Leader Lake campsites restored, able to open following wildfire damage

Leader Lake Campground, Loup Loup State Forest, Okanogan County
Leader Lake pictured in the Okanogan Valley. Photo/ DNR.

This week, DNR was able to open eight campsites earlier than expected along the north shore of Leader Lake, a popular fishing lake near Okanogan. The 25-site campground, which surrounds Leader Lake in DNR’s Loup Loup State Forest, was damaged in 2015’s harsh fire season. DNR anticipates the lake’s south shore campsites will open this spring or summer.

A Washington Conservation Corps crew member removes hazardous trees. Photo/ DNR.
A Washington Conservation Corps crew member removes hazardous trees. Photo/ DNR.

Conservation corps effort
Thanks to help from an Ellensburg-based Washington Conservation Corps crew, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, DNR removed hazard trees in portions of the campground to improve public safety. Other conservation corps crews will return next week to begin general maintenance of Loomis and Loup Loup state forests’ other campgrounds.

Another plus, just this week the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife planted about 4,000 rainbow trout in Leader Lake, open to motorized and non-motorized boating, like kayaking and canoeing. Spiny rays and rainbow trout make Leader Lake popular for local anglers. To see more of Leader Lake, visit our Flickr page.

Getting there
Start from junction with US Highway-97 at Okanogan. Go west on SR-20 for 8.4 miles. Turn right on Leader Lake Road (paved, one lane) and go .4 miles to site. Get directions.

Before you go, don’t forget your Discover Pass, the ticket to exploring Washington’s great outdoors. With the purchase of a $30 annual Discover Pass, camping with your vehicle at Leader Lake, and any of DNR’s 70+ campgrounds, is free. To purchase the pass online or find a vendor near you, click here.

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