July 4th is the perfect weekend for lake swimming, cookouts, and enjoying time together.
For the past two years we have made the trek over the mountains to Lake Wenatchee State Park. The park is perfect for spending time at the lake, going to Leavenworth, and going on short hikes. We have gone with friends and family the last couple of years and it is a fun chill camping experience. Definitely great if you have kids of any age.
Note: While Washington has many great National Parks, the State Parks are also always worth it! Be sure to buy a Discover Pass, it lasts the whole year!
We drove from Seattle to the lake via I-5 North through Stevens Pass. This is a fairly easy trek as it is just straight through the mountains with beautiful views the whole way. During the Summer months the pass is easy to go through and the drive is spectacular.
Note: this road has lots of curves. I recommend motion sickness medication for those who need it.
There are a lot of options for camping at Lake Wenatchee. We camp right outside the park at Nason Creek Campground. Nason Creek is a short drive from the lake itself and has many spots for both privative and RV camping.
The campsites don’t have much privacy due to the nature of the forest on the East-side of the mountains having less brush cover and more tall pine trees. However, they are fairly spacious and there is space to spread out. Each site also has a fire pit and picnic table available. Bathrooms are located in the middle of the loops with flush toilets and running water.
When we arrive we always set up camp first by putting up the tent, setting up water, and making sure our food is put away in bear country.
Then we head to the lake!
Lake Wenatchee is so beautiful. It is perfectly clear and the mountains seem to just pop right out of the water. The beach has sand, but also has larger pebbles so I recommend water shoes or Chacos. We brought float rings this year, and that was a game changer! Having the floats really helped keep you out of the super cold water, while still enjoying the lake at the same time.
To the right of the beach there is a section where the lake has pockets of forest and rocks to explore. There are a lot of cool rocks and short little trails to walk.
Lake Wenatchee is also perfect for Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP). The water is fairly calm and makes it easy to traverse. Zach really enjoyed going out on the water with the boards.
If a lake day is not your thing, never fear! The surrounding area is filled with plenty of activities!
We drove 15-20 minutes over to Leavenworth, WA for some dinner and cookies! Leavenworth is usually very popular during Christmas due to there Christmas Light Festival. However, we have enjoyed going anytime of the year.
Leavenworth has so many options for meals and shopping, but we tend to get the brats as a tradition. 🙂 The weather was spectacular while we were there with lots of sun and not being too hot.
We always love a good Sasquatch sighting!
If you are more outdoorsy, definitely try out the surrounding trails and the river. A 10 minute drive from the Nason Creek Campsite are many trails and some primitive campsites off the beaten path. During July the bugs were still pretty crazy, but look how green everything is!
We unexpectedly found HUGE old growth trees. They were amazing!
Going to Lake Wenatchee has been such a great experience for us and we hope you enjoy your visit. Let us know if you go!