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Old 08-31-2010, 03:08 PM   #1
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Washington / Eastern Cascades Suggestions

Hello Washingtonians (and others),

We will be in central Washington on the long weekend (at The Gorge to see DMB). We will be heading north from the Quincy area on Sunday, and are looking for a place to stay on Sunday night, in the general area around Chelan-Bridgeport-Winthrop. We will be heading over Route 20 on Monday on our way home to North Vancouver.

It can be a developed site, forest service site, boondocking - looking for any and all options. But, it MUST be on or near water, and suitable for a 3-year old and a furry dog.



Any suggestions for great little swimming spots anywhere around the Ellensburg-Moses Lake corridor would also be appreciated. We've got all day on Saturday to explore and to keep cool. We've spent many afternoons at the Quincy reservoirs, and also been to Moses Lake, Lenore Lake, and a few others, but are looking to find some new places.

Thanks in advance.

Brent
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:52 PM   #2
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Re: Washington / Eastern Cascades Suggestions

I think your best bet is to high tale it North past leavenworth to Lake wenatchee area off highway 2. I have not camped around there yet so I am no help but have heard good things about it. Also off 97 from Cle Elum you can do boondocking. If you don't want to go that far off your path then maybe Lake Chelan. However I recently stayed there and I was not impressed and I am sure it is going to be really crowded this weekend. I have also been around Mazama and Twisp off highway 20 and there are many spots around here to boondock. I know a lot of people camp around Ross Lake off highway 20 but that may be crowded as well?

I would also recommend staying off the I-90 corridor and if you do travel it, don't go West of Ellensburg as the traffic will be bad. This weekend is probably the busiest weekend for the I-90 corridor all year and we avoid it like the plague. I made the mistake of coming back over the pass after the long weekend and I was stuck in traffic at a dead stop for 3 hours near Cle Elum area. In fact almost every weekend this summer has been bad and stop and go traffic after Ellensburg on a Sunday. We have a cabin and in-laws down the I-90 corridor so we travel it frequently. If your not on the pass before 1:00 then forget it.

That is about as helpful as I can be right now. Hopefully someone can come along and be more specific for you.
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Old 08-31-2010, 05:01 PM   #3
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Re: Washington / Eastern Cascades Suggestions

One option you may consider is North of Omak turn left onto Pine Creek Rd. which will take you to Sinlaheekin road which runs parallel to Hwy 97. There are two small lakes, Blue Lake and Fish Lake which have small campgrounds. This road runs up through Loomis and you can cross the boarder at Nighthawk. This is a very small boarder crossing and the only time I used it I was the only car in sight.

Off Sinlaheekin Rd. is Toatscoulee Rd (unpaved) which has lots of boondocking spots. Last time we were up here we found a great little spot on a creek. You can take this to FSR 39 and then FSR 37 and be back on HWY 20 as well. This is a beautiful area that isn't well traveled so even on a busy weekend there probably won't be many people.

Cheers,
John
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:10 PM   #4
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Re: Washington / Eastern Cascades Suggestions

Thanks for the great info, guys.

Roonie - We drove through Lake Wenatchee last year, sorta by accident. We were driving into Leavenworth from the east when we got stopped dead in a Bavarian-themed traffic jam. I noticed a route on my GPS heading north, so a quick right and we were on our way. Beautiful area, and a nice drive up through the small community of Plain. I believe there were a few open sites at the state park, but it was absolutely pouring, so we let the dog out for a quick swim and pushed on to a rest area on I5 north of Everett. I'd love to go back to Lake Wenatchee to explore more of the back roads.

We've also driven 97 from Cle Elum up to Leavenworth in the past, and agree there would be many places to boondock. And have been into Roslyn (aka Cicely, AK - wife was a big fan) quite a few times.

I hear ya about I90 traffic. We'll be heading down Thursday night/Friday morning, so hopefully we can beat the long weekend traffic. And heading back via the northern route (Route 20).

Anyway, I think we want to be farther north on Sunday night, so will save Lake Wenatchee for another trip.

John - I remember you writing about the area north and east of Winthrop in the past, and I spent a few hours last night on Google Earth exploring that area. Both Blue Lake and Fish Lake look promising. However, I think being that far north and east of Route 20 will add a few hours to our drive on Monday. For various reasons, I don't want to cross over into BC that far east (at Nighthawk/Oroville). I think we’re going to aim for somewhere in the Methow Valley, maybe the state park at Alta Lake.

Anyone been to Sun Lake State Park/Dry Falls recently, near Coulee City? Any tips on a quiet spot to sit by the lake? Thinking of heading up there on Saturday. I know Railbat’s been in there, but his trip report and photos are no longer available.

Thanks again, and have a great long weekend everyone.

Brent
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Old 09-06-2010, 07:58 PM   #5
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Re: Washington / Eastern Cascades Suggestions

How was the concert and trip? Where did you stay and did you like it?
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Old 09-12-2010, 12:49 AM   #6
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Re: Washington / Eastern Cascades Suggestions

Hi Roonie,

The concerts were great, weather was fantastic, it was a good trip. We headed over I90 on Friday, a little later than planned, and got stuck in construction traffic at the summit. Stopped at Lake Easton SP to cool down.


Went to both Friday and Saturday shows (they also played Sunday). If you haven't been, The Gorge is truly an amazing venue. My son had fun.


Stayed at a rest area outside of Quincy after each show. Relatively quiet (except for the apple trucks) and only about 40 minutes from the show.


Spent Saturday afternoon at Sun Lakes SP. Nice little spot, but it was incredibly windy while we were there.


Sunday, we headed up to Alta Lake SP, at the confluence of the Methow Valley and the Columbia. The serviced sites are literally like diagonal parking, and are the furthest from the water, but the unserviced sites are pretty sweet, and the water was warm.


Monday, we headed into Winthrop for lunch. It started raining as we left, and rained all the way home. Still, the drive over Route 20 is always beautiful. Here is Diablo Lake.


Cheers,
Brent
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