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Camping at Lake Chelan State Park: An adventure guide


Open year-round but best enjoyed during summer, Lake Chelan State Park presents myriad opportunities for lakeside fun. It covers139 acres of Lake Chelan’s south shore and features the best views this side of the lake. This short but essential guide will help you make the most out of your trip.

Where to camp

There are over 144 campsites at Lake Chelan State Park, a small percentage of which are full hook-up, partial hook-up, and fully upgraded utility sites that can accommodate RVs and other motorhomes. Take heed, however— campsites get booked fast, so reserve your spot early. Some folks plan their camping trips to Lake Chelan State Park months or even a full year ahead.

Pack what you need, but in case you forget something, the park has a full-service concession facility. Restrooms, showers, and a dump station are all available. To reserve your spot, check out this link or call 888.226.7688.

What you need to bring

Some pack light, while others are short of bringing their full house with them to Lake Chelan State Park, WA’s camping sites. Regardless which type of camper you are, the important thing is for you to bring what you need. And if you are a novice to the camping lifestyle, here is a short list of essentials you should pack:

  • Four-season tent with footprint and stakes (if you’re not RV camping)
  • Sleeping bag and pad
  • Camping pillow
  • A headlamp (or two)
  • A flashlight
  • A lantern
  • Extra batteries
  • Sun protection (sunscreen, sunshade, sunglasses, tarp, hat, etc.)
  • Multi-tool
  • Repair kit for your tent, sleeping bag and pad
  • Portable broom and dust pan
  • Trash bags
  • Eating and cooking utensils
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Water bottles or cups
  • Dry bags
  • Moisture-wicking clothes and underwear
  • Lightweight jacket or raincoat
  • Personal effects (toiletries, medication, etc.)
  • Insect repellent
  • Camping reservation and other requirements

If part of your plan is to swim or go boating, do not forget to bring swimwear to your Lake Chelan State Park camping trip.

When is the best time to go camping at Lake Chelan State Park?

Summer is the busiest time of the year to go camping at Lake Chelan State Park. It is also arguably the best time to go, especially if you are after a more social camping experience. That said, camping is open year-round in the state park. Take note, however, that some facilities (such as the boat launch) are closed in the winter. Water may also be turned off to avoid freezing pipes. More on winter schedules here.

Activities while camping at Lake Chelan State Park

There are plenty of things to do during your camping trip. A two-mile hiking loop will allow you to explore more of the park’s forested areas, while the marina is the launchpad for boating activities (subject to permits and additional fees if you’re using a personal watercraft).

Speaking of water, you can go fishing, water skiing, sailboarding, and paddle boarding on Lake Chelan. Additionally, you can take the three-hour boat ride to the remote village of Stehekin, which is only accessible by water. Lake Chelan also presents plenty of bird-watching and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Browse our blog for more information on camping sites in Chelan, WA. For real estate matters, our team is more than ready to help you. Reach out to us at 509.682.7777 or send us an email.