Tucked into the hills between Winthrop and Lake Chelan, Alta Lake has long been a hub for anglers, water sports enthusiasts and families that love to camp.
When the Carlton Complex fire swept through the region in 2014, it damaged parts of the park and left a landscape of twisted black trees and scrubbed earth.
But the Alta Lake story is one of recovery, replanting and restoration. Trees and shrubs have begun to grow back, and campers again pitch their tents and bring their RVs to the campsites above the lake. Boaters take off for far corners, many with fishing poles. Children’s laughter can be heard on the shore.
Summer at Alta Lake is a tradition for many families. As the park evolves, it continues to offer a social lakeside experience, and now it provides something new: a chance to witness the power of nature and its amazing resilience.
Alta Lake State Park is a 174-acre camping park where mountainous pine forests meet the desert. The lake is about 2 miles long and a half mile wide and offers good trout fishing, conditional waterskiing, and windsurfing during summer months. Lake Chelan, with its many activities, is 30 minutes away.
Discover Pass: A Discover Pass is required for vehicle access to state parks for day use. For more information about the Discover Pass and exemptions, please visit the Discover Pass web page.
The park provides one kitchen shelter without electricity, two sheltered picnic tables, and 18 unsheltered picnic tables. All day-use facilities are first come, first served.
2 miles of hiking trails
Water activities & features
Personal watercraft use
60 foot dock
Two boat ramps
Other activities & features
Sailboarding is popular with park visitors.
There is an 18-hole golf course in the Alta Lake area.
Wi-Fi is available at the park.
Waterskiing can be dangerous on this small lake. There are waterskiing opportunities 4 miles away on the Columbia River.
A recreational license is required for fishing and shellfish harvesting at Washington State Parks. For regulations, fishing season information, or to purchase a recreational license, visit Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Located in Okanogan County, Alta Lake has two watercraft launches with 60 feet of dock space. Waterskiing and personal watercraft use on the lake is restricted to the hours of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Okanogan County Safety Ordinance).
Launching a boat at a state park requires one of the following: • An annual launch permit (Natural Investment Permit); or • An annual Discover Pass and a daily launch permit; or • A one-day Discover Pass and a daily launch permit.
Annual permits may be purchased at State Parks Headquarters in Olympia, at region offices, online, and at parks when staff is available. Additional information can be found in the Boating Program.
Latitude: 48D 1' 40.44" N (48.0279) Longitude: 119D 56' 21.12" W (-119.9392)
The park has 91 tent spaces, 32 utility spaces, trailer dump, four restrooms (one ADA), and 12 showers. The park also has one ADA hookup campsite and one ADA standard campsite reservable by qualified individuals. Maximum site length is 38 feet (limited availability). Camping is only available April 1 - Oct. 31 and reservations only April 15 - Sept. 15.
The park offers two group camps. The Wooded Group Camp accommodates a minimum of 15 guests, maximum of 45. The Field Group Camp accommodates a minimum of 20 guests, maximum of 85. RVs are allowed, but there are no RV hookups. Fees vary with size of the group.
Reservations & fees
Reservations can be made online or by calling 888-CAMPOUT (888-226-7688). For fee information, check out our camping rates page.
Services & Supplies
The park concession provides food, firewood and some camping supplies.
Fire damage work continues:
Alta Lake State Park was damaged by the 2014 Carlton Complex fires. Staff worked during the winter season to repair damaged areas of the park. Photos below are from November 2014. To see what area of the park the photo is taken at, let your cursor hoover over the photo to see the photo description.
The Alta Lake area was given to State Parks by the city of Pateros and was established Alta Lake State Park in 1951. The lake was named Alta in 1900 by Mr. Heinz, a jeweler from Wilbur, who was mining in the area. Finding the lake without a name, he called it after his daughter, Alta Heinz.