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View Full Version : info wanted: camping-skiing on lake Chelan or Banks lake Washington


pbgbottle
03-04-2013, 10:34 PM
hey guys looking for anybody with info on camping -waterskiing in Washington.
we are Canadians looking to head south for a holiday.
i am looking for any info on lakes to camp at .
i thought these two lakes looked big and are not to far away .
we are in vancouver BC these lakes are about 4-5 hours drive.
also wanting it to be great weather and Hot.
we love the heat and usually go to shuswap lake.

we where looking at lake chelan state park or steamboat rock state park

it also looks like both places are booked up . so this may have to be tried next summer Doh!
but still looking for suggestions. we also will be tenting no need for hookups
approx 10-12 days.

thanks any info would be greatly appreciated . pics of camp sites and lakes would be cool also .

cheers Jake.

Thrall
03-05-2013, 12:43 AM
Went to Chelan end of June last year. Water was effing cold still. 60 deg down by the dam and 40s at the upper end.
We stayed at a private campground just E of the lake a bit. Nice spot but not to spend a few days but not a week. Nice little ski lake there though.
Did you look into Lake Entiat? Seems nice and warmer. Easy to trailer over to Chelan from there too.

prostar205
03-05-2013, 01:16 AM
We do alot of boating in Lake Chelan. As was previously mentioned, the water is COLD until the middle of July. Also, there is a ton of wood in the water once the lake is brought back up to summer levels. They lower the lake 20 feet for the winter. Most of the deadheads are cleared out by the end of July. There is a City Park in the city of Chelan and State Park in the middle of the lake. The end of July thru mid-Aug is the best time over there.

pbgbottle
03-05-2013, 02:12 PM
thanks guys we wouldn't be heading over there until the last week of august
the water is cold up here also

how about Banks lake "steamboat rock state park"

i heard it was nice over there ,anybody been there ?
years ago i stayed at an apple farm in yakima and they took me skiing on Moses lake or maybe the potholes reservoir ,
not sure which one it ,seemed far from yakima.
to my surprise they had a ski centurion in the old barn
the lake had lots of sand beaches, warm water, lots of ski boats and fishing boats .
it was a good time . any other suggestions.



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Forrest-X45
03-05-2013, 04:58 PM
Lake Chelan is a beautiful spot for a family vacation but it is very popular and as you have found hard to find camping spots. As already pointed out your best option for camping at this point is City Park. Chelan is also very windy so you have to get your watersports in early.
I have been going to Banks every summer for 20 years so I am very familar with the lake. It is also very popular but big enough you can always find good water throughout the day as long as the wind stays away. Given the time of year you won't find camping spots at Steamboat Rock unless you can find a cancellation. It is amazing campground and right on the water. I will be there again this year mid August.
You can usually get reservations at SunBanks or Coulee Playland. Coulee Playland is a bit of a boat ride to get to the main body of the lake. I wouldn't recommend either one but they will get you a spot on the lake. Lake Eniat is also very nice and has mutiple campgrounds on the river/lake. Let me know if you have other questions.

jeffbare
03-05-2013, 06:51 PM
Banks is much better for skiing. As mentioned previously, the wind can kick up and get very rough for a ski boat.

mramerman@gmail.com
03-05-2013, 07:15 PM
I have extensive experience both at Lake Chelan (and surrounding areas) as well as Banks Lake.

Lake Chelan As several have mentioned before, this is a very large lake that gets very windy with a lot of pressure / activity from boaters (and jet skiers) from Memorial thru Labor Day weekend. With the exception of very early morning, it is not a reasonable ski lake during Summer months.

Our place on Lake Entiat in Chelan Falls (four miles from Lake Chelan). This is a 35 mile dammed section of the Columbia River. In my opinion this lake / river is the very best for water sports. While it does get windy some afternoons and its own pressure from boaters--it is pale in comparison to both of those situations on Lake Chelan.

Frequently Entiat can have miles and miles of glass water well passed noon. We often joke about never turning the boat between skiers or sets. Just go in a straight line until everyone's arms fall off.

The pressure on state campgrounds: Lincoln Rock State Park, Daroga State Park (to name a few) or Chelan County parks (Beebee bridge park), is much less, giving you plenty of water access.

Video is of the wife and I heading out for a set from our place on Entiat in Chelan Falls:

http://youtu.be/2xNR4qlWwrI

Banks Lake Banks is also amazing. In my opinion one of the most dramatic lakes in the State of Washington. One of those places that works in polar extremes---either very windy or glass for miles (photo attached).

Steam Boat Rock State Park is the primary campground (however I believe there are a few more). Your right, if you are not making reservations at mid-night when they open for the following season, you will not get in. For good reason, it is a beautiful park.

Photo 1 is North of us on Lake Entiat-- typical morning prior to our set.

Photo 2 is sunset at Bank's Lake.

pbgbottle
03-07-2013, 11:06 PM
thanks guys .great info .me and the wife are going to do an exploratory trip over there and check everythnig out . maybe we can get something bookerd in next year. thanks for the pics and the vid Mramerman that was what i was after ,would be nice to see pics of the campsites also .

cheers everyone.

Patrick Hardy
03-07-2013, 11:40 PM
You can not go wrong with either of those locations for a good summer time boating road trip. Lake Chelan area has a lot more things to do besides boating, hiking, biking, wineries, bars restaurants,etc. Both locations do get winding in the afternoons, but plenty of things to do in the area if the winds kick up.
Here is the site to look at for WA. State Camping reservations, http://secure.camis.com/WA/Home.aspx just click on each individual camp site and it will show you a picture of it. If you want to go without a reservation, show up at the campgrounds on a Tuesday or Wednesday and you can usually get a spot for three to four days.

Patrick Hardy
03-07-2013, 11:51 PM
Good video Mramerman. We have been boating / skiing that stretch of the river for three plus decades. We had a place in Sun Cove for a long time. Some of the best river skiing out there. There is nothing like skiing glass for miles and miles. One of my favorite locations! I love the sense of traveling up and down the river in the summer and hitting those super heated air pockets that get trapped in the river valley. I can not wait tell Summer.

mramerman@gmail.com
03-08-2013, 10:00 AM
Good video Mramerman. We have been boating / skiing that stretch of the river for three plus decades. We had a place in Sun Cove for a long time. Some of the best river skiing out there. There is nothing like skiing glass for miles and miles. One of my favorite locations! I love the sense of traveling up and down the river in the summer and hitting those super heated air pockets that get trapped in the river valley. I can not wait tell Summer.

Patrick, thanks for reaching out. I am relatively new to our river / lake having married into a family with a place on the water in Chelan Falls just South of Beebee bridge. We have a black hull / red trim x14v. I am sure our paths may cross as we generally ski your direction.

We hit the river Apriln29th last year. Hoping to beat that this year.

Patrick Hardy
03-08-2013, 11:54 AM
pbgbottle, Here is the camp ground that we stay at in the Lake Chelan area - http://www.chelanpud.org/beebe-Bridge-Park.html - Like I said in the earlier post, If you show up on a Tuesday or Wednesday about 10:30 AM, you can usually get a spot. It is a first come - first serve basis, no reservations. Even at the height of Summer, people tend to leave on Sundays and Mondays. Some times you have to drive thru the campground, look for people leaving, then get out and ask them if their leaving and stake a claim on the site. But it is well worth it.
As you can see in mramerman's first photo, the campground is to the right of the bridge, behind the trees.

Patrick Hardy
03-08-2013, 12:02 PM
mramerman, We sold our property in Sun Cove a while ago and only get over to visit old friends and play about once a Summer. I will keep an eye out for you when we do. WE have a Prostar 190 with a safe-t-top. You can see photos of my 190 in my album section. It is great to see how far the Chelan Falls area has come over the decades. Great spot for a house now.
Patrick