Daroga State Park is a fantastic spot featuring an assortment of activities, as well as 28 campsites with partial hookups for RVs. Just eight miles north of Orondo, Washington, this lovely park is located along 1.5 miles of shoreline on Lake Entiat, which is part of the Columbia River. Daroga State Park was developed in 1981 when Grady Auvil sold the land to Chelan PUD Public Power, which leases the land to the Washington state parks system. The surrounding landscape is fabulous with views of the Cascade Mountain Range, and the Channeled Scablands of Central Washington.
This section of the state was home to the Wenatchee Indians, who were non-violent towards European settlers. The first settlers to reach the area were the British Northwest Fur Company. These settlers were followed by gold seekers and finally the Auvil Brothers in 1928. Dave, Robert, and Grady used the land to form an orchard, and they developed the Daroga Peach. Today, the 90-acre state park is a playground for campers and outdoor enthusiasts looking for fun on the water as well as the land.
Activities at Daroga Park are excellent for people in motorhomes, including hiking, a variety of boating choices, and a protected swimming area. RVers that like spotting birds will be pleased with their sightings and families enjoy the campground, which features a tennis and basketball court and a soccer and baseball field. Summertime weather between May and September brings temperatures that range from the mid-70s to mid-90s along with minimal rainfall of less than an inch per month. Winter month temperatures stay between the high 30s and mid-40s with two or more inches of rain per month.
You can access Daroga State Park in your motorhome or RV from Washington SR-97. As you navigate north from Orondo, you will need to maneuver along the Channeled Scabland desert plateaus east of the river before following the shoreline of the Columbia River. SR-97 contains numerous curves with turnouts that should be used by bigger rigs to help keep the flow of traffic moving along the narrow highway.
Traveling south from Chelan Falls poses problems for drivers while following the winding road along the shore of the Columbia River, with the last few miles of the drive over Channeled Scabland desert terrain. Expect slower traveling times along the river if you are pulling a second vehicle or boat and remember to use the pull-outs along the highway when needed.
Once in the park, there is one road that takes you to the campground area. There are several spots, such as the boat launch and day-use areas along the way where there is congestion on most days. The RV and trailer campground is a single loop that is not hard to navigate in larger vehicles. While driving throughout the park, make sure you follow the speed limits. Be prepared to share the road with children, bicyclists, and pedestrians.
If you want to say at Daroga State Park, but there are no available RV sites, park the RV in the parking lot and hike to one of the 17 primitive spots on the southern end of the park. These primitive campsites are only accessible by foot or boat, but they are worth the extra trek. Most of the campsites are right on the lake, while others are just a short walk away.
You’ll have plenty of sun here and not much shade, so bring a canopy or tarp to put up for shade. Each site has a large picnic table, campfire ring with a grill for cooking, and a gravel tent pad. You are allowed to have up to eight people and two tents here. There are vault toilets within the primitive campground; however, drinking water may be limited here. Well mannered, leashed pets are welcome, but you must supervise them at all times during your visit. This campground takes reservations from May until September each year.
The Daroga State Park Upper Campground is set in the northern section of the park along a loop that contains 28 campsites for trailers and has water and electric hookups. There are minimal shade trees within the campground, and the area features manicured grass between the sites. Campsites available include both back-in and pull-through sites. Each campsite has its own table, campfire ring with a grill for cooking, and a paved parking space for your RV or vehicle. RVs and campers are limited to 60 feet in length, although some sites cannot accommodate such large rigs. There is an RV sanitation dump station by the entrance to the park.
Other facilities in the campground include modern restrooms with running water, hot showers, and water spigots for drinking and cooking. Generators are allowed but must not be used during quiet times between 9 PM to 8 AM. Leashed pets are welcome here. Reservations are accepted between May and September of each year.
Fishing is a popular activity for RVers. Almost every person who goes camping takes a fishing pole and their favorite bait. At Daroga State Park, you might want to take a canoe or boat if you're going to troll the Columbia River for salmon and steelhead. Other species in the Columbia River include brown, cutthroat, and rainbow trout. Bank fishing for bass, bluegills, bullheads, and crappie is excellent in the lagoon located by the primitive campground in the south. Always check the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's rules as well as the park regulations for bag and size limits.
Bring your binoculars because the bird watching is fantastic at Daroga State Park. You can expect a wide assortment of birds throughout the varied landscape of the park. Along the Columbia River, you will see stellar birds like ospreys and red-tailed hawks. On the Channeled Scabland desert, there are ring-necked pheasants, mourning doves, and dozens of other types of feathered friends. The lagoon area in the southern portion of the park is home to migrating ducks, yellow warblers, song sparrows, and a variety of swallows, including cliff, tree, as well as barn.
Campground games are plentiful at Daroga State Park. There is a lot of space in the underbelly of most motorhomes so that you can bring tennis rackets, a basketball, and even horseshoes with you. The campground has a tennis and basketball court that can even be used for playing volleyball. There is also a separate area to play baseball or a friendly game of soccer. During the day or the evening, the fields are perfect for throwing a frisbee around, too. Other fun things to do around camp include playing horseshoes or any other type of bag tossing game like corn hole.
The park has plenty of space for a picnic or BBQ, so pack the family in the RV and head out to Daroga State Park during the off-season when it’s not so crowded. Besides the 30 picnic tables located around the park, there are also a few covered picnic areas, which includes one pavilion that can accommodate up to 100 people and has a kitchen with electric and water. You can (and should) reserve this spot if you are coming on a weekend or holiday.
All RVers like to get out in nature when they are camping. Hiking within Daroga State Park is superb because the trails run along the Columbia River. One of the more popular paths is the 1.5-mile Shoreline Trail. The trail includes numerous interpretive signs to help you learn about the area. There are also over two miles of trails for bikes or families taking advantage of the rolling Channeled Scabland desert terrain along the east side of the Columbia River. Cyclists also indulge riding the roads in the park, which offers smooth riding.
Watersport enthusiasts will be overjoyed indulging in a variety of water activities. Other watersport options for adventurers with driving rigs include windsurfing, kiteboarding, and many people use inflatables to take advantage of the cooling waters of the river. Water skiing is also popular, where you can take on the challenge of soft waves and powerful waters of the Columbia River. If you are adventurous and like to see what goes on under the surface of the water, grab a snorkel and facemask. You’ll likely find some shells and pretty rocks all clean and shiny from the water.
Daroga State Park is an ideal place to pull your boat behind your motorhome and enjoy some of the best boating and watercraft options in the state. There are two separate boat launches where you can quickly unload your sail, fishing, or skiing boat into the waters of the Columbia River. The park also has three different boat docks, which make the place a favorite with people camping along the river.
Pack the swim fins and floaties because there is a huge swimming beach near the upper campground with a protected area for swimming in the Columbia River. Just across from the soccer, baseball, and tennis areas, the beach has plenty of space to do some sunbathing, play a game of volleyball, or splash in the water with the kids. Right up the beach, there is a picnic shelter with BBQ pits and restrooms with running water so you can enjoy a bite to eat after swimming.