One of the Washington State Bureau of Reclamation’s first projects to control irrigation and create reservoirs for local farmers, Conconully State Park was created in 1910 alongside with the Conconully Dam. Washington State Parks took over management in 1945, and officially established as a recreation spot for outdoorsmen and nature lovers.
The neighboring town, Conconully, butts up against the park’s boundaries, and they hold annual events in the park throughout the year. Perhaps the most notable one is the Outhouse Race, held in January. Participants dress in costumes, plop their outhouses on skis, and ride to the finish line. The Outhouse Race has been run since the late 1980s and is fast becoming a popular draw for the local towns to break up the winter drabs.
The closest large town is Omak and lies about 20 miles southeast. In north-central Washington, surrounded by the high mountain peaks, outdoor recreational activities and camping with an RV are the main activities for out-of-town folks and locals alike.
Trade-in your smartphone for a pair of hiking shoes or rod and reel. Anglers have a choice between the lower Conconully Reservoir and the upper, also known as Salmon Lake. Fish in these lakes are so abundant that they all but leap into boats. Anglers can expect to catch smallmouth bass, rainbow trout, and kokanee fish, which is distantly related to salmon. Ringed by low foothills, the lakes are dark blue on a clear, sunny day, and on cloudy days, they transform into inky ripples of black liquid. Deer and elk, drawn by their need for freshwater, are regular visitors to the lakes. They frequently visit the shores, browse the grasses, and even take naps in the shade of fir trees. Hikers and outdoorsmen should keep a safe distance, naturally. Though they seem accustomed to the presence of humans, they are still very much wild creatures and will not hesitate to charge an interloper.
A few miles to the north, Sinlahekin Wildlife Area is nestled in between Douglas Mountain and Aeneas Mountain. The lakes, formed by a long-extinct glacier, are connected by the Sinlahekin Creek that travels along the long, linear park. Hiking trails, shared with horseback riders, meander its way along a north-south axis, sometimes following the creek, other times seemingly wandering off into the woods lining the foothills. At times, the trails rise sharply, gaining as much as 3,000 feet in a short distance. Overhead, the skies are prowled by various raptor and carrion birds, including the mighty gold eagle, bald eagle, and hawk. Several predator mammals roam the foothills, and any outdoorsman would be wise to keep a sharp eye out.
Surrounding the Conconully State Park campground is a vast swath of mountainous lands governed by various government agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources, Bureau of Land Management, and Washington State, all of which offers endless recreational fun. Hike, bike, swim, and hunt, and more.
Camping at Conconully State Park
When you search for an RV in Okanogan County, WA, you'll want to time some time and figure out where you’ll park it while you go on your outdoorsy adventures. Although the policies tend to be more laid back, many mountain roads are narrow and lack a safe place to pull over. As an added bonus, by using established campgrounds, man’s impact on wilderness is minimized. There are several other RV camping near Conconully State Park.
The Conconully State Park campground, although small, has stellar waterfront views of the lake and the foothills around. Twenty sites have water and electric hookups, and the remaining 39 are “rustic.” The showers and restrooms are a short walk from most sites.
Camp in an RV near Conconully, WA, at Shady Pines Resort. Shady Pines Resort, which has several waterfront sites, offers full hookups, which is a rarity in this part of the state. It includes several amenities, one of which are massages.
Exploring the Area
On occasion, it’s necessary to head back into the town to replenish RV camping supplies. In addition to a Walmart, Omak, WA, also boasts amenities like chic clothing stores, boutique shops, gift and souvenir shops, and cafes. Two old-time theaters, both built in the 1920s, deliver a dose of nostalgia with lush interiors and hand-made signs. The films they show are modern and current, however.
In spite of being a tiny town, Okanogan has one major draw that brings visitors from miles around: its farmer’s market. Held every Saturday, vendors sell a wide array of products ranging from fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, wines from local wineries, art, pottery, jewelry, crafts, quilts, and even fresh baked goods.
What goes hand in hand with mountains? Skiing, of course! Loup Loup Ski Bowl is a small ski resort close to Twisp that boasts ten runs and three lifts. Echo Valley Ski Area is a unique nonprofit resort that’s run entirely by volunteers. Established in 1955 by the residents of Chelan the facility offers several different runs ranging from beginner to expert, a snowboarding area, a tubing hill, and groomed cross-country trails. The lodge has an impressive river stone fireplace and eatery dishing out hot cocoa and snacks.
Whether your ideal adventure is a 20-mile hike or rolling around the mountain roads in a rental RV in pursuit of the elusive yeti, you’ll find it in the Washington mountains.
Conconully State Park, WA is the perfect spot to start your next road trip.
There are many popular rentals in Conconully State Park. Outdoorsy's Conconully State Park RV rental marketplace allows renters to choose from rental options from professional RV rental agencies as well as RVs for rent by owner.