Find rest and repose by the shoreline at Pearrygin Lake State Park (five miles north of Winthrop, 509/996-2370 or 888/226-7688, www.parks.wa.gov, $17 tent, $23 full hookup, $7 extra reservation fee), which offers lakeside campsites mid-April through October. This is the largest lake in the area, with lots of space to fish, swim, boat and even water ski.
The Forest Service maintains a dozen campgrounds ($10) within 25 miles of Winthrop, and most other areas are open to free dispersed camping (with the exception of the Highway 20 corridor). Closest are the campgrounds up West Chewuch Road: Falls Creek, Nice, Flat, and Buck Lake. Falls Creek has the added attraction of a beautiful falls just a quarter-mile hike away, while quiet Buck Lake has ducks and cattails.
Other often-full Forest Service campgrounds are west of Winthrop along Highway 20: Early Winters, Klipchuck (a very quiet spot), and Lone Fir. Most of these campgrounds are open June–September. Get more information from the Winthrop Ranger District office (509/996-2266).
RV campers can also choose to stay at Big Twin Lake Campground (210 Twin Lakes Rd., 509/996-2650, $27 full hookups), a private property right on the 90-acre lake offering rowboat rentals ($25 per day), fishing, and free wireless Internet.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition