Leader Lake Campground fully restored after wildfire damage

A Washington Conservation Corps crew installs a picnic table at Leader Lake. Photo: DNR.
A Washington Conservation Corps crew installs a picnic table at Leader Lake. Photo: DNR.

For the first time in nearly 14 months, all of Leader Lakes’ 25 campsites are now open-just in time for hunting season. It’s the first time since 2015 wildfires damaged the site, though DNR was able to make eight of the campground’s sites available last spring.

Working with an Ellensburg-based Washington Conservation Corps crew, DNR removed hazardous trees and replaced picnic tables to bring the campground back to its full capacity.

Washington Conservation Corps and Puget Sound Conservation Corps crews use valuable work on DNR-managed lands to launch them into Washington’s workforce and careers. Corps members gain experience while helping to fill a variety of needs – from working on DNR trails and campgrounds to caring for wild spaces by removing invasive species and fostering the growth of native plants. In the summer, crews often assist wildfire fighting efforts in Eastern Washington.

A Washington Conservation Corps crew member removes hazardous trees around Leader Lake Campground. Photo: DNR.
A Washington Conservation Corps crew member removes hazardous trees around Leader Lake Campground. Photo: DNR.

The Corps, founded in 1983, is a multi-agency effort that invests in future generations by building their professional skills  and stewardship for the state’s natural landscapeshigh-quality recreation opportunities and the Puget Sound.

Getting to Leader Lake
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, your path 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.