Top Ten Lake Roosevelt Travel Tips

A number of children and adults spread out on a sandy beach. Many children are holding fishing poles and fishing from the shore.

NPS/E. Gelfat

Plan ahead before traveling to Lake Roosevelt to minimize the frustration and maximize the fun on your trip!

  1. Check the lake levels – Lake Roosevelt is an active reservoir, and lake levels can change dramatically over the course of a few months or a few days. Lake levels affect the accessibility of boat launches and beaches in the park, so make sure to check lake levels before you go to avoid being surprised when you arrive.

  2. Check for available campsites online – All drive-in campgrounds in Lake Roosevelt are reservation-only. Make campsite reservations through before traveling to the park. Holidays and weekends fill up quickly!

  3. Pay for a boat launch permit – You can pay for a weekly boat launch permit online through or buy an annual boat launch permit in person at select local stores.

  4. Fill your gas tanks before heading out – Gas facilities are few and far between on land for vehicles and on water for watercrafts. Know locations and plan accordingly.

  5. Remember your fishing license – If you’re planning on fishing, make sure you have a valid Washington State fishing license.

  6. Avoid the summer crowds – Campgrounds and boat launches in Lake Roosevelt are very popular during the summer months. Try visiting during the quieter periods in April, May or September to avoid the crowds.

  7. Avoid the weekend crowds – Summer in Lake Roosevelt is popular for a reason. If you still want to come during the busier months, try visiting during the weekdays to avoid the biggest crowds. Mondays through Thursdays are usually quieter, and you might have a better chance of booking your favorite campsite before someone else gets it!

  8. Check out the Fort Spokane Visitor Center – Learn about the history of Fort Spokane at the park’s visitor center. Open hours are limited, so check our website for times before you go.

  9. Be aware of fire bans – Fire bans are typically enacted during the hottest and driest times of the year to prevent wildfires. If you are visiting between July and August, check the park website for information on whether there is an active fire ban to make sure you are protecting the park during your stay.

  10. Keep in contact – Many areas of the park have little to no cell service. If you are setting out for an extended camping or boating trip, let someone know your plans before you go.

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

Last updated: January 30, 2024