Washington State Lake Resorts

by Joanne Thomas

A number of the larger lakes within Washington State's wilderness areas and national parks, including Lake Chelan in eastern Washington and the Olympic Peninsula's Ozette Lake and Lake Crescent, offer lakefront accommodations for visitors. They vary considerably in style; some are located in developed towns with abundant recreational facilities and others are in remote areas surrounded by unspoiled wilderness.

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Lake Chelan Resorts

Lake Chelan, located where the Cascade Mountains meet the eastern Washington desert, offers lodging and recreational facilities for boating, mountain biking, golfing and a wide variety of water sports, mostly in the town of Chelan. Notable resorts on the shores of Lake Chelan include Darnell's Lake Resort, which is open from mid-April to mid-October, and the year-round Wapato Point Resort. Darnell's Lake Resort is a family-friendly destination on the sandy shore, offering a kitchen in every guestroom, a four-acre playground and a nine-hole putting green. Wapato Point, covering 116 acres with 1.5 miles of the lakefront, provides accommodations in one-, two- and three-bedroom condos, all with full kitchen, private patio and fireplace. The resort has a staffed recreation department offering complimentary sports equipment and rentals of boats, kayaks, bicycles and fishing gear. In winter it features an on-site ice-skating rink. The four-season Stehekin Landing Resort is a more secluded alternative in the village of Stehekin, which lies amid the 9,000-foot peaks of the North Cascades National Park and is accessible only by boat or float plane. The absence of telephones, televisions and road access to ensures a peaceful atmosphere. Stehekin Landing's 28 units sleep up to seven people.

Banks Lake

Banks Lake, as well as numerous other small lakes around the town of Coulee, is a choice destination for bass fishing and birdwatching. The main resort properties on the lake are Sunbanks Lake Resort, Coulee Playland Resort and Coulee Lodge Resort. Sunbanks Lake Resort offers boat moorage and water sports equipment rentals. Its one- to five-bedroom villas, cabins and cottages sit on the waterfront and offer panoramic views of the lake. They have bright, modern decor, fireplaces and large waterfront decks with barbecue grills. Coulee Playland Resort combines a campground, RV park and yurt camp with Mongolian-style circular tent cabins, which are raised on wooden decks and include a bunkbed, futon, refrigerator and private barbecue area. The facilities include complimentary wireless Internet access, a convenience store on-site and rentals of fishing and paddle boats. Coulee Lodge Resort offers a choice of campsites, RV sites and cabins that sleep up to four guests. A variety of boats are available for rent through the resort, which also has its own general store.

The Lost Resort at Lake Ozette

The Lost Resort at Lake Ozette, which borders Olympic National Park, boasts the title of "Westernmost Outpost in the Lower 48." This remote wilderness resort offers guest accommodations in a large campsite and cozy, rustic camping cabins set in a grassy area frequented by deer. The wooden cabins sleep up to four people and are equipped with electric stoves inside, furnished porches, firepits and picnic tables. Guests enjoy direct access to the 7,700-acre lake and its sandy shores, wooden boardwalks through the temperate rain forest and an on-site deli with a bar serving meals and microbrews.

Log Cabin Resort at Lake Crescent

Log Cabin Resort is the only privately owned resort on Lake Crescent, which is located within Olympic National Park. It began welcoming guests in 1895, when the property consisted of a two-story log cabin hotel. The resort now features a variety of accommodation options: lakefront A-frame chalets, lodge rooms, rustic cabins with kitchenettes and basic log cabins. It also offers a restaurant, gift shop and general store. Guests can rent hydro-bikes, pedal boats, row boats, canoes and kayaks from the resort.

About the Author

A writer of diverse interests, Joanne Thomas has penned pieces about road trips for Hyundai, children's craft projects for Disney and wine cocktails for Robert Mondavi. She has lived on three continents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where she is co-owner and editor of a weekly newspaper. Thomas holds a BSc in politics from the University of Bristol, England.