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Complete Guide to Camping at Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan in Washington is an idyllic camping destination for those looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Boasting crystal-clear water, majestic mountains, and plenty of outdoor activities, Lake Chelan camping is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly adventure or a romantic getaway, this complete guide to camping at Lake Chelan has something for everyone.

Lake Chelan Camping

The Basics: What You Need to Know

Lake Chelan is a glacial lake located in the North Central region of Washington State and is one of the deepest lakes in the country. It's a 55-mile-long lake that ranges from 400 feet deep to 1,500 feet deep. Camping at Lake Chelan is allowed and there are many options available depending on your preference.

The most popular camping option is at the Lake Chelan State Park, it offers 144 campsites, 17 full hookup sites, 18 with water and electricity, and the rest are standard. If you're looking for something more private, there are several campgrounds at Lake Chelan offering tent camping as well as RV sites with all of the necessary amenities.

Whether you're looking to stay in a cabin or just need to find an open space to pitch your tent, there are plenty of options when it comes to camping at Lake Chelan.

Lake Chelan in Summer
A view of Lake Chelan in summer

The Best Time to Go

Camping at Lake Chelan is an amazing experience, but when you plan your trip is just as important as where you stay. It's a very popular lake, particularly due to its relative proximity to Seattle.

The most ideal times for camping at Lake Chelan are in the late spring and summer months, which typically span from late April to early October. During this time, the weather is usually sunny and warm. In July and August, temperatures can reach 80°F and above. However, be prepared for cooler evenings and be sure to bring appropriate clothing for both warm and cool days.

Lake Chelan Views
Admiring Lake Chelan on a summer evening

The Lake Chelan campgrounds also offer a variety of winter activities, such as skiing and snowmobiling, that can be enjoyed during the colder months. But since the lake can freeze over, you’ll want to plan your visit around that.

Lake Chelan in winter
You can also visit Lake Chelan in winter

Lake Chelan State Park Campground

If you're looking for camping at Lake Chelan, then look no further than Lake Chelan State Park Campground. This stunning campground has 144 campsites, 17 full hookup sites, 18 with water and electricity, and the rest are standard. Each campsite is equipped with a table, fire ring, and grate.

The campground offers plenty of amenities, including drinking water, flush toilets, hot showers, and an RV dump station. As far as outdoor recreation activities go, there’s no shortage! Enjoy boating, fishing, water sports, swimming, mountain biking, hiking, volleyball, sailing, and wildlife viewing.

Campground amenities also include:

  • Bathhouse

  • Boat launch/ramp

  • Store

  • Picnic tables

  • Cell service

  • Grills

  • Bathrooms

  • RV Hookups

  • and more

With so many amenities and recreation activities available at Lake Chelan State Park Campground, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a camping adventure.

Lake Chelan1
Lake Chelan shoreline

Deer Point Boat-In Campground

Deer Point Boat-In Campground is a great option for camping at Lake Chelan. With a boat ramp and easy access to the lake, you can enjoy:

  • Fishing

  • Boating

  • Swimming

  • Hiking

The campground has picnic tables, fire rings, and plenty of space for tents and RVs, although there are no hookups or showers available.

Deer Point Boat-In Campground is open year-round and reservations can be made online.

Lakeshore RV Park

Located in the City of Chelan, Lakeshore RV Park is one of the top camping destinations at Lake Chelan. With 163 full hook-up sites for RVs, most accommodating up to a 40' RV, Lakeshore has plenty of room for your next camping adventure.

Additionally, there are 22 sites specifically for tent only camping with 16 x16 tent pads. Picnic tables, a dump station, ADA-accessible restrooms, and coin-operated showers add convenience to the camping experience.

Lake Chelan in the Evening
Lake Chelan in the evening

The restroom and shower buildings are closed for the season from November to March, so please plan accordingly. Keep in mind that Tent-Only camping is not allowed during the winter due to the need for fully self-contained restroom facilities.

Kamei Campground & RV Park

Located just minutes from Lake Chelan and the Mill Bay Casino, Kamei Campground & RV Park is a great spot to camp when visiting the lake. The campground is surrounded by apple orchards, scenic mountain drives, wineries, and fishing. Open from the fourth Saturday of April through Labor Day annually, Kamei Campground & RV Park accommodates tent campers, RV’s, trailers, and three on-site travel trailers that can be rented for your camping at Lake Chelan experience.

This campground is one of many great lake Chelan campgrounds available for your next trip to the lake.

Lucerne Campground

Lucerne Campground is a boat-in campground located adjacent to a Forest Service Guard Station. It features a dock and boat basin with an eleven-boat capacity. There is also a 1⁄4-mile trail connecting the campground to Refrigerator Harbor Campground and the road to Holden Village.

All Chelan District camping areas are first come first serve, so it is best to arrive early. A Federal Dock Site Boat Permit is required from May 1 – October 31 for use of all National Forest and Park Service docks on Lake Chelan. Ferry or kayak campers do not have to pay this fee.

Lake Chelan View
An expansive view of Lake Chelan

Commercial ferry services between Chelan, Fields Point Landing, and Stehekin are available for those without their own boats. In addition, boat launches can be found at Manson, Chelan, and Lake Chelan State Park. It is approximately 40 miles from Chelan to Lucerne Landing, or 25 miles from Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park.

Whether you're looking for fishing, boating, or swimming, Lucerne Campground is an ideal spot for camping at Lake Chelan. With plenty of other campgrounds around the lake, you'll be able to find the perfect spot for your next camping trip.

Moore Point Campground

Moore Point Campground is a boat-in campground located on the southern end of Lake Chelan in Washington. It has a picnic shelter and a fixed dock with a three-boat capacity. Four tent sites, four picnic tables, four fire rings, and two vault toilets are available at the campground. A Federal Dock Site Boat Permit is required from May 1 – October 31 for use of all National Forest and Park Service docks on Lake Chelan.

The permit must be pre-purchased before docking and campers using the ferry or hiking in do not need to pay the fee. Moore Point Campground is close to the towns of Stehekin and Chelan, WA but unfortunately, there is no water available at the site, although it is adjacent to Lake Chelan.

For transportation options, there are two commercial ferries that provide services for the public. In addition, boat launches are available from Manson, Chelan, and Lake Chelan State Park.

Lake Chelan
The bright blue waters of Lake Chelan

Weaver Point Campground

Located near Stehekin Landing, Weaver Point Campground is a boat-in campground with 22 campsites and direct access to the lake. This campground offers treated water and a great backcountry experience for those looking for something a little more adventurous than other camping at Lake Chelan. A permit is required to stay here, but it's well worth it for the beautiful views of the lake and surrounding area.

Visitors can find plenty of activities such as swimming, kayaking, boating, and fishing, making this one of the best campgrounds at Lake Chelan. Be sure to come prepared with everything you need for your stay, as there are no stores or other amenities close by.

What to Do at Lake Chelan

If you're camping at Lake Chelan, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. Whether you want to go swimming, boating, fishing, or just take in the scenery, you'll find it all here. If you're looking for a more adventurous experience, you can explore the nearby trails and go mountain biking, horseback riding, or rock climbing.

You can also rent kayaks and paddle boards to get out on the lake and have some fun.

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