NEWHALEM CAMPGROUND A.K.A. NEWHALEM CREEK CAMPGROUND, NORTH CASCADES NATIONAL PARK

Colonial Peak and Pyramid Peak above Diablo Lake from the Diablo Lake roadside overlook
Colonial Peak and Pyramid Peak above Diablo Lake from the Diablo Lake roadside overlook

Newhalem Campground (A.K.A. Newhalem Creek Campground) is situated in North Cascades National Park and is located near the tiny town of Newhalem WA. The North Cascades are rugged and beautiful. Their lush green is due in large measure to the abundant rainfall the area receives. Lakes and rivers have a green or turquoise color from glacial runoff. There is a rich history of human occupation in the area dating back thousands of years.

Newhalem campground is heavily wooded and next to Newhalem Creek which can be heard from some of the campsites. It is very green with ferns, mosses, and tall trees. Campsites are well shaded. We felt as if we were in the middle of the forest, which in fact we were, and loved looking out of the windows of our 5th wheel.

We were there during the week in mid-June and Loop C was virtually empty. That said, signs placed on the campsite posts at each site indicated the place was booked solid for the upcoming weekend. Another interesting sign indicated that unreserved sites were free. I don’t recall ever seeing that before.

We enjoyed a number of short hikes up to 4 or 5 miles in length, some quite a bit shorter in the neighborhood of a few tenths of a mile, sometimes on boardwalks. There is hiking for all levels. We also took in the Diablo Lake Overlook which is found at roadside and provided for views shown in the photos below.

More details about Newhalem Campground are included in my Campground Report (below).

CAMPGROUND NAME: Newhalem or Newhalem Creek
LOCATION: North Cascades National Park, Marblemount, WA
KIND: National Park
SEASONAL: Open all year I think, but reservations only for Peak Season late May thru mid Sept.
RATES: $24 or $12 with Senior Pass, etc.
STAY LIMIT: 14 days during peak season, 30 days otherwise
DISCOUNT CLUBS: No
RESERVATIONS ACCEPTED: Yes at Recreation.gov
FIRST-COME-FIRST-SERVED: Yes
CAMPGROUND WEB SITES:
Recreation.gov
National Parks

Newhalem Campground Map
Newhalem Campground Map


HOSTED: Yes, hosts in Loop A if I recall
PHONE: 360-854-7200, 360-410-4141
EMAIL: I could locate no email address for the park
GPS: Turnoff at Route 20 and the campground road: 48.673470, -121.261475
GOOGLE MAPS: Campground Entry
ACCESS:
NUMBER OF SITES: 92 Standard plus 12 walk-in and 2 shelters
ACCESSIBLE SITES: Yes, a few
SURFACING: Paved campground road and parking aprons
PULL THRU: A few, but many unusable for anything but the smallest campers due to severe angles, level or trees
BACK-IN: Yes
MAXIMUM RIG SIZE: This is a tricky one for me. I searched Recreation.gov for sites at least 75′ and was surprised to see the web site returned 8 results. I would be very careful about this and want to talk to somebody at the park for more information. There may be some long sites that you can’t get into due to trees, the curvature of the site, or the approach angle and width of the campground road. In general, I don’t think of this campground as big-rig friendly.
TENTS: Yes
LEVELNESS: Loop C is not so good, Loops A and B are much better than C
SHADE: Nothing but. Only a few sites would allow for enough direct sun to make enough solar electricity to count a little bit
SPACING, PRIVACY: Pretty good for the most part. Lots of trees and bushes separate sites pretty well
TENT PADS: Some sites perhaps.
FIRE RINGS/PITS: Yes
BBQs: I don’t remember seeing waist-high BBQs
PICNIC TABLES: Yes
PETS: Yes

HOOKUPS: None
DUMP STATION: Yes, but it was out of order due to lack of funding or staffing as of my stay in June 2021, with no reopening date announced

CONNECTIVITY:
Cell Service: Verizon worked well for us but AT&T was come and go but OK with my cell phone booster.
WiFi: None
TV:
Over-the-air: None
Cable: None

RESTROOMS: Yes, with plumbed toilets
RESTROOM RATING: FAIL. (I assign a Pass or Fail rating based on many considerations including: cleanliness, usability, hot water availability, hand soap availability, ease or difficulty it is to use the toilet paper, condition of fixtures, if using the restroom is a pleasant or unpleasant experience, etc.) I really didn’t want to give a failing grade because the restrooms were pretty well maintained, but when a floor is very wet or has puddles of standing water making the toilets unusable until the floor dries the next day that’s a FAIL for me. Not being able to use a toilet without getting your pants soaked by water on the floor is a root-level failure of what a bathroom is supposed to be. There was also no soap that I recall in the men’s room, or paper towels, but there were some hand wipes. (It was still Covid-19 season.) Diane said the lady’s room did have soap and she didn’t have to deal with any puddles. Our parks need better funding.

HOT WATER: No
SOAP: Yes and No
TOILETS: Flush
SHOWERS: No

TRASH: Yes
WATER: Spigots at the bathrooms
WATER SOFTNESS: Not checked
LAUNDRY: No
RECYCLING: Yes, with limitations

BUGS: There were some mosquitoes starting to show up in mid June when we were there

One view of Diablo Lake from the Diablo Lake roadside overlook.

NEAREST FACILITIES:
Gas, Diesel: Marblemount, about 14 miles
Dump: Maybe one of the campgrounds in Marblemount (see RV Parks, below)
Propane: There’s a Chevron Station in Marblemount, (360) 873-4285
Groceries: Marblemount…the store in Newhalem was closed, I take it, temporarily.
RV Parks: Alpine RV and Cascade Wagon Road in Marblemount; Glacier Peak Resort in Rockport. I did not check their season dates or anything else about them.
Medical Care: I don’t have much to offer here. the nearest facility may be Sea Mar Concrete Medical Clinic about 40 minutes west in Concrete. There is also Skagit Regional Care in Darrington, some 51 minutes away.

Stream crossing along the Thunder Knob trail.


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