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Six of the best camping spots in the Inland Northwest in 2019

Grab your tents and sleeping bags and gather your friends for a weekend away from the business of the city.
Priest Lake State Park

SPOKANE, Wash. — Summer in the Inland Northwest brings the perfect weather for many outdoor activities, including camping. 

Thanks to the region's vast forests and state parks, Inland Northwest residents can look just about anywhere for a place to get away for a weekend of camping with their friends and family.

With summer just around the corner, people are already starting to book reservations for their favorite camping spots around the area.

State parks in Washington require a Discover Pass and licenses are required for activities such as fishing. State parks in Idaho require a Idaho State Parks Passport and licenses for activities such as fishing.

We asked the KREM staff for some of their favorite camping sites around the area, and here is a list of six of the best; three from Washington and three from Idaho.


Lake Chelan State Park

Lake Chelan, located in the north central part of the state not far from the Cascade Mountains, offers a wide range of recreational opportunities.

The park offers 103 standard campsites, 18 partial hook-up sites (water and electricity), and 17 full hook-up sites (water, electricity and sewage). There are also five restrooms with shower facilities and a single public dump station.

There are also 17 campsites that offer fully-upgraded utilities, including picnic tables, 50-amps electrical services and room for large motorhomes or buses.

Many fun activities available at Lake Chelan are swimming, fishing, boating, waterskiing, a playground, volleyball courts and other features.

The nearest town is Chelan, which is 10 miles away from the park and has many stores, restaurants and other services.

As one of the most popular state parks in Washington, Lake Chelan often fills quickly, so make your reservations soon if you want to be sure to have a spot!

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park

Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park is located in the central part of the state, situated at the foot of the Dry Falls. The 3,774-acre camping area contains over 73,000 feet of freshwater shoreline between Soap Lake and Coulee City.

The park offers amazing recreation for those who love the water, with great opportunities for fishing, boating and swimming at Dry Falls Lake. For those who want to stay dry or work up a sweat before they hop in the lake, the park has hiking trails leading to panoramic clifftop vantage points.

If you’re a golfer, the park has its own nine-hole course and miniature golf for visitors.

The park has 150 standard campsites, 41 sites with full-hookups, 12 showers, a dump station and six restrooms. Campsites do not have tent pads, but all sites have a fire pit.

For larger parties, the park has a single group campsite that can hold up to 75 people. The entirety of the park is tent-only.

Other amenities available at Sun Lakes-Dry Falls include a laundromat, boat rentals, park store, propane, firewood, payphone and a commissary. You can begin booking for 2019 now.

Curlew Lake State Park

Located in north central Washington, Curlew Lake State Park is often overlooked, but offers beautiful views via its biking and hiking trails that surround the lake.

In addition to 2 miles each of biking and hiking trails, campers can also swim, fish or boat on Curlew Lake. There are two watercraft launches and waterskiing is a popular summertime activity.

There are 57 tent space total between the main and south camp areas. The main camp has 47 tent spaces, 16 of which provide a great view overlooking the lake. The south camp has 10 camp site total, with 8 of them overlooking Curlew Lake.

The south camp has no-fee mooring dock, and the tent camping areas have two restrooms and two showers.

For those with RVs and campers, Curlew Lake has 18 full-hookup sites and 7 with water and electricity only. This are has a restroom with two showers.

The nearest town is Republic, which is 8 miles from the state park. Reservations can be made now.


Priest Lake State Park

A North Idaho favorite, Priest Lake State Park offers 78 campsites and a 50-person group campsite just 30 miles south of the U.S. – Canada border. The park is based around Priest Lake’s eastern shore, which is over 300 feet deep near the Selkirk Mountains.

The park includes: 78 standard campsites; 62 campsites with water and electricity services; 11 with water, electricity and sewer; and a group campsite that sleeps 12 people.

The campsites are a mixture of partial and fully-shaded areas that can be accessed by pulling your vehicle through or backing-in. The park also includes 15 boat slips and six rentable cabins.

For meeting space, the park offers a 50-seat conference room that can hold 55 people, a 48-seat day use area containing a BBQ that can hold 100 people, and a 150-seat amphitheater.

Those wanting to get away to Priest Lake for a weekend can begin booking today for as far out as Nov. 2019.

Garfield Bay Campgrounds

A campground ran by Bonner County on Lake Pend Oreille, Garfield Bay offers a private, secluded experience for relatively low-prices.

The campgrounds, located on the largest lake in Idaho and fifth-deepest in the U.S., have 29 RV site and 15 tent sites located on a hillside surrounded by forest land and Lake Pend Oreille. Each campsite is given a large amount of privacy and seclusion from others at the campgrounds.

There is a picnic area available for use and a marina for loading and unloading boats on to the lake. There are many recreational opportunities at the campgrounds or nearby, including hiking trails, kayaking and of course boating and fishing on the lake.

The town of Sagle is a little under 10 miles away and has a gas station and convenience store. An ATM is also available, and the Captn’s Table offers food and drink just down the road from the lake.

Spots at the campsite can be booked online at ReserveAmerica or by phone at 208-255-5681.

Heyburn State Park

Heyburn State Parks, one of the oldest in the region, has three campgrounds located near Benewah Lake, two of which take reservations and one is a purely first-come, first-serve basis.

The two that allow reservations are Hawleys Landing and Chatcolet campgrounds. Hawleys Landing has 10 tent sites and 42 RV hookup sites that offer either water and electricity or water, electricity and sewage hookups. It also has a shower facility, dump station and a public dock on Benewah Lake.

Chacolet offers those looking for a getaway 38 different tent sites, but does not offer a shower facility.

The sole first-come, first-serve campground is Benewah, which has 24 tent sites and 15 RV hookup locations. Located closest to the lake, it also contains a public dock, boat launch and a shower facility.

For those looking for a more formal lodging, Heyburn also offers two 12-foot by 12-foot sleeper cabins available year-round. These cabins have heating and air conditioning, and can sleep up to five people on a double futon and bunk bed. They also include a dining table with benches, fire pit and grill, porch swing and a microwave, all located near a central bathroom with running water.

Cottages are also available year-round, but if you want to use one on a weekend or holiday, you have to book a minimum stay of three days. They contain two bedrooms that can sleep up to eight people and also offer a full bathroom, dining area, living room and kitchen. Utensils, tableware, coffeemakers and microwaves are also included.

Various opportunities for recreation include boating, fishing, hiking and biking trails, bird watching and swimming among others. You can book from now until November.