RV Camping Lake Chelan: Everything You Need To Know

Lake Chelan is the ideal Washington State camping destination for great fishing, wines, and family-friendly fun.

The crystal-clear lake spans through the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, nestled in the foothills of the Northern Cascade Mountain Range. It is the largest in Washington and the third deepest lake in the entire United States.

This blog post will cover everything to know before planning a trip to Lake Chelan Valley, including peak season information, the top RV parks, and the area’s recreational opportunities. I am sure you will enjoy an RV camping trip to the beautiful Lake Chelan.

Table of Contents

How To Get To Lake Chelan

Highway 97 runs from north to south through the center of the state and provides the quickest way to reach Lake Chelan. The drive from Seattle is about three hours, and the drive from Spokane is just over two hours. If you’re looking for a more scenic route, take Highway 2 west from Everett and follow the Cascade Loop. This winding road travels through North Cascades National Park and past Mount Rainier.

When To Visit Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan is wonderful to visit year-round, especially since the area boasts 300 days of sunshine each year. In the winter, Washington’s snow-tipped Cascade Mountains look as though they are straight out of a postcard. It is also a popular Pacific Northwest skiing and snowboarding destination.

However, Summer is the best time to visit to take advantage of the region’s warmer weather and terrific outdoor recreational activities.

Washington State experiences higher temperatures well through October, making Autumn an excellent time to visit. It is significantly less crowded than in the Summer despite the fact most pools and swimming areas remain open.

The Chelan Valley is famous for its apple production, so check out one of the area’s orchards if visiting during the Fall. You can stroll through apple trees, sip homemade cider, and pick up freshly baked goods to enjoy back at the campground.

RV Camping At Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan State Park

This RV campground in Lake Chelan State Park boasts easy access to hiking trails.

There are 144 waterfront campsites available, including full and partial RV hook-up sites. Each campsite features a picnic table, grill gate, and fire pit. The facility has bathrooms with flush toilets and a dump station.

In addition, guests may access the campground’s private lakefront beach, children’s playground, and marina. There is much family-friendly fun to be had at the Lake Chelan State Park campground.

Lakeshore RV Park

Located near Downtown Chelan, Lakeshore RV Park is near some of the region’s most noteworthy attractions. This lovely campground is situated in the heart of Don Morse Memorial Park, which overlooks beautiful Lake Chelan.

It has 163 full RV hook-up sites and 22 tent-only campsites featuring 16 x 16 tent pads. In addition, visitors may access the facility’s picnic tables, dump station, and restrooms with flush toilets and hot showers. Reservations are required for this campground.

The park is minutes away from Historic Downtown Chelan, where you can shop for antiques, souvenirs, and other goods. You should grab a bite to eat in one of the downtown district’s many restaurants, such as Apple Cup Café and Fireside Lounge or Local Myth Pizza. You may also want to catch a movie and eat tasty burgers at the nearby Lakeview Drive-In. This option is perfect for any unsuccessful days at the fishing docks!

Summerhill Farm Boutique RV Park

Summerhill Farm is an agri-tourism destination with everything you need for a successful Lake Chelan camping trip on its 160-acre property.

The family-owned farm boasts dry, full, and partial (electric and water only) hook-up sites. Guests may also seek accommodations in Summerhill Farm’s luxe glamping tents. Standard tent camping is available as well. I strongly urge you to make reservations at least two months in advance since campsites book up rather quickly.

When visitors are not hanging around the campground, they may embark on a hike through Summerhill Farm’s nature trails. You can tour the property’s picturesque farmland and even snag some fresh produce.

Harlequin Campground

English: NPS Staff, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for a Washington camping spot that’s off the beaten path, consider Harlequin Campground. This small, primitive campground is located in the heart of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and offers stunning views of Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Adams. There are only six campsites here, so be sure to reserve one in advance if you plan on visiting during peak season. Amenities at Harlequin Campground include picnic tables, fire pits, and outhouses, but there is no drinking water so come prepared. Hiking and fishing are popular activities in this area, so be sure to bring your boots and tackle box!

Lake Chelan’s Recreational Opportunities


Spend a day out on crystalline Lake Chelan on a boat, kayak, or paddleboard. Boat rentals are available across the area. You may also take private charters or sunset cruises through Lady Of The Lake Boat Charters.

Maurice King, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Lake Chelan offers an abundance of fishing opportunities. Whether you do so from a boat or dock, you will likely catch plenty of fish. You will come across species like bass (large and smallmouth), kokanee salmon, lake trout, rainbow trout, and signal crayfish. Once you secure your day’s catch, you may bring it back to the campground to share with your loved ones. Fish tastes incredible when cooked over a blazing open campfire!


The Pacific North West is full of natural beauty waiting to be explored. I recommend taking the Pot Peak Trailhead in the nearby Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. The park is home to eleven stunning glaciers and an active volcano, Glacier Peak.

Although, if you feel like taking a drive, you may want to check out other noteworthy Washington national parks like Mount Rainer National Park. It is about three to four hours away but well worth it to see the state’s largest active volcano.

Attend A Wine Tasting In The Lake Chelan Wine Valley

Sunraderbob, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Lake Chelan has one of the best wine countries in Washington State. The region is home to over thirty wineries, many of which offer spectacular views of the Northern Cascades. The Lake Chelan Valley hosts a wine and jazz festival in late May. Visitors can listen to great music while sipping phenomenal locally made wines.

For another great RV camping trip, visit RV Camping Crater Lake.

Featured image Dana Hutchinson, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons