A camp with a colorful past, Washington State Parks’ largest retreat center, Camp Wooten, sits in the Blue Mountains of southeastern Washington along the threadlike Tucannon River.
Columbia County’s former sherriff, one of the first state game protectors, William T. Wooten, worked in law enforcement and wildlife protection for nearly 50 years. One of Wooten’s greatest legacies may be the preservation of Chinook salmon runs in the Tucannon River. The so-named W.T. Wooten Wildlife Area honors his efforts on behalf of local wildlife and habitat. The Wildlife Area, which encompasses Camp Wooten, was named for Wooten after his death in 1948.
In 1935, a Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camp known as Camp Pomeroy, was established at the present-day site of Camp Wooten. After the CCC era and throughout World War II, the camp was a popular site for Methodist youth camps and local 4-H clubs. In 1950, the property was leased to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission by the Department of Game (now the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife) for use as an environmental learning center.
Today’s Camp Wooten retains the feel of both a game range and a CCC-era camp; it offers a dining hall with large commercial kitchen, a recreation hall, sleeping cabins, restrooms with showers, a lake for canoeing, an archery range, a mixed-use sports court with loaner nets and an indoor swimming pool. There are sleeping accommodations for up to 200 people, and with park manager approval, tents and RVs may be allowed.
Alcohol – A permit is required for any alcohol consumption at a retreat center. Permits may be obtained through the retreat center reservation office and are free of charge. Alcohol permits must be filled out and mailed to the park at least 30 days prior to your arrival.
Archery – Archery permits are required at those retreat centers with an archery range. Permits can be obtained through the retreat center reservation office.
Arrival & departure times – The arrival time shown on the reservation is your official scheduled arrival time. If you think you will be more than one hour later than your specified time, you must contact the park directly to arrange for a later check in time. Failure to do so will result in a $50 fee. The entire group and all of its possessions must be ready to go at the departure time specified on the front of the form unless alternate times have been arranged with the park manager or retreat center coordinator. Additional charges may apply.
Capacity – No facility shall be used for more than the rated capacity. This includes sleeping cabins and lodges. With prior approval from park staff, some retreat centers may allow additional guests to stay in tents or RVs.
Cleaning/health standards – The facility must be thoroughly cleaned and returned to an orderly condition at the time of checkout. Cleaning will include sweeping/mopping floors; oven, refrigerator, freezer and microwave will be clear of all dishes and wiped clean; all dishes, pots, pans, etc. must be washed, dried and put away; tables wiped off and put away; chairs stacked; all garbage/recycle shall be put in its appropriate place. It is the group’s responsibility to confirm with the facility manager regarding cleaning and check-out procedures.
Daily attendance – The group contact shall record overnight and day-use attendance for the dates the group occupies the camp.
Damage/liability/accidents – Groups shall not alter, construct, remove, destroy or change any of the buildings or facilities. No timber, trees, shrubs, flowers or other natural feature shall be cut, damaged or destroyed. Groups shall be liable for damage to State Park property and facilities occurring as a direct result of use that is in excess of normal wear and tear. The group contact must advise park staff immediately of any accidents occurring to any member of the group or any damages to state-owned property.
Electrical appliances – Electric appliances, other than those provided, are prohibited unless permission for their use is obtained from the facility manager. This includes such items as TVs, electric coolers, skillets, toasters, heaters and electric blankets.
Group contact – Each group shall provide a full-time group contact who is responsible for the activities of the group. The group contact must be present at check in for orientation with park staff.
Motor vehicles – May be driven only in authorized areas and will be parked only in specified parking areas. Only in an emergency may vehicles be driven on service roads.
Outdoor fires/fireworks – Fires are permitted only in approved areas. No fire shall be left unattended. Fireworks may not be discharged in any state park or retreat center area.
Personal items – Washington State Parks is not responsible for any personal items left at the facility. Please label all personal items (knives, recreational equipment, pots, pans, etc.) so as not to get them confused with park property.
Pets – Pets may be allowed with prior permission from the park.
Quiet hours – Quiet times are between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.
Restricted use of buildings – Park staff have the authority to restrict the use of the buildings or areas within the facility when it is judged that such use will be detrimental to the health and safety of the user group.
RVs & tents – RVs and tents may be allowed for overnight use with prior permission from the park manager. Individuals staying in tents or RVs will be charged the standard overnight rate.
Smoking – Smoking is not allowed in any of the retreat center buildings. Smoking is allowed outdoors at least 25 feet from any building entrance.
Overnight rates are $13.59 per person, per night plus tax from April 15-Oct. 15. March 15 - April 14, rates are $12.01 per person, per night plus tax. Day users (non-overnight guests) are charged $4.40 per person, per day plus tax.
Minimums and maximums
Minimum 75 persons, maximum 200 persons
You may have less than the minimum amount of people, however, minimum fee still applies.
There is a two-night stay minimum on weekends and a three-night minimum stay on holiday weekends.
A deposit equal to the first night stay for the minimum amount of people is due within two weeks of making your reservation. If the deposit is not made within 14 days, your reservation will be cancelled without further notice. An $8.50 reservation fee is charged per reservation.
Cancellations must be made 120 days in advance or more in order to receive a refund (less the $10.50 cancellation fee and $8.50 reservation fee). Groups cancelling less than 120 days will forfeit their deposit. Groups that reserve less than 120 days in advance are not entitled to a refund should they cancel.
Your final balance will be calculated by park staff and is due at the end of your stay. All parks can take checks and most take credit cards. If paying your final balance by credit card, inquire with the park in advance.
Can I make a reservation online?
No, reservations cannot be made online at this time. To make a reservation, please call the reservation line: (360) 902-8600.
Can I make a retreat center reservation at the park?
No. All reservations must be made by calling the reservation line.
When I called the reservation line I got a recording. How can I speak to someone?
Currently there is only one part-time staff person operating the retreat center reservation desk so it is necessary for all inquiries and questions to be left on the message line. Messages are returned in the order received. The reservation line can take messages 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Most calls are returned in one day or less but depending on the volume, it may take longer. Calls are not returned on weekends or holidays.
Can I view a calendar to see what dates are open at my favorite retreat center?
Unfortunately, a calendar cannot be viewed at this time. We are working to give you this option in the future.
How far in advance can I make a reservation?
You may call up to one year in advance to request a reservation.
I called one year in advance for a summer reservation only to find most dates were already full. How can I pre-book a summer reservation?
Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend are the busiest and most requested times for the retreat centers. Groups wishing for a date during this time may contact us and request to be added to our summer reservation mailing list. Request forms are sent out in mid-March to all groups wanting dates the following year.
Can I have a later check out or earlier arrival time?
You may request a later check out or earlier arrival time. However, there is an additional charge for this. Please refer to the rates tab for current prices.
I would like to take a tour of the retreat center before I book a reservation. How do I request a tour?
You may contact the park directly to request a tour of the retreat center. Phone numbers for each park can be found under the “Contact Us” section on each retreat center page.
Do I need a Discover Pass at the retreat center?
Overnight visitors do not need a Discover Pass. Visitors coming in just for day must have the Discover Pass or the one-day permit. Both are available at the park office or contact station.
Can I bring my pet?
Yes, pets are now welcome on the retreat center grounds but not inside any of the buildings. Your pet must be on a leash at all times and cleaned up after.
Can we cook our own meals?
Yes. We do not offer catering services so you must provide and make your own meals.
Can I hire a caterer?
Yes, you can hire a catering company to cook your meals at the retreat center.
What is the kitchen stocked with?
All retreat centers come with everything you need to prepare and serve meals, including: commercial oven, range, dishwasher, refrigerator or walk in cooler, freezer, microwaves, coffee pot, pitchers, pots and pans, mixing bowls, bakeware, utensils, serving utensils, dishes, glasses, cups and silverware.
Can I have alcohol?
Yes, you may bring alcohol for your own consumption while staying at the retreat center. You must obtain an alcohol permit in advance of your stay. Alcohol permits may be requested from the reservation office and are free of charge.
Do the cabins have bathrooms?
There is usually one cabin at each retreat center, typically referred to as “cook’s cabin” or “nurses cabin” that have a toilet, sink, and shower inside.
What do I need to bring with me?
You need to bring all linens with you. For sleeping, bring sleeping bags, sheets, blankets, and pillows. For the bathroom, bring towels, washcloths bath mats and personal items. For the kitchen, bring all food, drink, spices, and hand towels. For outdoors, bring all recreational equipment.