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11 Best Campgrounds near Leavenworth, WA

Written by Brad Lane
Aug 12, 2021

Leavenworth is a unique Bavarian-themed town on the east side of the Cascade Mountains, approximately 80 miles east of Seattle. Alongside Alps-inspired storefronts, the city also has towering mountains at its edge. These stunning peaks and their forested canyons add to Leavenworth's Bavarian flare. And they provide some of the best outdoor playgrounds in the state.

Whether traveling to Leavenworth to celebrate Bavarian culture or coming to explore iconic attractions like the Enchantments, spending the night is the way to go. And several campgrounds near Leavenworth offer beautiful places to pitch a tent or park an RV.

The first place to head when searching for a campground is Icicle Road, paralleling Icicle Creek. This partially paved road starts on the west edge of town and passes several campgrounds and bucket-list hiking trails. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest operates every campground along this popular route. And a few of these campgrounds offer reservations up to six months in advance.

For a detailed look into Icicle Creek campgrounds and other popular places to stay in the area, check out our list of the best campgrounds in Leavenworth, Washington.

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Eightmile Campground

Eightmile Campground
Eightmile Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Eightmile is one of the first developed Forest Service campgrounds on Icicle Road coming from Leavenworth. The campground has 41 single sites, four double sites, and a large group site that accommodates up to 70 people. Sixty percent of the sites are reservable, while the rest are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Like all campgrounds on Icicle Road, Eightmile is a popular spot to pitch a tent or park an RV. What adds to its popularity is its proximity to Leavenworth, less than a 15-minute drive away. It’s also near several of the best hiking trails near Leavenworth. Trailheads like Stuart and Colchuck Lake are less than five miles away.

The campsites are generously spread out near the banks of Icicle Creek. This rushing waterway offers a gentle rumbling that cuts down on neighbor noise within the campground. It’s also a stunning waterway to sit next to and admire. Several of the sites lend instant access to the creek. All overnight visitors also have access to vault toilets and potable water.

Enchantment Core Zone
Enchantment Core Zone | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

For those looking to hike through the Core Enchantment Zone, Eightmile Campground makes an excellent home base to stay the night before the hike. The campground is less than five miles away from either trailhead, making an early morning start easier.

2. Lake Wenatchee State Park

Lake Wenatchee State Park
Lake Wenatchee State Park | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Lake Wenatchee State Park, one of Washington’s best state parks, is a scenic 20-mile drive from Leavenworth. The state park centers around the eastern bank of this five-mile-long lake. And the park's generous shoreline encourages a day spent by the water.

Alongside boating and swimming, Lake Wenatchee is also a popular spot to go camping. The state park has 155 standard sites split between two campgrounds. The south campground has 100 sites and caters to tent campers and small camper vans. RVs should head to the north campground, where electrical hookups are available.

Reservations are available from April 1st through October. Every camper has access to potable water, flushing toilets, and coin-operated showers. And every visitor to the park has access to various activities, including guided horseback rides and paddleboard rentals.

Lake Wenatchee in the winter
Lake Wenatchee in the winter | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Lake Wenatchee is also a popular spot for winter camping. The winter campground provides quick access to a sledding hill and cross-country ski trails, and runs on a first-come, first-served basis. Besides heated restrooms and warming shelters, few other amenities are available.

3. Johnny Creek Campground

Johnny Creek Campground
Johnny Creek Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Johnny Creek Campground is on Icicle Road, split between an upper and lower loop. The upper loop is on the north side of Icicle Road, while the southern loop is closer to Icicle Creek. In total, Johnny Creek has 65 sites available, including nine double sites. It’s approximately a 12-mile drive from Leavenworth to reach either camp loop.

All sites at Johnny Creek Campground are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and it’s not uncommon for every site to fill on the weekends. Arrive early if trying to secure a spot for Friday or Saturday night. Tent campers and trailers up to 50 feet long all find sites, and every overnight guest has access to potable water and vault toilets.

Every campsite has standard amenities like picnic tables and fire rings. The upper campground tends to be more shaded and spread out, while the lower campground provides instant access to Icicle Creek. A camp host with firewood for sale is in the upper campground.

4. Glacier View Campground

Glacier View Campground
Glacier View Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Glacier View Campground is a Forest Service campground on the Lake Wenatchee shoreline. It's located approximately a five-mile drive along the southwest shore from Lake Wenatchee State Park. Visitors take the residential Cedar Brae Road to access the campground, which ends with a gravel approach.

Glacier View has 16 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. The winding campground road and smaller sites make this spot better for tent campers and small recreational vehicles. Trailers longer than 15 feet are prohibited.

Campers have access to potable water and vault toilets at the campground, alongside a generous view of the lakeshore. A small boat launch is also available, where for a small fee, day-use visitors can also launch onto the water.

Hidden Lake, quickly reached from Glacier View Campground
Hidden Lake, quickly reached from Glacier View Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

A fun, family hike branches out from the campground and heads to Hidden Lake. It’s approximately a quarter-mile hike to reach Hidden Lake from the campground and another mile to reach the Hidden Lake Trailhead. It's a popular hike for families, thanks to its flat grade and a small, scenic lake to splash around on.

5. Ida Creek Campground

Ida Creek Campground
Ida Creek Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Ida Creek Campground is a small Forest Service campground on Icicle Road, approximately a 30-mile drive from Leavenworth. It’s located shortly after Icicle Road turns to gravel and is at the end of its own half-mile spur road. In part because of this “off-the-beaten-path” approach, the campground tends to stay quieter than others in the area.

Only 10 sites are available at Ida Creek Campground, all on a first-come, first-served basis. While all the sites are spread out along the banks of Icicle Creek, the last three campsites that form a cul de sac offer the best access to the water.

Potable water and two vault toilets are available to every camper. The campground best caters to tent campers and small recreational vehicles. The maximum trailer length is 30 feet.

6. Rock Island Campground

Rock Island Campground
Rock Island Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Rock Island is approximately 17 miles down Icicle Road, near the road’s terminus. It's the last developed Forest Service Campground on the route, outside of Blackpine Horse Camp. Campsites straddle both sides of Icicle Creek, connected by a bridge spanning the water. Here, Icicle Creek mellows out to create large pools, perfect for swimming.

Rock Island has 22 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Because it’s a bit longer of a drive from Leavenworth, including four miles on a gravel road, Rock Island isn’t as busy as other campgrounds closer to town. Still, the sites can fill on summer weekends.

Bridge over Icicle Creek, spanning Rock Island Campground
Bridge over Icicle Creek, spanning Rock Island Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Alongside excellent river views, campers at Rock Island have access to potable water and vault toilets. Each campsite also comes with standard amenities like picnic tables and fire rings. Several sites also have primitive paths leading down to the water, where swimming holes offer a way to cool off in the summer heat.

7. Nason Creek Campground

Nason Creek Campground
Nason Creek Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

This Forest Service campground is near the southeast shore of Lake Wenatchee, approximately 18 miles from Leavenworth. It’s a popular alternative and more affordable option than camping at Lake Wenatchee State Park nearby.

The campground has different sections on both sides of Nason Creek, with 70 sites available. RVs and tents alike are welcomed, though no hookups of any kind are available. Each campsite has a picnic table, fire ring, and access to flushing restroom facilities. Potable water pumps are also in common areas of the campground.

Sixty percent of the campsites are reservable ahead of time, while the rest are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The area is prime for adventures in the surrounding Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, including fishing and hiking. The shore of Lake Wenatchee, too, is within walking distance of all the campsites.

8. Chatter Creek Campground

Chatter Creek Campground
Chatter Creek Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Chatter Creek Campground is a popular Forest Service campground near the end of Icicle Road, approximately a 30-minute drive from Leavenworth. It has a dozen sites available on a first-come, first-served basis and one large group site available by reservation only.

The sites at Chatter Creek best cater to tents and small recreational vehicles. Some sites require a small bridge crossing from the parking area to the camping area, but never more than a 50-foot walk. Each site has standard amenities like picnic tables and fire rings. All campers have access to potable water and vault toilets.

Great recreation options surround the campground. Chatter Creek itself offers a fun forested hike nearby. And the Icicle Gorge Nature Loop is also only a few miles away. Other popular hikes nearby include Icicle Creek and Fourth of July Creek.

9. Bridge Creek Campground

Bridge Creek is the smallest developed Forest Service campground on Icicle Road. It’s less than two miles from Eightmile Campground and is on the gravel road that leads to Stuart and Colchuck Lake Trailheads. The campground has six sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. One large group campground is also available by reservation only.

With only six sites available, near one of the most popular trailheads in the region, securing a campsite at Bridge Creek is very challenging. It’s best to have a backup plan when aiming to stay here.

However, secure a site and enjoy the lush landscape of where Bridge Creek and Icicle Creek converge. Every camper has access to potable water and a single vault toilet. Stays are limited to 21 days in length.

10. RV Parks in Leavenworth

For those looking for full hookups and plenty of space to park an RV, Leavenworth has a handful of options. These private campgrounds and RV resorts offer every amenity needed for comfortable travel.

For RV drivers looking for a spot on Icicle Road, head to the Icicle River R.V. Resort. This family-owned RV campground has been offering scenic parking spots since 1946. The 75-plus sites are spread out among 50 acres right next to Icicle Creek. Alongside stunning surroundings, other amenities include full hookups, laundry facilities, and cable TV. Cabins are also available.

Behind the Bavarian-themed Safeway grocery store, the Leavenworth/Pine Village KOA Holiday is also a popular choice for RVs. It has full hookup sites spread along the banks of the Wenatchee River. The KOA also offers several other types of campsites, including big-rig campsites and cozy cabins.

Alpine View RV Park & Campground is another popular place to park an RV, located across Highway 2 from Safeway. This pet-friendly RV park and campground also has close access to downtown. Pull-through partial and full hookup sites are available.

11. Primitive Camping in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Fall colors in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Fall colors in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Primitive camping, or dispersed camping, typically involves setting up camp in the national forest outside of a developed campground. Dispersed camping usually occurs on pull-outs along Forest Service roads. It’s generally free to disperse camp in the national forest. It includes no amenities like potable water, picnic tables, or restrooms.

Disposing of human waste while primitive camping entails digging a hole and burying everything, or packing everything out. Toilet paper should never be left aboveground or left behind.

When searching for a place to camp for free in the national forest, keep an eye out for existing sites where campers have spent the night before. No garbage services are available, either, making packing everything out a vital part of an overnight stay.

For more information on primitive camping near Leavenworth, visit the Wenatchee Ranger District office on Sherbourne Street.

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