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Once the site of a large apple orchard, Washington State purchased the land in 1959 and converted it back to its original wild state. Over the years, the state slowly purchased land around the park and expanded its borders until it encompassed around 1,200 acres. Some of the original apple trees still dot the slopes of the park. The main trail, Rex Derr, is named for the director of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. Derr was a key driving force behind Washington State obtaining land for public use during his time with the department.
The surrounding parks are a mix of Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Department of Natural Resources (DNR), US National Forest, and a few other government land-management agencies. Surrounded by pure wilderness that few people have wandered, it’s hard to beat camping at Pearrygin Lake State Park. The closest large town is Twisp, WA, a little under 15 miles to the south.
Fed by an underwater spring, Pearrygin Lake is a fisherman’s haven. Trout and bass swim within its dark depth, waiting for the perfect lure to dine on. The rolling hills ringing the lake are blanketed by wild grasses and flowers. In late spring, wild blooms of yellows and pinks spread here and there, apprehensively at first. As the days warm, the sparse patches grow into a fine net of colors. Apple trees mingle with pine, willow, and ash trees. Waterskiers zip around on the lake in late afternoons, sending ripples to the shore. Children and adults alike cool their toes along the ad-hoc beaches near the two boat ramps.
The sole hiking trail, Rex Derr Trail, is about five miles long. It connects the hilltops, gently rising and falling, as it follows the perimeter of the lake.
Follow the nearby Chewuch River as it winds its way upstream to a tributary creek, aptly named Falls Creek. Before long, the dull roar of the water is hard to ignore. A waterfall cascades down several tiers, bouncing off boulders, zigging and zagging as it makes its way down the mountainside. Some years, it’s a graceful, slim little wonder. Other years, after a heavy snowfall, it’s a roaring monster, capable of grinding stone boulders into dust.
In upper-central Washington, in the heart of mountains, skiing is a popular activity. However, save for a few small ski resorts like Loup Loup Ski Bowl, getting to mountaintops for true backcountry skiing is difficult. There are a handful of heli-skiing agencies in the area, who will happily drop skiers off at summits.
When you book an RV in Okanogan County, you will need to be sure and figure out where you’ll park it while you embark on an adventure of a lifetime. The Pearrygin Lake State Park campground has 50 sites with full hookups and 27 with partial (no sewer). Showers and restroom facilities are a short walk from most sites.
There is no shortage of places to camp in an RV around Winthrop, WA. The KOA offers several amenities that might seem almost luxurious compared with the local state park RV campgrounds: a heated pool, WiFi, a dog park, and full hookups.
This far out in the boonies, it’s always smart to know where the closest hospital, police, and other emergency providers are. The nearest city, Omak, is about 50 miles east.
Sometimes it’s nice to visit the local towns and pick up a few necessities as well as meet the locals. Winthrop, WA, is just a few minutes away. The downtown area is themed, with charming facades reminiscent of an Old-West town. The Three-Fingered Jack Saloon features swinging saloon doors and a polished wooden bar complete with brass rails. Nestled in between log cabins, Shafer Museum grants visitors a glimpse into the town’s distant past. Authentic weapons, tools, certain luxuries like a phonograph, and photographs are on display. Although the town is small, there’s plenty of parking for a rental motorhome. Strolling the main street of the town is a pleasant way to spend a day. Behind the row of quaint wood-fronted shops housing art galleries, glassworks, bookstores, cafes, and pubs, the Methow River babbles over rocks, providing a pleasant ambient sound.
A few miles down south, Twisp has plenty of fun attractions. The local talent puts on regular plays and musicals at the intimate MercPlayhouse. Blue Star Roaster, a well-established coffee shop, is reputed to have one of the best coffee beans in the area. The award-winning brewery roasts the beans every morning for the customers to savor.
Camp at Pearrygin Lake State Park and gain a world of adventure and fun. Make new memories in Washington with family on your outdoor adventure.