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“Nice lake...but this is the Woodstock of campgrounds”

Lake Chelan State Park
Ranked #6 of 45 things to do in Chelan
Attraction details
Level Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Nice lake...but this is the Woodstock of campgrounds”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2013

We've spent two weeks camping in state parks of Oregon and Washington and this was by far our least favorite. There are a few lake front lots that are good if you book eary enough to get them but otherwise it feels like the park is trying to capitalize on the land. It was noisy and crowded with cars everywhere. Office hours weren't as posted. 2/5 bathroom stalls were out of order and DIRTY, and just a leftover bar of soap sitting in the sink to wash your hands. We were amused with how bad this was in comparison to all the other campgrounds we stayed at. But lake chelan and the town are cute and worth a visit.

Visited June 2013
4 Thank Jrr4g9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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58 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
76 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Can be very crowded, but great park”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2013

We camped here in site #29 in a pop-up tent trailer in mid-June, right before school let out. When we arrived on Sunday afternoon, we were the only trailer in the whole row of campsites. By Tuesday, there were 3 or 4 other people, but no one next to us on either side. And then by Friday, the place was packed. The spaces are pretty small, so when the campground is full, there's not a lot of privacy. Still, when camping with a trailer, I guess I don't expect much privacy. The tent sites had a lot more privacy and that's to be expected.

The site was shady most the day. If you look at my pics, you can see that many of the sites have shade trees. We had a Black Walnut and something else that was pretty, but shed a lot of stuff. It was close enough to the bathroom, but near the end of the row so there wasn't much food traffic past us. We wanted to be close to our friends, who were camping in tent site #38.

Things we loved:
--Little Bear Trail, an interpretive trail (meaning some nice plaques that explain things) which starts near the rest rooms and goes under the highway into a pretty forest of mature Ponderosa Pines.
--The very nice play structure, which had many features I hadn't seen before, like a new kind of teeter-totter and some musical instruments.
--The clean beach area with such clear, beautiful water.
--The docks for fishing or watching the sun rise.
--The lack of mosquitoes. Perhaps it's because we were there in June? I got one bite the whole week.
--The daily sprinklers on the lawn which we could run through. Yes, even in June, it was pretty warm.
--Clean bathrooms and showers
--The little shop by the beach, which sells fairly reasonable ice cream bars and popsicles.
--Watson's Alpenhorn Cafe across from the entrance to the park, which is the only restaurant that's close.
--The proximity to the town of Chelan, which is a 20-30 min drive from the State Park and has pretty much everything you'd need, including two grocery stores, a natural foods store, a variety store, a hardware store, and several restaurants. It's a cute little town.

Things we didn't like so much:
--The little shop by the beach, which was outrageously expensive for most things, except the ice cream bars, popsicles, and ice. I guess they know you don't have a lot of other options, except to drive 15 min down the road to Pat & Mike's, which isn't much cheaper, or 25 min to Chelan.
--The marauding marmots, who didn't disturb us (we had everything pretty locked down), but got into the food and garbage of our friends and then, when they secured that, chewed a hole in their pavillion! The marmots also get into car engines. See my pics if you don't believe me! They're cute, but boy, they're pests.
--The narrowness of the trailer sites, which put you cheek by jowl with your neighbors on both sides.

Overall, we'd definitely come again, especially checking in on a Sunday, when everyone has left, and camping early in the season when it's still pretty raining and grey west of the mountains.

Visited June 2013
4 Thank RottHound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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