Drive to the far northeastern corner of Washington, and you'll come across the majestic Colville National Forest. This remote landscape doesn't get the attention of the Cascades or the Olympic National Forest, which is good news for adventurers — the small crowds make it easy to take in the wild beauty of the trails, peaks, and lakes. Snack on huckleberries as you hike to a mountain summit, or scan the shoreline for grizzly bears and caribou as you paddle across one of the forest's exceptionally clean lakes. No matter where you go, panoramic mountain views await.
Camping in Colville National Forest
The Colville National Forest sits near the northern edge of Washington in an area that stays cool for much of the year. Whether you're braving the winter snows or enjoying the summer sunshine, an RV is a fantastic way to camp in the wilderness without sacrificing your favorite comforts and amenities. With RVshare, it's a breeze to rent the perfect RV for your crew — that way, you can go all-in on the adventure.
Camp on the banks of the Pend Oreille River at the Edgewater Campground. Each site is tucked into the tall evergreens, so you always have shade and privacy. Explore the forest to find delicious thimbleberries, or walk down to the river to fish for trout and bass. Sites are basic, but you'll find drinking water, vault toilets, and trash collection. Plus, there's a boat ramp in the campground for easy river access. Rates are $24 per night, and RVs of all sizes are welcome. The campground is open from mid-May to early September.
Tucked deep in the forest, the Gillette Campground offers beautiful views of the trees and the water. There are just 29 sites, ensuring a relaxing experience for tent and RV campers. You won't find hookups, but the campground offers drinking water, vault toilets, and paved roads. With a quick walk from your RV, you can hike on the nearby trails, boat in Gillette Lake, swim from the beach, or bike along the forest roads. Every site comes with a picnic table and a fire pit. Each site is $24 per night during the campground's open season from mid-may to early September.
Cedar RV Park
Located in the heart of Colville National Forest, Cedar RV Park offers easy access to everything that the region has to offer. Here, you'll find a wealth of amenities, including full hookups, a laundry room, hot showers, cable TV, and high-speed Wi-Fi. An RV wash and dump station make it easy to care for your rig, and the store offers all of the parts and supplies you need for a comfortable trip. Many sites are nestled under a grove of cedar trees, and you'll find a large green space for kids to run free. The campground is open year-round; rates start at $30 per night for two people.
Activities in Colville National Forest
The Colville National Forest covers more than 1 million acres; whether you want to relax or get active, there's plenty to do. Challenge yourself on the forest's excellent mountain-bike trails, or break out your road bike for a strenuous ride. Horseback riding is possible in many parts of the park. No matter how you get out into the wilderness, watch for the fantastic animals that live among the trees. Black bear, grizzly bear, moose, caribou, and bighorn sheep are just a few.
If you're in the mood for a relaxing day, try fishing one of the many lakes and ponds in the forest. Bead Lake, Browns Lake, Mystic Lake, Empire Lakes, and Sullivan Lake are just a few great spots. Many rivers and streams, including the San Poil River, Sullivan Creek, Sherman Creek, and Chewelah Creek, are also open to fishing.
If you're interested in viewing flora, the trails near Mill Pond, Noisy Creek, and Hall Mountain offer a variety of trees, plants, and flowers. Geocaching is allowed in many parts of the forest with the exception of designated Wilderness Areas, national scenic areas, and historic trails.
In the winter, Bead Lake and Sullivan Lake are popular spots for ice fishing. Metal detecting and rock-hounding are two popular, laid-back activities. When the weather is cold or rainy, enjoy the wilderness on the scenic drives near Mill Pond, Noisy Creek, and Sullivan Lake.
After dark, take time to look up from your seat around the campfire; the lack of light pollution in the forest makes for exceptional stargazing.
How to get to Colville National Forest
Address: 765 South Main Street, Colville, WA 99114
Fee: Entry fee $0
Serene and beautiful, the Colville National Forest is the perfect place to get off the grid. Whether you're seeking the solitude of hiking and fishing or the community of the many lakeside campgrounds, the forest has activities for the whole family. An RV is a fantastic way to get out in nature while enjoying a warm, cozy bed and the comforts of modern life.
Frequently Asked Questions About Colville National Forest
What type of wildlife lives in Colville National Forest?
Wildlife that lives in Colville National Forest includes grizzly bears, caribou, black bears, moose, and bighorn sheep. There are also many different bird species that live in the forest, along with fish in the streams and lakes.
What is the closest town to Colville National Forest?
Colville is one of the closest towns to Colville National Forest. There are restaurants, hotels, campgrounds, and grocery stores so it's a great spot to stock up while camping.
Is Colville National Forest open all year round?
Yes, Colville National Forest is open year-round. However, some areas of the forest may be closed in winter and some services may not be available because of snow. It is a great winter spot for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and other winter activities. In summer, it's a great place for hiking, biking, paddling, and other outdoor adventures.
Is there a fee to get into Colville National Forest?
No, there is no fee to get into Colville National Forest. There are permits and fees required for certain areas, however. Day-use areas, sno-parks, and other spots may require purchasing a permit or paying a fee to visit for the day.
Does Colville National Forest offer free camping sites?
Yes, Colville National Forest offers free camping sites. Dispersed camping is allowed throughout the forest, and does not cost. There are no amenities like water, restrooms, or trash service, so campers must be self-sufficient. Campers must also pack everything out when they leave and leave no trace.