Situated in the beautiful northern Washington State, the Loomis and Loup Loup State Forests are the ideal location for any RV lover’s next outing. The gorgeous landscape has an abundance of pristine lakes scattered among dense forest. Whether you are looking to do a spot of fishing, hiking, camping, or even off-roading, the Loomis and Loup Loup State Forest has something to suit your needs.
Following a grassroots conservation effort in the late 1990s, 25,000 acres of the breathtaking forest has been permanently protected from activities like logging. Since then, the area has seen an increase in the endangered Candian Lynx and other wild animals. The mountainous region also offers high-altitude fishing at the Chopaka Lake Campground and is an essential stop for anyone looking to experience the pristine wilderness.
Be sure to check out the Chopaka Mountain Quad trail which navigates the four highest peaks in the area. At only 12.5 miles in length, the path is perfect for hikers, bikers, and even horseback riders. Due to its varied landscape and the diverse range of activities on offer, the Loomis and Loup Loup State Forests are a perfect year-round destination for RV campers. With nine campgrounds within the Forests, there are many accommodations to choose from. Read on to find out details on two of the top featured RV campgrounds within the Forests.
Loomis and Loup Loup State Forests are situated at the northern-most part of Washington, right next to the Canadian border. Seattle lies about four hours to the west, and Spokane is just under four hours to the east. The Forests are close to US-97, which is generally easy to navigate in an RV or car. However, the Forests are in a mountainous region with many narrow and winding roads. Use caution when driving on these twisting local roads. Winter weather can be brutal in this area of the country, so make sure to check for road conditions and closures before you head out during the colder months of the year.
The area does have some restrictions on the length of RVs, depending on which campsite you choose. Check ahead of time to make sure your campsite will be long enough for your rig. Thankfully, navigating the park is straightforward as there are ample sign postings to various campsites, and the roads are well-maintained.
The Chopaka Lake Campground has 16 sites with an RV length limit of 20 feet. The area has picnic tables, grills, and vault toilets. There are drinking water facilities available and areas to launch non-motorized boats. However, it does not have connections for electricity. Keep in mind all garbage must be taken out, and there are no showers. The campground has easy access to the Chopaka trails and is ideal for anyone looking to take part in high-altitude fishing. Unless signposted, you must not stay for longer than seven days in any 30 day period. Dogs are permitted but must be kept on a leash at all times, and all areas are first-come, first-served.
If you want to fish, kayak, or picnic on the beautiful 2,100-acre Palmer Lake surrounded by gorgeous mountain views, Palmer Lake Campground is the place for you. This idyllic, primitive campground offers seven campsites that can fit rigs up to 30 feet long. Vault toilets and picnic tables are available. You can set off in your non-motorized boat easily thanks to the on-site boat launch. What this campground lacks in privacy, it makes up for in scenery. The green grassland and hillside views are truly breathtaking from Palmer Lake Campground, so don’t forget to pack your camera in your camping trailer. Make sure you bring bug spray too since mosquitoes are very common in this area.
The Loomis and Loup Loup State Forests have some exceptional hiking trails on offer and are typically meant for the more experienced hikers. With an elevation of over 4,300 feet, the Chopaka Mountain Trail showcases the best the region has to offer. The path is intended for people with intermediate fitness levels, and correct footwear should be worn. The trail winds through 12.5 miles of steep hills and rocky overgrowth and tops all four of the area's peaks in the process. Anyone looking for a tougher challenge can tackle Border Camp Loop, this 17.5-mile loop will send you through muddy marshes en route to the Snowshoe Mountain summit.
Many who come to Loomis and Loup Loup are seeking the abundance of fishing opportunities offered by the area. Palmer Lake boasts a 2,100-acre lake that is surrounded by mountains and is ideal for those wanting to escape motorized boats. Other places like Chopaka offer high-altitude fly fishing, and visitors can find rainbow trout at Leader Lake. A number of the lakes in the area are designated as Quality Fisheries. This means the focus is on the quality of the fish and not the quantity. So if you are looking for some quality fishing, don’t forget to pack your rod and reel in the campervan.
The Loomis and Loup Loup State Forests facilities have been tailored to attract avid horse riders. You can navigate the portions of the Chopaka Trail discussed above or set your sights on Johnny Beal Short and Long Loops. The forested area is relatively flat, and the 6.6-mile trail provides some outstanding views of Goodenough Peak.
Don’t forget those skis when you pack your camper. The area is home to the Loup Loup Ski Bowl which comes alive during the winter months. With 23 miles of slopes, Loup Loup boasts ten runs that drop over 1,240 vertical feet for downhill enthusiasts. Perfect for both downhill and cross-country skiing, the area boasts numerous ski lifts, offers equipment rental, and even has a tubing hill. For dog lovers, there are more than 35 miles of trails that are pet-friendly.
The Olallie Trail Northern Loop is a must-visit for any mountain biking enthusiasts. The 10.5-mile loop is ideal for experiencing the Loomis and Loup Loup State forests on two wheels. The tight trail will require even the most adventurous among you to push the bike at times. Riders will pass over Disappoint Peak and eventually experience an overall elevation gain of 2,000 feet.
Regular mountain bikes may struggle on the terrain during the winter months. That is why fat biking, which uses fatter tires to aid buoyancy on the snow, is the perfect off-season activity. At Loup Loup, fat biking can be done on over 18 miles of trails, which you are likely to share with cross-country skiers. This activity is perfect for anyone wanting to try something different and allows you to explore the winter beauty on two wheels. The bikes can be rented from nearby towns.
If you are bringing your hunting gear in your rig then you’ll have plenty to do at Loomis and Loup Loup State Forests. Hunting is permitted in certain areas of the forest, as long as you follow the season schedule and all regulations. The fall is the season for deer, elk, and black bear. During various times of the fall and winter, you can hunt for birds such as forest grouse, pheasant, and quail. The season for small game such as fox, raccoon, and beaver varies throughout the year.