Our Life in the Pacific Northwest

Pearrygin Lake


Pearrygin Lake State Park

Methow Valley, North Central Wa.

August 30, 2007






Pearrygin Lake is located within minutes of Winthrop in North Central Washington. I wasn’t sure what to expect since I had never camped east of the Cascades, but to my surprise Pearrygin Lake is now one of my favorite places to camp. The set up is different then what I am used to. The campsites are different, much larger and more open with a little lack of privacy, but that is the only downside. There were more RV’s than we are used to as we are strictly tent campers, but that didn’t bother us at all.



Our campsite was right on the lake edge and the peaceful atmosphere was almost uncomfortable at first, but soon we were enjoying the calm tranquility of the lake without the usual noise of a busy state park. The campground has a small convenience store which I thought at first was a little strange, but it sure came in handy a few times.


Besides the beautiful lake, the abundance of deer grazing within feet of us was my favorite part of our time there. They didn’t seem afraid of us camera frenzied people taking shot after shot. In fact I believe they offered a few stoic poses just for us.



Unfortunately there was a burn ban being enforced and from the look of the hills around us I could see why. The rolling hills were yellow and dry and I was reminded of my younger years in California.  So instead of a wood campfire we used charcoal in the fire pit and it was almost like a real campfire.




The sunset on the lake was breathtaking every night. It seemed as the evening went on the water became even more beautiful. My favorite shot is the one at the top of the page.











The fishing was excellent as well. Each of our three children caught at least two fish in a short amount of time which was very exciting for them. They usually wait hours to catch maybe one fish in other places.


You can fish from the shore or there is a dock provided especially for fishing in the east loop. Mostly everyone had a boat of some sort and just after dawn many of the men would sneak off into the lake for early morning fishing.





As well as the deer, there are plenty of other wildlife. We saw chipmunks, ducks, all kinds of colorful birds I had never seen before, and woodpeckers, which I could sit and watch all day if I could. 



This woodpecker got sick of me after a while, he kept walking around the tree to escape me.


I love the way the water is dripping off his bill.


 I woke up very early each morning to watch the deer walk through the camps and to watch the sunrise make its way over the hills to reach the lake. The reflection was amazing.


There are a few designated swimming areas and the kids were anxious to cool off. They had a great time especially when the boats would make waves as they went by. Of course we had our youngest wear a lifejacket since the water can get very deep in some spots.



Of course I arranged a geocaching adventure during this trip and found 3 in the park alone. We chose one called “Ranger Rick’s favorite view”. We weren’t exactly sure what kind of a hike it would be so unfortunately we didn’t plan well. Me and my oldest daughter decided to try the hike quickly on a whim. It looked quite close on the GPS so we thought it may be a quick jaunt up the hill. We were wrong. She was wearing flip flops and we didn’t bring water for our “quick sprint” up the hill, it was only a half mile so we figured why bother?



As you can see it was quite steep.

A half hour later we found ourselves about half way up the steep climb realizing we still had a ways to go. It was about 105 degrees and I suggested we turn back.




 My daughter the optimist said “how far could it be, we can’t turn back now.” When we finally made it to the top after battling the rough brush and yellow jackets we were ecstatic. Our legs were scratched up, we were hot and out of breath but still we were excited to find the cache.




We took a few quick pictures and decided to hurry back down before anyone started to worry about us. On the way down my daughter’s flip flop broke but still she pressed on. She was quite the trooper. She was probably thinking ‘my mother is crazy for wanting to do this geocaching thing,’ but if she was thinking it she didn’t let on, she was in good spirits the whole way down. Of course I told her a dozen times that I owed her big for this.


We made it.


The view from the top, it is much higher than it looks.


 So the lesson from this experience is always be prepared even if you think the hike is short. (see my geocaching post, I should have listened to my own advice.)  🙂



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7 thoughts on “Pearrygin Lake

  1. This sounds like a nice place to take the family to camp. I posted your link at http://forum.pnwadventures.com/showthread.php?t=6315 so the readers of my forum can use it as a reference source.



  2. This sounds so great. I’m planning a camping trip for my family (we are all tenderfoots) and this sounds like a wonderful location. We also want to get into geocaching as well.


  3. Talitha on said:

    Found your blog doing a search for pictures of “home” to put on my desktop at work. I grew up in the Methow Valley and spent my 10th birthday at Pearrygin Lake. It’s still my best birthday ever. 🙂 The campers in the site next to us took us wading into the lake after dark to search for crawdaddies and shared them with us when cooked. My family spent days at Pearrygin every summer, and I promised my 8 yo daughter that I’d take her to Pearrygin for her 10 1/2 birthday (hers is in Dec and I’m not much for snow camping). Thanks for bringing back such fond memories!


  4. jackie on said:

    Hi,sounds great,We are from the west of the Cascades… just came back from Lake Asoyoos and wandering how does the temperature of the Pearrygin lake compare with the Osooyoos,is it comfortable to swim in this lake.
    Thank you Jackie


  5. Jackie, I’ve never been to Osoyoos. Pearygin was quire comfortable. It was pretty hot when we went so the water felt great!



  6. Caroline on said:

    Hi! Great information. Our family usually camps at the ocean and wanted to try Eastern Washington this year. I just wondered if there were many mosquitoes when you camped.


  7. Hi Caroline, we didn’t have a problem with mosquitos but they did have a yellowjacket issue. On almost every tree there were traps hanging full of dead yellowjackets and some buzzing around the traps. As long as the kids didn’t get too close it wasn’t an issue at all. 🙂


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