Free Campground – Council Lake Washington


Washington is quickly becoming one of my new favorite playgrounds. Recently I explored a few of the lakes around Mt. Adams – situated in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. These lakes are located on the western side of Mt. Adams. One of the lakes – Council Lake, appears to be a deep water lake with a small campground near its southwestern tip. There’s a fairly steep drop down to the lake, but that makes it easier to lower your canoe to its shore. The camp sites are nestled pretty close together, but still somewhat private amongst the older growth trees. And…it’s free! Those are becoming close to a Dodo bird phenomenon. The drive in was an easy gravel road. I didn’t have time to explore the lake on this trip, but based on the drive in, I think there is a large meadow towards the more northern in.

When I arrived, there were a few people pulling in their boats with a nice catch of fish from the day. The water is a deep blue and it’s what I would classify as a flat water lake. Overall, this is one lake that I will be returning to.
Lake Acreage: 43.7
Elevation: 4,225 feet

IMG_1848   IMG_1846A purple mushroom I found along the edge of the lake.

10 thoughts on “Free Campground – Council Lake Washington

    1. The sites were pretty tight so it depends on what size of trailer. If memory serves, there are sites that are a little bigger in the middle and I think there was a trailer pulled in there. The road loops around too which makes towing a trailer much easier – but it’s overall pretty primitive.

  1. are you able to bring your boat or jet skis on the lake? can we have our truck camper there is there enough room?

    1. Hi Ashley,
      I think you would be fine with your truck camper, but the bank of the lake is pretty steep. I think it would be really hard if not impossible to get jet skis in or a boat any larger than a canoe or kayaks. It’s a beautiful spot though! I’m not even sure if there are motorized restrictions on the lake.

  2. No gas powered equipment allowed on Council Lake. Electric motors ok. Keeps the lake pristine and unpolluted.

    1. Thanks for the update Abby! I think it’s great that they keep gas motors off the lake. This is a beautiful pristine lake and we hope it stays that way!

  3. It’s fairly secluded. Are you looking for something in that general area? Forlorn Lakes has some pretty nice car camp sites and some are secluded if you get there first.

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