Open Year-round
Reservations possible?
RV Hookups
Potable water
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

On the shore of bluish-green Diablo Lake, Colonial Creek Campground features 142 campsites and a multitude of outdoor activities. Open year round, this campground is a great base for your next North Cascades adventure.

Once you get settled in at Colonial, you may never want to leave. Lakeside, creekside, and forest sites are all available. Hiking trails, a fishing pier, docks, and a boat launch await. The only potential downside is the absence of RV hookups. This makes Colonial Creek Campground best for tent camping, though RVs are welcome. There are several back-in and pull-through spots for RVs, as well as a dump station. Restrooms (without showers) and potable water are available throughout the grounds.

Fed by Colonial Peak's glaciers, the campground's namesake creek flooded in 2003 and 2006, causing irreparable damage to several campsites in the north loop. Today, you can cross Colonial Creek by footbridge and walk through its diverted creekbed on the hike to Thunder Knob. At the south end of the campground, Thunder Creek Trail leads hikers past several backcountry campsites to Fourth of July Pass and beyond.

Great for families, Colonial Creek Campground offers ranger programs and activities at the on-site amphitheater during summer. Launch a kayak or canoe from the campground to explore Diablo Lake, and paddlers can access nearby Ross Lake from here, too.

Note: Colonial Creek Campground is generally open May through September with services and fees. The campground remains open during winter months without water, services, or fees.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)


Parking Pass

Not Required

Open from

May 01 to September 30


Scenic lakeside camping in the heart of the North Cascades.


Basic amenities.

Pets allowed


Managed by

National Park Service


ADA accessible
Flushing toilets
Boat ramp(s)
Potable water

Recommended Campsites Without Photos



Nearby Adventures

North Cascades National Park
Ross Lake National Recreation Area, North Cascades National Park

Nearby Lodging + Camping

North Cascades National Park
Ross Lake National Recreation Area, North Cascades National Park
Ross Lake National Recreation Area, North Cascades National Park


Spent a few hot days in the mountains. Friendly campers all around. Water was cold but worth the plunge. Excellent trail system right from the campground. No cell service after Newhalem. Tip: stay up late and watch the star show at the fishing pier.
Great campground! We stayed over labor day weekend, so it was completely full (and can get noisy), but still a lovely spot. We stayed at site 140, which was absolutely gorgeous and very private. It's a walk-in site, and it's definitely a bit of a hike from the car, but well worth the quality of the site. There is only space for one tent on 140, but 138, 139, and 141 were also private sites that had space for bigger groups. You can now make reservations for sites on the south loop (we made ours for the holiday weekend back in April, and it was one of the few left). The south loop waterfront sites that are recommended here are very close together, and I would not recommend them (also, you can definitely hear highway noise from any sites located near the highway, sites 64-73). Waterfront on the north loop is much better, but I don't believe you can reserve it (it's first come first serve). The Thunder Knob hike starts in the north loop is a beautiful, quick hike. We camped with our toddler, and I would guess the majority of the groups had children as well, as it's a good spot for little ones. There was a burn ban during our stay, so no campfires. Also, Diablo Lake is periodically lowered (this year from mid-August to mid-September). The boat launch didn't reach the water, so any kayakers/paddlers had to haul their boats over several yards of beach to reach the water. Not a big deal, just a heads up. The water is glacial and still pretty cold, but by early September there were several groups sunbathing on the beach and swimming. Overall, I would definitely recommend this campground. The North Cascades are a must-see and this site is a good location to access a lot of hikes and even more remote, boat-in campsites.
Just went on our first camping trip to the North Cascades this past week and it was magnificent! VERY busy this time of year - we arrived on a Thursday to a "full" sign, but were lucky and snagged the very last open campsite. We stayed at 140 - highly recommend these walk-in sites as they are tucked away under beautiful trees, very quiet and clean. Make sure you include some time to explore Ross Lake, or do some hiking while you are there! Plan ahead for any weekend trips for summer as this area seems to be very popular.
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