Chain of Lakes campground is located in the depths of Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southern Washington and sits near the base of Mt. Adams. The campground is what remains of a formerly maintained area that is now dilapidated and offers little to nothing in services. The dirt road leading into Chain of Lakes Campground veers off from nearby Taklakh Lake and dead ends a turnaround area near one of the many lakes that can be found in the area.
When you arrive at the “campground” you will notice an old pay station that is no longer in use and an information board asking visitors to pack out what they pack in. There are no garbage services here so please heed the advice of the sign. Visitors will find several old campsites with picnic tables and a few other areas without tables that clearly have been used by visitors as makeshift campsites. There is no potable water here and you may find that what remains of an outhouse is no longer functional so be prepared for that.
If you are lucky enough to arrive here when nobody else is in the area you will be pleasantly surprised. The campground sits on the edge one of the 8 or so lakes that give the area its name. These are more like ponds in reality but it would be a great area to explore on a paddleboard or canoe. Keep in mind the high elevation of the area and bring appropriate clothing and bedding the make it through the chili nights.
If you bring a boat like a canoe or a paddleboard or a fishing pole there is plenty to do within the bounds of this campground. Hike through the forest and exploring the lakes is also quite the adventure – just don’t get lost! If you are looking to explore beyond the campground consider checking out Taklakh Lake. You probably drove right past this amazing lake to get to the campground. Go back the way you came and enjoy the hiking Taklakh Lake loop trail.
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