You need a weekend getaway to Washington (2023)

Would you like to pitch your tent next to a clear mountain lake and spend a weekend of hiking, swimming, boating and fishing in the magical wilderness?

You need a weekend getaway to Washington (1)

Driving on Interstate 90 and looking for a nice campground nearby to rest before the drive? If your travels take you to the Pacific Northwest this summer, camping at Kachess Lake is a must.

FAQs for Planning a Camping Trip at Kachess Lakes

  • Where exactly is Kachess Lake?

    Caches Lake is located in the Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest near Easton, Washington, just five miles off Interstate 90. The 92-acre campground and day use area is located on the northwest shore of Kachess Lake, with small Kachess Lake just to the north. Just over an hour from Seattle, Kachess Lake Campground is the perfect destination for city dwellers in need of a break.

  • Do you need a reservation to camp at Kachess Campground?

    You don't have to make a reservation. There are about 40 campsites on a first-come, first-served basis, and if you get there early you should be able to find a spot. Kachess Lake Campground does get packed on summer weekends. So if you're dying to camp here, you should stop Placeholder.

  • Can you swim in Lake Kachess?

    Yes! Swimming in summer is very cold and the water is very clear.

  • Can you camp in Caches Lake in your RV?

    Kachess Campground has 150 campsites, 106 of which can be booked in advance on Most pitches are also suitable for larger mobile homes, but without the hitches.

  • Is Kachess Lake Campground open all year round?

    No. Kachess Lake Campground is open from late May to late September. From January, you can reserve pitches for the upcoming

  • How much does it cost to camp at Kachess Lake?

    Single-family residences are $24.00 per night. Additional vehicles are $8.

  • What species of fish can you catch in Kachess Lake?

    Kachess Lake offers excellent fishing conditions year-round for fishing and trolling in the following ways. *Please note that trout fishing is currently prohibited on Lake Kachess.
    - chef
    - Pygmy Whitefish
    -rainbow trout

Both Cutches Lake and the Cutches River are part of the Columbia River Basin. Kachess is nestled between three major lakes off Highway 90.

We live in Vermont and our older son lives in Washington. As much as we love backcountry travel, we travel a lot on Interstate 90.

Last summer, we booked four full nights at Kachess Lake Campground so we could relax and enjoy our Fourth of July holiday before heading back to Vermont.

While the campsites do get crowded, especially over the bank holiday weekend, there's plenty of room to spread out, especially if you can get in the water!

Whether you're looking for a quick spot to pitch your tent on a road trip or looking for the next destination on your family camping trip, be sure to check out Lake Caches in the Okanagan-Wenatchee National Forest.

You need a weekend getaway to Washington (2)

lie……Have you ever seen those awesome RVs meandering across America? they areget away from the caravanYou can also rent one for all your Washington exploring.

Seattle has an Escape campervan rental center a short drive from Kachess Lake Campground.

These iconic vans come with everything you need (and a kitchen sink) for your van camping adventure. Talk about an unforgettable experience!

Pros and Cons: Kachess Lake Campground

You need a weekend getaway to Washington (3)

To keep you up to date, here's a rundown of what we liked and didn't like about our Kachess Lake camping experience, so you can decide if it's right for you.


  • Beautiful private campsite:The campsite is large and nestled among tall trees. Some are on the seafront and offer mountain views.
  • Great for swimming, paddling and paddling:Caches Lake is crystal clear.
  • Great trails from the campground: The Little Kachess trail runs along the coast and leads to the water.
  • Affordable:$24 a night is pretty good for such a great place.
  • Close to I-90:Perfect for road trippers!


  • no connection
  • The bathroom could have been cleaner (we went on a bank holiday weekend)
  • No recycling (trash bins only)
  • no mobile signal

Kachess campsite overview

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First off, you should know that this is a fairly large campground and can get very busy on summer weekends. As with most national forest campgrounds, facilities are limited.

Each campground has a picnic table and a fire pit, and each campground loop has access to vault restrooms. There are taps for cooking and washing dishes nearby.

When booking, choose from several campground lines. Each campsite is nestled in native forest with good privacy in between, but some loops are further from the water than others.

We booked a site on the Mineral Loop which is equidistant from the Little Kachess Trailhead and the day area and beach.

Given the choice, I'd book a campsite at Thetis Loop with its waterways, beautiful hiking trails and private campsites, but we couldn't be happier with our location!

You need a weekend getaway to Washington (5)
You need a weekend getaway to Washington (6)

Kachess Lake Campground is a great place to relax by the water, which we did most of the time. If you have a boat, be sure to bring it with you. There is a boat ramp in the daytime area.

During our visit we saw jet skis, jet skis, fishing boats and kayaks on the water. There seems to be enough room for everyone.

Hiking the Little Kachess Trail

You need a weekend getaway to Washington (7)

There are many great hiking opportunities nearby, but the only hiking trails that start directly from Kachess Lake Campground are the Lakeshore Trail and Little Kachess Trail. Ton

The Lakeshore Trail is less of a hike and more of a meander along the coast in search of the perfect swim spot, but we love the Little Kachess Trail, which starts near Box Creek.

The Little Kachess Trail is a round-trip trail with a total length of 8.6 miles and an elevation gain of 1,300 feet. It begins at the northern end of Kachess Campground and runs north along the shore of the lake.

You need a weekend getaway to Washington (8)

The hike starts near the parking lot, goes to the boat dock and picnic area, and then follows Box Canyon Creek.

The original bridge over the creek was washed away a few years ago. Now, to cross the bridge, just walk along the river, past the washed out bridge, until you come to a large log used as a bridge. Don't worry - crossing is easy.

From here, the trail follows the lakeshore with many wonderful lookouts and some private spots where you can enter the lake, swim and have an afternoon picnic.

The trail stretches over four miles. So when you've had enough, just turn around and head back to camp, grab a cold beer and take a nap in the hammock.

Little Kachess Trail Map and Elevation Profile

As you can see, after a steady ascent to an elevation of 2,643 feet, the Little Cutches Trail ends just outside the lake. We found so many great places to stay in Kachess Lake that we never made it this far.

More hiking opportunities near Kachess Campground

we lovedLittle Caches TrailBecause it started at the campsite, we didn't have to get back in the car to get to the trailhead (we've covered over 3,000 miles).

If you want to spend a few days on a more challenging hike, there are several nearby. Cell phone coverage isn't complete, so be sure to get oneAllTrails+So you can access offline maps of these trails.

This is what we recommend.

  • Südgrat des Alta 山:This difficult hike starts about 4 miles from the campsite and climbs nearly 4,000 feet steeply to an altitude of 6,424 feet. The total distance for the round trip hike is approximately 10 miles. For a less difficult hike, it is possible to hike to Lake Rachel and back, which greatly increases the total mileage of the hike.
  • Margaret Hill:This 5.4-mile hike starts 10 miles from the Kachess campground and offers fantastic views from the summit. The hike covers more than 2,000 miles of altitude and is very steep at the end.
  • Kachess Lighthouse Ring:The Kachess Beacon Loop begins south of Kachess Lake, about 16 miles from the campground. Unlike the other trails mentioned here, this one is a circular route (my favorite) and only takes 4.5 miles to complete in an afternoon. It's still a steep climb, with an elevation gain of more than 2,200 feet, but the views are worth it once you reach the ridge.

Final thoughts on camping at Kachess Lake

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This is the ideal destination for all types of campers. You can bring all your boats and water toys and spend a relaxing weekend cooking good food and playing in the water, or you can use your campground as a base and tackle any of the nearby hiking trails before pitching your tent in the fall.

While Kachess Campground was busier than our usual location, the scenery, hiking, and swimming more than made up for it. We've taken Route 90 more than we'd like, but now we have an extra stop that makes the trip even more worthwhile!

Looking for more adventures in the Pacific Northwest? Check out some of our favorite destinations!

  • Best Things to Do in Port Townsend, Washington
  • Explore Olympic National Park from Sol Duc Campground
  • Puget Sound Whale Watching Adventure
  • Family Road Trip in North Cascades National Park

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Tara is a freelance writer and travel blogger with a passion for outdoor adventures. she isAMC's Best Day Hikes in Vermontcurrently bloggingback walkerandexplore vermont, where she shares travel tips, adventure destinations, and vacation ideas for all hikers.

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