Colonial Creek Campground, North Cascades National Park

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Camp along the shores of blue-green Diablo Lake under the looming, glaciated crags of nearby peaks. Several trails leave right from the campground, including a climb to the top of Thunder Knob, or a stroll along beautiful Thunder Creek. I can’t think of a better campground for families on a summer weekend; there’s an amphitheater and interpretive staff are on hand for family programming.

location: North Cascades National Park, Washington State
map and directions
website | (877) 444-6777
campground type: national park campground
rates: $12 features: 142 sites, Open year-round, but not plowed in winter. Water and flush toilets, but no showers. Bear-proof food storage provided. RVs ok, no hookups. Some walk-in sites, some accessible sites. About half the campsites are reservable.

Lauren Braden’s new book, 52 Ways to Nature, Washington: Your Seasonal Guide to a Wilder Year, is now available for pre-order
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12 Responses

  1. Are Dogs allowed? Can we have an open pit fire? Are tent spaces big enough for my 10 person tent? What are the fish biting?

    1. Brian, Yes dogs are allowed on leash at the campground (no longer than 6 feet), though not on the hiking trails with the National Park.

      Dogs are allowed on a leash within the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas, as well as on most surrounding US Forest Service lands.

      The campsites have open fire pits. You can purchase firewood just outside the park.

      I don’t know if the tent spaces are big enough for your ten-person tent. Each campsite has a tent pad area that is large enough for standard-sized tents, leaving room to walk around the tent, but after that you will run into rocks, tree roots, etc. So if your tent is really, really huge, it might be a tricky fit.

      You can find info on fishing in Diablo Lake here:

  2. Morning all!
    All my questions seem to have been answered in the above mentioned comments/responses.. exceot for whether or not there is a burn ban currently within the area..?
    Maybe I was not looking in the correct places.. but does anyone know this information? I plan to be heading out to Colonial Creek for the 4th of July weekend (leaving today or tomorrow).. which leads me to another question.. am I crazy to try and camp on the busiest camping weekend of the year in a “first come first serve” camp ground?

    appreciate the feed back! Happy camping and have a wonderful weekend all!


  3. Do you think our family has a chance to camp at this campground over the July 31st weekend. There are 12 of us.

    1. Kari, Yeah I do. You’ll want to snag two campsites for 12 people, and they may not be adjacent to each other. But if you can have someone arrive early on Friday and snag the sites, you’re all good. Because ALL of the campsites at Colonial Creek are first-come, first-served, you have as much chance as anyone else to get the sites. And because this campground is not popular for RV’ers, it’s not the type of place where RV campers stay for a week at a time, so really there should be plenty of sites available on the Friday of that weekend.

  4. Is the lake any good for swimming? We would love for our dog to be allowed in the water with us as well!

  5. Good Morning.

    I would like to take my family camping over the Labor Day weekend. There are 6 of us, plus our dog. What time would I need to arrive on Friday to guarantee a camp site at Colonial Creek? I was also hoping you could recommend a couple sites that you like.

    Thanks for your help.

  6. A group of 12 of us would like to camp at Colonial Campground during the Oct 3rd weekend. 1.What are the chances of having a campsite for this large group?
    2. How many tents can be set up on one site?
    3. Are there group sites?
    Thank you.

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