Lake Chelan State Park
Reserve your campsite early, wait for summer with growing anticipation, then join the ranks of visitors who make Lake Chelan a family tradition.
This social camping park pulses with life in the summer. Generations of families return to the blue lake every year; they even try to book the same campsite they've used since the 1960s and '70s. But, while they'll jockey online for their favorite spot, veteran Chelan-goers happily share this gem with first-timers, and many lifelong friendships begin there.
Lake Chelan State Park has a long, sandy beach, shaded picnic tables and a calm lagoon. The 50.5-mile lake, with a depth of 1,486 feet, draws boaters, sailors, anglers, water skiers, windsurfers and seasonal residents. The area features some of the finest hiking trails in Washington, and adventurous hikers make the park their base from which to explore the North Cascades. For visitors hoping to chill out in their camp chairs, float the lagoon in a raft and soak up the homey atmosphere with family and friends, this place cannot be beat.
Lake Chelan State Park is a 139-acre camping park on the forested south shore of Lake Chelan. The park has 6,000 feet of shoreline and the beach is accessible by stairs. The park gets an annual average rainfall of 11 inches. Summer tends to be hot and dry. Annual average snowfall is 24 inches.
- Hiking trail
- Picnic area
Use our interactive ADA recreation map to search for other state parks with ADA amenities and facilities.
Picnic & day-use facilities
The park provides one kitchen shelter without electricity plus 52 unsheltered picnic tables. All are available first come, first served. Be advised the parking area is small and fills early on weekends.
- 0.2 miles of ADA hiking trails
- 2 miles of hiking trails
Water activities & features
- 495 feet of dock
- Beach exploration
- Fishing (freshwater)
- Personal watercraft use
- Watercraft launch
- Bird watching
- Children's playground
- Horseshoe pits (2)
- Stand up paddleboard rentals
- Volleyball court
- Wildlife viewing
The park maintains a roadside monument on SR 97A at Earthquake Point. This monument describes an earthquake and landslide that occurred many years ago. The force of the quake was so great that a landslide blocked the Columbia River for several days.
Another monument stands one mile east of the park. At this site, in 1945, a school bus carrying the children of Southshore residents plunged into the lake after hitting rocks that had fallen onto the roadway. The bus driver and a number of children died in the accident. The monument was erected and is maintained by the families of the children.
- The park offers a large, grassy play field suitable for team sports.
- A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington state parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
- Printable park brochure (PDF).
Located in Chelan County on Lake Chelan, the park has one single-lane launch with a nearby 28-car parking lot that fills rapidly on weekends. The park offers 495 feet of dock, some of it near the launch and some of it at the opposite end of the park near lakeside camping.
Launching a boat at a state park requires one of the following:
- An annual launch permit (Natural Investment Permit); or
- An annual Discover Pass and a daily launch permit; or
- A one-day Discover Pass and a daily launch permit. A daily watercraft launching permit for $7 and a trailer dumping permit for $5 is available at the park. Annual permits also may be purchased at State Parks Headquarters in Olympia, at region offices, online, and at parks when staff is available. Moorage fees are charged year round for mooring at docks, floats, and buoys from 1 p.m. to 8 a.m.
The park and all facilities including the boat launch are closed from Nov. 1 to March 1 each year.
Latitude: 47º 52' 16.68" N (47.8713)
Longitude: 120º 11' 22.91" W (-120.1897)
The park has 103 standard campsites, 18 partial-hookup sites, 17 full-hookup sites, one dump station, five restrooms with showers.
The park offers 17 fully upgraded utility campsites that offer 50 amps service, two picnic tables, and the sites are large enough to accommodate the largest motorhomes and buses. Lake Chelan is extremely popular, early reservations are a must.
Check-in time is 2:30 p.m.
Check-out time is 1 p.m.
Reservations & fees
Services & supplies
The park has a full-service concession offering groceries, prepared food, candy and packaged snacks.
Lake Chelan is located on land historically associated with the Chelan Indian Tribe, and it sits within the traditional territory of several native groups speaking the Interior Salish language. The area was homesteaded in 1862 by John W. Stevenson, a blacksmith from Ohio. The town of Chelan was established as a military post in 1880 by Colonel John Merriam and was incorporated as a town in 1902. In 1942 and in response to increased tourism in the region, State Parks bought the first parcel of land that would become Lake Chelan State Park. The park opened in 1943 and has since attracted multiple generations of families, several who have vacationed here since the 1960s.