouble. Were pleasantly surprised by a frozen lake at the end of the hike!
This first come first serve campground is one of my faves. You can beat the crowds at the state park and nearby Nason Creek by coming to this FF WalkIn campground. There is a small loop of sites where you can park and the rest are hike in (they all have parking spots assigned at the top on the road tho).
All of the sites are spacious, but 12 seems a little hilly so small tents might be better. The view of the lake and the mountains is one of the best I have seen. There is also a hike to another lake right out of the campground. It's short and strenuous but will worth it for the views.
PRO TIP: BRING THE BUG SPRAY -- the mosquitos are really bad in this area and you will need all the help you can get!
We picked tall chief because it was close to home for our first trip with new trailer, it was end of july 2020 online reservation were easy,got there and they were real nice and helpfull. Is thick trees and open spaces dudent give 5 stars because some of the full timers there space looks trashy!,and they need to clean up but everything else seemed good,if not a member of thousand trails or encore it can be expensive.
We have camped here quite often over the years. It is a fairly large campground with some really good sites. We always try to get in the river loop sites 35-42 to avoid the road noise from Highway 410. For a family or large group try to reserve 39, 40, 41, 42. It is like having your own campground. Site 39 is the only pull through site in this loop. There are other real nice spots but these are first come first serve. There are several flush toilet bathrooms but most are pit toilets. There are no showers. There is good hiking along the river from the campground. Like most campgrounds in Washington by Sunday afternoon the campground is empty. For your best camping experience here camp Sunday through Wednesday.