Curlew Lake State Park is a fabulous lakeside campground with lots of watersport activities, beautiful views, and 21 campsites for rigs with partial or full hookups. Located eight miles north of Republic, Washington, Curlew Lake State Park is five-and-a-half miles long and situated 25 miles south of the Canadian border. Created in 1959, the 123-acre state park is a perfect example of a glacially carved valley containing a natural lake that is fed by springs and streams.
The north central area of Washington was dominated by the Colville Indian Tribes. The tribes had their first encounter with European settler when the Hudson Bay Company entered the area looking to trap and trade fur. In the late 1880s, gold was discovered in nearby Republic, Washington and created a small gold rush in the area for more than 10 years. After the gold play ran out, the area quickly relied on logging until the beginning of WWII.
Today, Curlew Lake State Park is a popular vacationing spot for RVers, campers, and nature lovers. The lake offers a plethora of activities with watersports dominating the summer season. Fishing is popular year-round at the lake, and you can find wintertime fun sledding, tubing, and snowshoeing.
Weather at Curlew Lake State Park during the summertime brings temperatures in the low 80s with minimal rainfall. Winter time has temperatures in the high 20s accompanied by up to 17 inches of snow per month.
Curlew Lake State Park is accessible from Washington Route 21 and Curlew Lake State Park Road. Driving to the park is not challenging for campervans or trailers. High winds at times may hinder your progress in the high desert setting of north central Washington.
Traveling from Republic, you will not encounter many obstacles except for a few large curves that should be of no trouble. The majority of Route 21 is easily navigated over the undulating high desert terrain. You will encounter congestion near intersections that lead into vacation rental areas.
Driving inside the park is straight forward with only one road to navigate that travels through the odd-shaped campground. The campground loop can be navigated with RVs less than 45 feet in length. The southern portion of the campground is best navigated with a rig less than 35 feet in length. While driving in the park please beware of bicyclists, pedestrians, and children playing near the road. Adhere to all posted speed limits and road advisories.
The Curlew Lake State Park Campground is situated along one road with two loops at each end, as well as several tent sites along the lake shoreline not accessible to RVs. The campground has 82 campsites including 25 campsites that offer partial or full hookups. The campground varies in terrain, with the first 45 campsites within the first loop offering a manicured grass landscape, little privacy, and a couple of shade trees. The other campsites are spread out along a road and shoreline except for the last nine campsites which are only open to tents and smaller RVs.
Of the 25 campsites that offer partial or full hookup service, there are six pull-through sites and the remainder 19 campsites are back-in. RVs are restricted to less than 45 feet in length and not all campsites can accommodate larger rigs. There is a dump station near the entrance to the campground. Please do not empty full holding tanks at hookup sites. Each campsite offers a fire ring, picnic table, and a paved or gravel parking pad, which may require leveling. Other facilities within the campground include flush toilets and fresh water drinking stations. Generators may be used from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Pets must be restrained by a six-foot leash at all times.
The Curlew Lake State Park Campground is situated along one road with two loops at each end, as well as 35 tent sites that are first-come, first-served. Most of these sites are not accessible to RVs but you can camp with the hopes of finding a spot with hookups. RVs are restricted to less than 35 feet in length and not all campsites can accommodate larger rigs. There is a dump station near the entrance to the campground. Each campsite offers a fire ring, picnic table, and a paved or gravel parking pad which may require leveling. Other facilities within the campground include flush toilets and fresh water drinking stations. Generators may be used from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. Pets must be restrained by a six-foot leash at all times.
Fishing at Curlew Lake State Park is one of the more popular things to do for RVers. The five-and-a-half-mile-long lake is home to fishing year-round. There are opportunities for both shoreline fishing and boat or trolling fishing. From the shoreline try the most northern and southern sections of the park’s shoreline. Trolling is ideal more in the center of the lake. You can expect a wide assortment of fish options too like rainbow trout, squawfish, brook trout, large-mouth bass and tiger muskies. Always check state regulations for bag and size limits before dipping your line in the water.
Make sure you pack your hiking shoes in your rig before you arrive at Curlew Lake State Park. There are several trail spurs from the campground you can hike to the lake. At the lake you can enjoy a leisurely hike on the shoreline under pine forested canopy. One of the best hikes is a two-mile loop trail that takes you through the high desert plateaus of Eastern Washington. The view from the plateaus overlooking the glacier carved landscape is fabulous for all to experience.
If you have a jet ski or motor boat you should bring it along with your RV. There is a boat ramp and an 80 foot long boat dock for you to use. Many boaters take advantage of the nearly six-mile lake that boasts sufficient space for water skiers, wake boarders, and people fishing for large tiger muskies. Other options for watersports at Curlew Lake State Park include kayaking into one of the many private coves or canoeing to Wiseman Island for a picnic. There is also a swimming beach along the southern portion of the park but without lifeguards for safety.
Winter sports are perfect in this state park with plenty of options for fun. Kids will enjoy tubing and sledding on the high plateaus of the park. Adults and families revel in putting on their cross-country skis and traveling over the undulating terrain that affords big views of the glacier carved valley. Snowshoeing is best around the lake trails where you can find cover under a canopy of forest and several benches overlooking the lake to have a winter time picnic.
Pack your binoculars in your RV because the wildlife viewing at Curlew Lake State Park is superb. From the surrounding plateaus of lake, you can expect to see animals like elk, deer, muskrat swimming in the lake, and high desert animals like rabbits or coyotes. Watching the birds fly is spectacular too with several osprey nests next to the lake, bald eagles, blue herons, great horned owls, and night hawks. A bonus during the autumn time is the beautiful colors created by the leaves turning color on the oak, maple, and elm trees of the valley.
One of the more unique things to do in Curlew Lake State Park is to watch the Northern Lights. Throughout the winter months the brilliantly colored lights from the north are visible. You can settle down next to your camp fire with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and enjoy the twinkling lights that never cease to amaze those fortunate enough to witness in their lifetime. Cuddle up and enjoy one of nature’s finest shows on the planet.