By Laurelle Walsh
The staff and crew at Pearrygin Lake State Park are gearing up for an April 1 opening and a 2014 season full of activities, events and camping.
“We’re cranking up to get open on April 1,” a goal that is somewhat snow- and weather-dependent each year, said Pearrygin Lake State Park Manager Rick Lewis. Lewis planned to have the road from the park office down to the East Campground clear of snow and open by Wednesday (March 19).
Then begins the process of getting the water turned on in both campgrounds, cleaning up fallen leaves and branches, and doing turf care, Lewis said.
“We have to get all the maintenance done before Memorial Day weekend,” after which the park staff’s focus will turn to day-to-day operations in the campgrounds, Lewis said.
“Reservations this season look as busy as they’ve ever been” for the park’s 150 campsites, which are already filling up for summer weekends and may be difficult to obtain for stays of more than three or four nights, said Lewis.
Although the majority of campsite reservations are made by calling Washington State Parks’ Reservation Center (888-CAMPOUT) or online at https://washington.goingtocamp.com, Pearrygin Lake State Park staff can also take reservations in person when the park office is open. “We can sometimes work something out in person that is difficult to see online,” such as extending a visit by moving to another campsite mid-stay, Lewis said. Call for office hours, 996-2370.
Community events at the park begin this year with the Twisp Valley Grange’s annual Easter Egg Hunt on April 19. That day is also a Discover Pass free day, when the $30 annual pass or $10 day pass is not required to visit the park.
Other 2014 Discover Pass-free days in Washington state parks are April 22, May 11, June 7, 8 and 14, Aug. 25, Sept. 27 and Nov. 11. Go to www.discoverpass.wa.gov for more information on the Discover Pass.
Lots of activities
Opening day of fishing season is April 26 this year, featuring the Twisp Eagles’ annual Fishing Derby with prizes for kids 14 and under. Starting in mid-April, Pearrygin Lake will be stocked with about 2,000 8- to 14-inch hatchery-raised rainbow trout and around 300 triploid trout, some weighing up to 10 pounds, Lewis said.
Pearrygin Lake State Park rangers will be at the Winthrop ’49er Days parade on May 10, and at Kids’ Fishing Day at the Winthrop National Fish Hatchery on June 7.
Park staff will also be helping out with two kids’ Bike Rodeos, the first at TwispWorks on May 17 and the second taking place at Pearrygin on June 14.
Also on June 14, the multi-sport Winthrop Traverse race — a new event at Pearrygin — will begin at the state park with a 3-mile run, an 8-mile mountain bike ride, and a 4-mile paddle, continuing with a 20-mile road-bike ride around the Chewuch loop, and finishing with a quarter-mile team run to the Winthrop park. More information can be found at www.recreationnorthwest.org/winthrop-traverse/.
The West Campground will be closed for the month of September in order to install a culvert to contain the errant Pearrygin Creek. Visitors have been driving through the creek itself since it changed course in a torrential flood three years ago, and Lewis looks forward to finally getting that campground’s entry road repaired, he said.
Lewis also looks forward to continuing work on the Rex Derr trail, which was begun in 2011. If permitting goes as planned, the state park will be hosting a community work party in October to begin building a new section of trail along the Studhorse Mountain side of Pearrygin Lake, he said.