Gorge Lake Campground is the smallest official campground in the North Cascades National Park with six sites. Open year-round, it is conveniently located in Diablo, close to several trails and with free access to a boat launch. Due to its small size and convenient location, Gorge Lake Campground is often full.
The campground is rustic and offers no water, services or hookups. However, two vault toilets and garbage bins are provided. In addition to the boat launch, which is available to day users as well, each site has a picnic table and a fire pit (wood is available outside the park). Summers get quite dry though, and it's important to respect fire bans to reduce the risks of starting wildfires; they unfortunately happen every year in the North Cascades area. If a ban is in effect, it will be indicated on an information kiosk at the entrance.
The sites are all shaded and located relatively close to each other, on Gorge Lake, but with no direct access to the lake. The sites have enough room to accommodate smaller RVs, but the campground is ideal for tents and camping cars.
Until the end of 2017, Gorge Lake Campground was free and available on a first-come, first-served basis. However, as of 2018, it will be added to the National Park System's online reservation site.
Popular trails located nearby include Sourdough Mountain, Pierce Mountain, Stetattle Creek, Pyramid Lake and Thornton Lakes. Boating and fishing on Gorge Lake are other popular activities that are easy to do from the campground. The Gorge Creek overlook is a few miles east on Highway 20.
Whether you're planning to spend a few days exploring the Diablo area or are looking for a place to spend the night along the very scenic Highway 20, Gorge Lake Campground is an excellent place for campers looking for an inexpensive, no frills option to spend a night.