Lake Chelan State Park | Outdoorsy

Lake Chelan State Park
Guide

Introduction

Located in central Washington, Lake Chelan State Park is an unspoiled paradise that should be on top of your RV vacation list. Lake Chelan State Park is on the smaller park covering 139 acres located on the banks of the impressive lake.

The area receives a large amount of sunshine, bringing perfect weather for swimming, fishing, cookouts, paddle-boarding, water skiing, and hiking. Since the park is located right on the lake this is where most of the recreational opportunities are, but winter can be one of the most beautiful seasons with white and snowy winters guaranteed thanks to an average snowfall of 40 inches.

The 6,000 feet of beachfront at Lake Chelan State Park is generally only used by campers and folks using the boat launch, so it won't be as busy as the other lakefront areas that are in the region. The area is perfect for a peaceful lakeside getaway, but during the holidays it can be busy like the rest of the lakefront.

The camping facilities are perfect for RVs under 40 feet in length or for visitors who plan on staying in a tent. Some RV sites also come with the added luxury of full hookups so you will have the creature comforts of home during your camping trip. Peak season at Lake Chelan State Park runs from March until September.

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Camping Accommodations

45'
Max RV length
45'
Max trailer Length
Electrical hookup
Water hookup
Generator use
Food storage
Sewer hookup
Dogs & cats

RV Rentals in Lake Chelan State Park

Transportation

Driving

Located in northern Washington, navigating to Lake Chelan State Park will involve major hill climbs on any of the three ways to reach the park. The majority of visitors to the park will be coming from the Seattle area so entrance to the park via Navarre Coast Road is very popular. This road is not recommended for beginner drivers in large RVs due to a steep hairpin corner that greets you on the way down to the Lake.

For visitors coming from the east, the most common way to access the park is from the US-97 ALT Road that will take you through the town of Chelan. This will also be a great place to stop and pick up any supplies that you may need before your RV adventure since it is the closest town to the park. Both Seattle and Spokane are around a three hours drive away, and they are the closest major cities to the park.

If you are heading to Chelan in the winter you should be prepared and ready for snow. Storms in this area can often dump more than six inches at once so it is recommended to check the weather forecast before departing for your trip.

Northern Washington boasts some of the country's finest and most beautiful public parks and forests. You won't be far from Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, North Cascades National Park, and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

Parking

If you are just visiting for the day there is plenty of additional parking for boats and extra guests at Lake Chelan State Park, but everyone will need a WA State Parks Discovery Pass to access these areas.

Public Transportation

Campgrounds and parking in Lake Chelan State Park

Campsites in Lake Chelan State Park

Reservations camping

Lake Chelan State Park Campground

The campground at Lake Chelan State Park is the perfect place to call home during your visit. Located on the edge of the lake, the campground is a very popular place to stay during the summer months due to the sites being kept in good condition and because it is so close to the beach.

The Lake Chelan State Park Campground features 103 primitive sites, 17 sites with full hookups, and 18 sites with partial hookups. RVs up to 45 feet long can be accommodated. Campground wide amenities include large bathrooms, showers, a dock, and a wide boat launch, along with a camp store that is open during the summer. Pets are also allowed, and you will be able to get cell phone reception on all of the major networks. Reservations can be made up to 11 months in advance or as close as one day before your arrival.

First-come first-served

First-Come, First-Served Camping at the Lake Chelan State Park

A select number of sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis at Lake Chelan State Park during the winter.

Alternate camping

Tent Camping at Lake Chelan State Park

Lake Chelan State Park features two loops that are perfect for visitors wanting to do some camping outside of an RV. Both loops have access to the main campground amenities and offer some great features all year round.

The West Loop is perfect for those wanting a little more privacy and who don't mind being away from the beach. This loop is also great for campers wanting to relax in a forested setting. The Marina and Beach Loop is the place to stay if you would like to be as close to the water as possible. While these sites do have a little less privacy you will be right near the beach and the views will be tremendous.

Tent camping at Lake Chelan State Park can be made via reservation through the online portal up to 11 months in advance to one day before your arrival. During the summer months, this is a very popular campground so it is best to make your reservation as far in advance as possible.

Seasonal activities in Lake Chelan State Park

In-Season

Waterslide Park

If you are looking for more water-based recreation in the area you should consider heading to the waterslide park. Located right on the edge of Chelan and open from May to September, the park is a great place to have some all-day fun with the family. They have a large variety of slides for a small park and there is even a lazy river to kick back and relax in. There are lockers, beach supplies, and food available too, so once you arrive you can make the most of your day and enjoy splashing about.

Swimming

It may sound underwhelming with so many water sports and recreation opportunities happening on the water, but once you've taken a dip in Lake Chelan you will feel spoiled. Lake Chelan is one of the cleanest, clearest, and deepest lakes in the world. It is not uncommon to be able to watch giant schools of fish more than 30 feet below you in the crystal clear waters. Visitors travel from all around for the simple pleasure of floating in an inner-tube and soaking in the hot summer rays. The main beaches in town become extremely crowded during summer weekends, but the beach at Lake Chelan State Park isn't as populated. Take advantage of the extra-long summer days this far north, and you'll feel like you have the entire lake to yourself in the morning and evenings.

Lady of the Lake Ferry

The drive from downtown Chelan to the state park will give you amazing views of Lake Chelan, but this is truly just a glimpse because the lake is an unbelievable fifty miles long. To see all of it, schedule yourself onboard one of the daily ferry rides. Although there is a small fee to use the ferry, it will be well worth it since you can take a day-long adventure to the isolated village of Stehekin. Nestled in the remote North Cascades National Park, the Lady of the Lake ferry is the only routine way in and out of this remote place and spending your day taking in one of the longest and deepest lakes in the world is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Off-Season

Salmon Fishing

The deep water in Lake Chelan is a blessing for anglers looking to catch some big fish. The chinook salmon in Lake Chelan often reach thirty pounds in size, and with fifty miles of water to explore, Chelan is a top fishing destination. The best conditions are outside of summer for several reasons. The fish prefer cooler water temperatures and the lake is maintained at a much lower water level in the off-season, providing better access to hiding places which the fish love. Don't forget your fishing license, and make sure to check bag-limit sizes online before casting out a line.

Wine Tasting

With over 300 days of sunshine throughout the year, Lake Chelan provides the conditions for world-class wine. There are over 30 wineries ringing both sides of the lake, and many trace their history back over 100 years. Whether you take a guided tour, or leisurely cross them off your list one at a time, there are enough stops on the wine circuit to keep you busy for weeks. Special tasting events are scheduled all year round, so with some prior planning, you will be able to enjoy this entertainment in whatever season you visit.

Winterfest

The quiet town of Chelan comes to life in January for Winterfest. Ice sculptures, live music, wine, beer and cider tastings, fireworks, and carriage-rides fill the streets for a week full of fun. Lake Chelan is surrounded by snowy hills in winter and the town is decorated elaborately in holiday lights and decorations. Winterfest has been planned with all ages in mind, so if you are planning on visiting the park during this time make sure you go and check it out!