Set on the shores of Lake Chelan in Washington, Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park is a paradise for RV campers interested in fishing and boating. The lake is over 50 miles long, and the North Cascades are the perfect backdrop for long, serene kayak trips. You’ll find waters teeming with rainbow trout, giving anglers plenty of opportunities when they cast a line. Lake Chelan allows motorized boats, so you can enjoy water and jet skiing during the summer months.
Once you’ve dried off, you’ll find plenty to interest you on land. You can connect to a wide network of hiking trails that take you through the surrounding mountains. Challenge yourself on Smoky Mountain, or hike the Devil’s Backbone in the North Cascades. The park also has a number of biking trails that continue into the surrounding areas, giving you hundreds of miles of rides.
The RV campground in the park has over 30 sites, a few of which have full hookups for your rig. You’ll be located right next to the park’s swimming area, marina, and boat launch, as well as the day use area with a volleyball court and picnic tables.
Located three hours east of Seattle, Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park is a fairly remote camping area. Although accessible by RV, be prepared for some windy lakeside roads on the drive in. Conditions on the roads near Lake Chelan can also get icy during the winter, so take your time when driving in the colder months.
If you are coming from Seattle, take I-90 to US-97 and you’ll get to the park in around three and a half hours. From Spokane, take US-2 and you’ll reach the park in just over three hours. Driving from Portland, take I-84 east to US-97 to arrive at the park in just under six hours.
The park itself is fairly small, so getting from the entrance to the campsites takes just a few minutes. Large RVs shouldn’t have any problems, as there are no tight turns getting in to the campground.
All of the sites in the campground can be booked in advance online or by calling the park office. The campsite is fairly small, and tends to fill up months in advance during peak season in the summer. If you are considering a visit during this time, you are advised to book as soon as possible if you want a spot.
There are 36 sites in the campground, 25 of which are standard sites, four with electrical and water hookups, and seven with electrical, water, and sewer hookups. All of the sites have picnic tables and fire pits. Privacy at the sites varies widely, so check the online details for each site if you want one that is more secluded. Pets are welcome, but dogs must be kept on a leash at all times, and are not allowed in park buildings. Most sites can only fit a rig up to 25 or 30 feet long.
There are restrooms with showers in the campground, as well as an RV dump station and a water tap. The campground is right next to the park’s swimming area, as well as its day use area. You’ll also be just a few minutes from the park’s store, where you can buy basic goods, as well as fishing gear and licenses.
Lake Chelan is an active fishing area, known for its lake trout and chinook salmon. State fish and game officials stock the lake with over 600,000 fish every year. Most catches are around five to ten pounds, but many anglers report salmon up to 20 pounds. The fishing is excellent year round as well, although you’ll tend to get the most bites around mid spring.
There is a marina just outside of the campground, as well as a wide boat launch open for use by RV campers. The park has a store near the boat launch that sells basic fishing gear. However, they may not always have what you need, so stock up your camper or trailer before you visit the park.
The cool waters of Lake Chelan also make for an excellent summertime swim spot. There is a designated swimming area just next to the park’s marina where you can swim without worrying about boats. The swimming area is not always monitored, so take care with small children. There is a general store next to the swimming area, if you want to grab some food. You can also relax at the picnic areas nearby, or play a match at the volleyball court.
Lake Chelan is the perfect destination for a weekend RV boating retreat. The more than 50-mile long lake, set against the North Cascades, makes for beautiful kayaking and canoeing trips in the spring and fall. Summertime visitors can take a speed boat out onto the lake and water ski without ever having to worry about running out of space.
There is a marina near the campground that has 34 moorage spaces for vessels up to 23-feet long. Availability varies throughout the year depending on water levels, but there are often open sites that can be reserved online. There is also a boat launch next to the marina.
Twenty-Five Mile Creek State Park connects to an extensive network of hiking trails that weave through the North Cascades, giving you dozens of miles to explore. There is a trail for hikers of just about any experience level, so beginners are welcome.
If you’re up for the challenge, hike up the Devil’s Backbone in the North Cascades, or head up Smoky Mountain. The hikes are interesting just about any time of year, and each season has its advantages. Spring and fall tend to be favorites, as you see the greatest variety of color.
The park’s network of trails also makes for excellent mountain biking. You can explore the area near the park’s main areas, or connect to one of the many trails that lead out to the North Cascades and along the shores of Lake Chelan. In all, you can find hundreds of miles of rides in the area, as well as terrain that suits mountain bikers of all experience levels. The park does not rent bikes, so bring your own gear along with your rig.
The waters of Lake Chelan are home to dozens of bird species, many of which move through the area as they migrate in the spring and fall. You can spot dozens of species of waterfowl when you’re out on the lake, or see rare species while hiking the trails of the North Cascades.
Consult the websites of local birdwatching groups if you want more information on the species in the area. Many of these sites produce field guides or bird checklists, allowing you to learn more about the park’s bird species. So don't forget your binoculars and birding gear when you pack your campervan.