Monday, May 3, 2010

Chopaka Lake, Loomis, Washington

Boondock Destination: Chopaka Lake

This boondocking location is just a few miles away from Blue Lake.  Blue Lake is suitable for large rigs,  Read the blog entry for Blue Lake here:  Blue Lake Blog

Chopaka Lake is limited by the road to trailers less than 22 feet.   It is also a road that your tow vehicle needs 4wd low or an exhaust brake to get out.   Be sure you also have an Okanogan National Forest map before you attempt to find the lake!

My advise is to make the drive from Blue Lake without the trailer to see if you want to try it.  Remember, it is the drive OUT that is the problem.  Here are the  GPS coordinates: 48 54 42.47N 119 42 03.19W

Chopaka Lake is a fly fishing only lake with all motors banned.  So it is a quiet spot to camp.  However, it is very popular with fly fishermen so the month of May and early June can be crowded with fishermen.  The crowds are gone for the summer and you just might have the lake to yourself in the middle of the week.  In late September and early October the fisherman come back as the fish start feeding again.

There is a Washington State Department of Natural Resources "campground" there with toilets and a handpump for potable water.  The DNR campground is free.   Next to them is a BLM campground.  Here is the link to the BLM site on Chopaka Lake:   BLM Chopaka Lake Brochure PDF.  

Hmm, these two fences seperate the DNR and BLM managed lands.  I suppose the area in the middle is no mans land?

If you have always been interested in trying fly-fishing I will post some helpful hints in future blogs.  Lake fly-fishing is different than stream fishing.  A float tube is like fishing from a lounge.  There is nothing to hang up your back-cast.  In fact, you can be a very poor caster and still have fun.  Throw in a good cigar while you fish and you might never fish a stream again.

The area has lots of wildlife.  On trip last week we spotted a moose standing by the side of the road.  The area is full of deer, grouse, coyotees, bears and other wildlife.

Lots of room to roam and boondock in the area on Forest Service, state land, and even BLM lands.  The boondock locations are just as good or better than the campgrounds in the area.  There are private campgrounds at Spectacle Lake, Wannacut Lake and a state park at Conconully.  More spots and campgrounds than I can mention in this short blog.

If you are headed to Chopaka Lake stop at Shannon's in Tonasket for hard ice cream and great food.  Their shaded outside dinning area is just perfect for lunch.  They are on Highway 97 right at the turn for Highway 20 heading east to Republic.

 Here is a newpaper article on Shannon's, Tonasket, and the surrounding area: Tonasket Area Sites.

Chopaka Lake and the surrounding area are well worth exploring particularly if you are a fly fisherman.  However, if not there is plenty to do in the area.

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1 comment:

Jeff said...

Just stumbled across your site. I live in WA, and love Chopaka lake. I have not been there for years, but now I am planning a trip. Thanks for sharing your wealth of information and pictures.