Pack it in, Pack it Out! No Potable Water
 4/5 (10 reviews)

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Council Lake Campground Details

  • Campground Rating:  4/5 (10)
  • Number of Campsites: 10
  • Avg. Overnight Fee: Free
  • Drinking Water: No
  • Toilets: Vaulted
  • Camphost on Site: No
  • Fires Allowed: Seasonal
  • Cell Service: No
  • Season: May - October
  • GPS: 46.266884,-121.629982
  • Elevation: 4,225 ft.
  • Showers: No
  • Firewood for Sale: No

Included at this Campground

Council Lake Campground Description

Council Lake Campground has roughly 10 dispersed camping sites and sits near the edges of its namesake, Council Lake, deep within the shadows of Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  Located near Takhlakh Lake and several other larger and developed campgrounds, Council Lake often sees overflow campers when nearby areas reach capacity.

Council Lake Campground is FREE to camp at and does not have any services; pack it in, pack it out.  In other words, this is very close to dispersed camping minus the availability of an older and neglected vault toilet.  There is no potable water, no camp host and no garbage services. The campsites here are not marked however you can clearly make out the designated sites from previous wear and tear.  Some sites have old metal fire pits and others have old fashioned rock rings.  There are no picnic tables in the campsites.

Council Lake is a beautiful mountain lake with crystal clear waters and excellent fishing and recreation opportunities.  Electric and man-powered boats only are allowed on the lake.  It may appear that there are some campsites on the lakeshore – these are not sites and you could face fines if you camp here.  Camp in the designated sites up on the hill above the lake.


  • Beautiful mountain lake
  • Good fishing
  • Small campground with no services means less people
  • Free


  • No services – no water, no garbage, no picnic tables
  • High elevation means snow in early spring and late fall
  • Small sites, not good for RVs or Trailers

Nearby Attractions

Council Lake Campground is nestled pretty deep in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest.  As such, the real nearby attractions are going to be other Lakes.  If you get restless and are looking to explore beyond Council Lake itself consider some of the following areas:

  • TakhLakh Lake – This popular lake offers jaw-dropping views of Mt. Adams and plenty of water recreation from the day use area.
  • Chain of Lakes – A grouping of roughly 8 tiny lakes and popular trailhead can be found here. Fun to explore the lakes if you have a small boat or paddle board
  • Horseshoe Lake – Another lake offering great views of Mt. Adams and water recreation


Council Lake Campground Map


Weather for Council Lake Campground

Council Lake Campground Photos

Recent Posts from Instagram

Changes in the Instagram API prevent us from displaying photos of this place on our website. To see the most recent tags of Council Lake click below.

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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Chris Skach

    Here is a video I did of this campsite 9/21 and bluff above lake.

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