There are almost 8000 shimmering lakes dotted across Washington, so it is no wonder that lakeside camping areas are popular getaway destinations in the state. With so many available choices, choosing the perfect campsite to relax and unwind can be difficult.
Camping beside a lake is the stuff that lasting memories are made of. Lazy summer days playing in the water or frosty nights telling stories next to warm campfires on the shore. Lake camping is about finding the perfect campground to be the backdrop for your happiest memories.
11 Lake Camping Sites In Washington Are:
- Fairholme Campground on Lake Crescent
- Horseshoe Cove Campground on Baker Lake
- Lake Cushman Resort and Campground
- Colonial Creek on Diablo Lake
- Glacier View Campground on Lake Wenatchee
- Kachess Campground on Kachess Lake
- And more…
11 Best Lake Camping Spots In Washington State
Lakeside camping offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the scenery and great outdoors from up close. Whether you prefer a secluded camping experience or enjoy the buzz of activity and making new lifelong friends in the great outdoors, Washington has something for everyone. Let’s check out twelve lake camping destinations in The Evergreen State.
1. Lake Crescent, Olympic National Park
48° 4′ 12.2880″ N 123° 55′ 5.2968″
Fairholme campground on the Western Olympic Peninsula boasts 84 campsites on the verge of Lake Crescent. The lake’s clear blue waters are enchanting, and spectacular old-growth forests surround the entire area.
Campsites need to be booked in advance on the reservation system. Peak season is from May to late September.
Things to know about camping at Fairholme campgrounds at Lake Crescent:
- There is a maximum seven-day stay limit.
- Flush toilets and drinking water are available for campers, but there are no showers.
- Paddling and boating can be undertaken from the nearby boat launch.
2. Baker Lake, Snoqualmie National Forest
Mt Baker Area – [48° 40′ 18.9948″ N 121° 40′ 35.2164″]
Horseshoe Cove Campground is a popular campground on the western shore of Baker Lake. The main attraction is that all 39 campsites are located close to the water’s edge. All lead to a large, idyllic, sandy swimming area.
In addition to the water activities, Horseshoe Cove is a mecca for hikers and backpackers. Peak season camping is from May to September, and reservations should be made in advance.
There are several other campgrounds on the shores of Baker Lake, so if you can’t secure a spot, try one of these alternatives:
3. Lake Cushman, Hoodsport
4621 N. Lake Cushman Road
If you are looking for a lake camping experience with a social vibe and plenty of amenities, Lake Cushman Resort and Campground should be on top of your list. This facility on the Olympic Peninsula is extremely popular with families. There are plenty of exciting activities to keep everyone in the family busy.
Lake Cushman is a privately owned resort and offers a total of 82 campsites. The camping season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Leased pets are also welcome to enjoy the lakeside camping experience.
Some amenities offered at Lake Cushman Resort and Campground include:
- A beach
- A swimming cove.
- Convenience store
- Seasonal boat rentals
- Pedal boats
4. Diablo Lake, North Cascades National Park
State Route 20 Mile 130
Diablo Lake is famous for its vivid turquoise water contrasts against the tall old-growth forests that rise up around its edges. It is a uniquely beautiful setting nestled within the North Cascades National Park.
The National Park Service manages the lakeside camping grounds; visitors can choose from two locations:
- Colonial Creek North Campground – has 41 campsites.
- Colonial Creek South Campground – has 94 campsites.
In addition to the traditional-style camping sites, more adventurous campers may like to try one of the three boat-in campgrounds. The boat launch to get to those areas is at Colonial South Campground.
5. Glacier View Campground on Lake Wenatchee, Leavenworth
Cedar Braw Road
Glacier View Campground is one of the state’s best-kept secrets. The site is tucked away on the south shore of idyllic Lake Wenatchee. It is an ideal destination for campers looking for a quiet yet safe getaway in nature.
The campground offers 23 sites, but there is plenty of space between each, which gives a feeling of complete privacy. Many of the sites are right on the water, and it is ideal for visitors who want to spend most of their time kayaking or fishing.
Glacier View Campground does not have many bells and whistles, but it does have potable water and vault toilets. Families with kids looking for a campsite with more activities should check out Lake Wenatchee State Park South Campground.
6. Kachess Campground on Kachess Lake, Easton
8000 Lake Kachess Road [47° 21′ 17.4240″ N 121° 14′ 36.3120]
Kachess Campground is set in an old-growth forest in Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest. Lake Kachess is the major attraction in the area and offers day visitors and campers a family-friendly atmosphere.
There are 150 campsites at Lake Kachess and plenty of activities to keep everyone busy. The lake has the usual assortment of water activities, including excellent fishing. In addition, the area boasts scenic hiking trails.
7. Midground Campground on Cascade Lake, Olga
3572 Olga Road
Getting to the campgrounds in Moran State Park is part of the adventure. It includes a one-hour ferry ride from Anacortes, Washington, which needs to be booked in advance.
Midway campground is in Moran State Park, which is on Orcas Island. Amenities include:
- Flush toilets
- Hot showers
- Drinkable water
- Trash service
- Bike trails
There are three separate camping areas in Moran State Park, although they are all operated jointly. Sites 18 to 66 form part of the Midway campground. What we love about this section is that it is lakefront and can’t accommodate RVs or trailers, so it tends to be the quietest area.
8. Takhlakh Lake Campground, Randle
Takhlakh Loop Road
Campers at Lake Takhlakh can enjoy some of the most majestic scenery in Washington. Although the lake isn’t as big as many others in the state, the sheer magnificence of the views of Mount Adams reflecting on the water makes it a popular destination.
There are 50 campsites at Takhlakh Lake Campground, and each of them is a short walk from the water’s edge. Only non-motorized watercraft are allowed on the lake, so the setting is always tranquil.
The camping sites at Lake Takhlakh can be reserved up to 6 months in advance. There may also be first-come, first-served sites available, but it is better not to take the chance and secure a booking before you arrive to avoid disappointment.
9. Willaby Campground on Lake Quinault
S Shore Road
Willaby Campground is one of three small camping areas on Lake Quinault managed by the US Forest Service. It is surrounded by a temperate rainforest, which is typical of the Pacific Northwest landscape.
The scenic lakeside campground is set in the Olympic National Forest. An excellent feature is that all the campgrounds are connected by the Quinault National Recreation Trails System. This offers visitors the opportunity to explore a network of trails leading to waterfalls and other landmarks.
Willaby Campground has 19 drive-up campsites. Sites can be reserved six months ahead at recreation.gov. Visitors don’t need to bring a lot of watersport gear, as paddleboards, canoes, and kayaks can be rented from a nearby lodge.
10. Alta Lake Campground, Pateros
1B Otto Road
Camping on the scenic shoreline of Alta Lake is perfect for adventurers who love peace and quiet. The lake is only about two miles long by half a mile wide, but it has a lovely sandy beach area that is great for swimming.
Reviews from campers who have stayed at Alta Lake State Park are overwhelmingly positive. Many visitors love that the area is relatively uncrowded compared to other lakeside camping destinations.
There are 125 campsites along the shores of Lake Alta, which are suitable for tents or RVs. Popular leisure activities in the area include:
- Bird watching
- Metal detecting
11. Lake Chelan State Park, Chelan
7544 S Lakeshore Road
With 6000 feet of public shoreline, the picturesque shoreline of Lake Chelan has become a summer vacation institution for many Washington residents. It is a great option for campers who enjoy having plenty of amenities and homely comforts nearby.
Some of the features that can be enjoyed while camping at Lake Chelan include:
- Children’s playground
- Regularly organized activities, for example, volleyball
- Boat ramp
- Hot food, beverage, and ice cream outlets
- Watercraft rentals
Take note, this is not a lakeside camping destination for visitors who are longing for quiet solitude. During the summer, the shores of Lake Chelan are abuzz with excitement and activity. It is a reliable destination choice for families as there are plenty of activities to keep kids busy.
Residents of Washington are blessed to live in the state with abundant lake camping opportunities. There are lake camping destinations in every part of the state. From the excited summer vibe of Lake Chelan to the secluded majesty of Glacier View Campground at Lake Wenatchee and everything in between, memories are out there just waiting to be made.