Lake Chelan State Park is a 139 acre public recreation area and nature reserve located on the southwest shore of Lake Chelan, and on the east side of the Cascade Mountains. In 1942, Washington State made a large land purchase and allocated part of the land for Lake Chelan State Park. Today, the park attracts visitors from all over thanks to its range of camping, picnicking, hiking, boating, and water activities.
Unusual for Washington, this park is known for its expansive 6,000 ft sandy beach, shaded picnic tables and a large, crystal lagoon spanning 55.5 miles in area, with water as deep as 1,486 feet. Subsequently, the lagoon draws boaters, sailors, anglers, water skiers, windsurfers, and fishers as well. Without a doubt, Lake Chelan is the most famous part of this park. However, don’t let its splendor captivate you too long- because there area is full of amazing hiking as well.
In fact, the park features some of the finest hiking trails in Washington, from which adventurous hikers make the park their base to adventure in the North Cascades. If hiking isn’t your thing however, chill out in a camp chairs under a nice shaded tree, paddleboard out to the center of the lagoon, and then finish your day taking in the cozy atmosphere with at your campsite with family and friends. When it comes to fun for everyone, Lake Chelan State Park is sure to please.
While the park is open year round, it really comes alive during the summer. Visiting Lake Chelan is a long standing tradition for many local families and friends. Consequently, as soon as school retires for the summer, swaths of families return to the blue lagoon every year for their annual lake trips and family outings. And you better believe they have a preference for the “family campsite” that they’ve probably used since the 70s. You’ll want to reserve your campsite well in advance if you’re planning to join the ranks of Lake Chelan regulars.
Even then, veteran Chelan-goers happily share their beloved campground with newcomers, and a number of lifelong friendships are formed here. Get your family and friends together, and come make Lake Chelan a new tradition this Summer (or avoid the crowds and visit sooner!)
This is more of a state campground than a state park, but it is great little area outside of the tourist crowded city. There are quite a few spots where you have plenty of privacy from your neighbors, which helps with noise since there can be loud teenagers around. The shower/bathroom facilities are not stellar, but hey its a campground shower. The swimming area is nice, with grassy and shoreside areas to lay out. There are also large playfields with courts which people were always welcoming in others to play. The place is busy, but worth the fight to get a spot during the busy season.
This was a great park to camp at. Very family friendly. We had the option to stay in a spot that you would listen to Frogs all night, or next to the stream that sounded like Niagara Falls. We chose the stream, lol.
This place is, well, its awesome. I had driven by many times but never stopped before now. 25 mile creek is at the end of the south lake shore road on lake chelan and it has some of the most amazing views of the straights and uplake that you can get from shore. the unit is mostly dry camping, with a sewer dump for your trailers. The shower building was very nice and clean. There is a boat launch and marina there so if you are planning on exploring the upper lake area this would be a great base camp. 25 mile creek runs along the west side of the park, take a look you may see salmon spawning if you are there at the right times. this is a great place.
a short 3 hours from seattle on beautiful lake chelan is the Lake chelan state park at First Creek. This park is about 10 miles from town and has tent sites that are right on the lake, its amazing. There is a boat launch and large swimming area. because chelan is such a lake tourist town in the summer, do not expect that this is a quiet serene camping experience. But if you are looking to come to chelan book your site early. Also the fourth of july fireworks show is directly across the lake from the state park.
This is a wonderful town for staying near the lake. The good news about camping here is you will be near everything you care about when heading out for a weekend of fun! My favorite activity in Chelan is to head over to Lakerider sports and rent a paddle board. You can rent them all day, or for multiple days, and if you have a local with you they give you a great discount. A little warning - don’t try to leave your car at Lakerider sports for too long. Pay attention to the signs! Once you get your paddle board you can put it in the lake and paddle around all day on the smooth water! The best part is you can paddle right over to Campbell's restaurant, pull your board out of the water, and head up for food and a drink. (you can leave your board on the beach with no worries in my experience).
In my experience it's always warmer on the east side of the mountains so be prepared with plenty of cold drinks and sunscreen. Because it's a small town you can pretty much walk, or take a short drive anywhere you’d want to go.
Things you must do in town:
Paddle Board Eat pizza at Local Myth Go Wine tasting at any of the local wineries and enjoy a beautiful view of the lake Laze about on the lake for hours.
I would recommend camping in Chelan to anyone who loves sun, fun, and a relaxation.
This is a great park and a premium camping location on the popular Lake Chelan. A favorite location for west siders to escape the rain for some guaranteed sunshine in Central Washington.
This little town fills up in the summer time. The lake is filled with boats and all of the hotels and rentals sell out. This campground is a wonderful place to enjoy the area and set up camp. The campground is fantastic and still goes for dirt cheap rates of $12 for a tent site, they also offer full hook ups for RVs and everything in between if you want an outlet at your camp site.
Good news.. you can reserve your spot in advance. Bad news… the summer months fill up a year in advance so book early. I also recommend going in Spring or Fall when the weather is still warm and dry but there are slightly less crowds.
We stayed in site 65 on the marina and beach loop. I definitely recommend this area over the west loop.