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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Sports >  Outdoors

Lake Roosevelt camping fees increasing, other changes announced ahead of Memorial Day

UPDATED: Sat., May 15, 2021

The April 2011 drawdown at Lake Roosevelt leaves a vast expanse of sandy beach for Dave Ross of Spokane Valley to hike before he could go shore fishing for rainbows.  (RICH LANDERS)
The April 2011 drawdown at Lake Roosevelt leaves a vast expanse of sandy beach for Dave Ross of Spokane Valley to hike before he could go shore fishing for rainbows. (RICH LANDERS)

Fees at Lake Roosevelt campgrounds will increase this year, from $19 to $23 per night, and reservations must be made online.

That was among the news announced Thursday during an online presentation with Dan Foster, the Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area superintendent, and hosted by the Lake Roosevelt Forum.

Many campgrounds will open in time for Memorial Day, Foster said, after more than a year of closure due to the pandemic. Any drive-up campground requires a reservation ahead of time.

“We had over 1.5 million people come last year,” he said. “We’ve seen an increase in recreation use.”

The recreation area’s vault toilets will be open, although Foster said the park won’t be cleaning them on a regular basis. There is a new water system at Keller Ferry. The park is replacing pit toilets with new vault toilets at some boat-in campgrounds, repairing the Spring Canyon water system and building a houseboat dock at Keller Ferry.

As for the lake’s water level?

“Right now, the lake levels are projected to remain at about 1,272 feet,” Foster said. “They aren’t projected to go down much lower than that because of the lack of precipitation we had in the Canadian Rockies.”

Foster also emphasized the importance of putting out campfires, noting “we have an interesting fire season coming up.”

He also discussed the ongoing threat of invasive aquatic species, like quagga and zebra mussels.

Like last year, anyone launching a boat into Roosevelt must have an AIS self-certification form certifying they’ve cleaned their boat. The form must be placed on the windshield of the parked vehicle.

To fill that out, visit nps.gov/laro/index.htm and search for “AIS certification.”

Additional changes and updates announced:

  • Campsite fees are now $23 per night through Sept. 30.
  • To reserve a campground, visit recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777. Reservation must be made in advance for drive-up campsites. Shoreline camping is all first-come, first-serve.
  • The following campsites will open for Memorial Day after a year of closures: Marcus Island, Hawk Creek, Kettle River, Kamloops Island, Snag Cove, North Gorge, Cloverleaf, Haag Cove and Jones Bay.
  • Group campsites will be open per Washington state guidelines and with group sizes less than 50 people.
  • The following areas will remain closed: Fort Spokane Visitor Center, the floating toilets and the fish cleaning stations
  • Masks are required where social distancing is not feasible.
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