Man and child with rv at lake
Featured Outdoor Activities Washington

Find Washington water access for your RV fishing adventure

Caption: Camping at Quincy Lakes – 1987

Written by Dave Helgeson

“Let’s go fishing” was a phrase I longed to hear in my youth when spending spring break at my grandparents’ house. It meant my grandpa, Ralph Riker, and I were off to go fishing in the Quincy Lakes Recreation Area (as a ten-year-old it was just “The Lakes”). In later years, when I stayed with my grandparents in the summer to work the cherry harvest in the Wenatchee area, we would head out in their RV to farther fishing lakes in Eastern Washington like Billy Clapp Lake, Banks Lake or others.

Once I was married, the tradition continued as my wife and I would take our RV and join my grandparents with their RV to fish at the Potholes Reservoir. When our own children came along, springtime was spent back at Quincy Lakes in the RV where I learned to fish with my grandpa so many years before. Even now as empty nesters, my wife and I continue to visit the Quincy Lakes and other Eastern Washington lakes in our RV when we get the chance. While the fishing isn’t as good as I remembered it as a child, the memories spent with my grandparents are as good as ever.

As spring 2022 is about to arrive, I think back on the many years of camping, fishing, and the memories of spending time with family on the lakes and long for the first stretch of sunny warm days to take the RV camping at the lakes.

I share the above to inspire others to use their RV to build lasting memories camping with family and friends. I also share to make Washington State residents aware of the great camping opportunities available through Water Access Areas managed by the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW).

Man and woman with big fish
Author’s Wife and Grandpa Riker.

A large percentage of Water Access Areas in Eastern Washington allow RVers to disperse camp right along the water.

By clicking here, you can search a database of water access areas managed by the WDFW which provide access to lakes, rivers, and marine areas. This link is great for those that want to find a place to fish, boat, or locate a waterfront campsite. You can search by site name, body of water, or county OR just check the “Camping” box to sort and display all the water access sites that allow camping in the state!

You can then click on any of the sites listed and be provided with the following information: location, map of the area, link to Google Maps, driving instructions, facilities (restrooms, boat ramps, docks, ADA access, etc.), contact info, and most importantly, whether camping is permitted or not! Quite often there is even a picture of the access site.

Pass Required: The vehicle access pass that comes with your Washington State hunting or fishing license is all you need to park / camp at a Water Access Area. Even if you don’t have a license or plan to fish, a Washington State Discover Pass is also valid for entry and camping at Water Access Points. If you don’t currently have a Discover Pass, click here to purchase a Discover Pass online or to find a vendor.

Get out there this spring in your RV and make your own memories at one of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Water Access Areas.

RV author

Author: Dave Helgeson, Dave Helgeson is the MHRV show director. He and his wife love to travel across the west in their RV. Dave writes about all things RVing but loves to share destinations and boondocking advice.