By Laurelle Walsh
Camping at Pearrygin Lake State Park ends for the season at noon on Oct. 27, when both campgrounds officially close for the winter; however, many opportunities remain for public access in the off season.
Vehicles may still enter on the east entrance road and park in the contact station area, which is plowed all winter. Parking won’t be permitted in front of the west campground gate on Bear Creek Road until after construction on that campground’s entrance road is finished later this fall, according to Area Manager Rick Lewis. A Discover Pass is required year-round for parking in the state park and other state lands.
The public may explore the park’s 750 acres all winter long on foot, by bicycle, and on skis or snowshoes.
One popular access point is via the Rex Derr Trail, which begins just past the east contact station. From there, the trail heads south across the hills overlooking the lake, angles downhill near the old homestead, and then joins the gravel road and heads back toward the east campground.
Once a snow base is established, the trail will be groomed by snowmobile, and continue through the east campground and along the lakeshore toward the west campground. A loop trail will be groomed around the hayfield before heading up the hill to end at Bear Creek Road above the west campground. The groomed trail system continues across the road on the old Lloyd Ranch property.
Most restroom facilities in the park will be shut down after the campgrounds close; however, the main restroom in the east campground will remain in service until around Thanksgiving — weather permitting — Lewis said. A vault toilet at the east group camp is in service year round.
The Eastern Washington State Parks Arbor Crew will be in the park Nov. 3 – 6 doing annual tree maintenance. Lewis asks that park users exercise caution and stay clear of tree trimming operations during that time.
Pearrygin Lake State Park’s administrative staff have moved out of their cramped quarters in the contact station and set up new offices across the street in the first building on the left in the park’s administrative complex, Lewis said. Visitors will still check in, make payments and purchase permits at the contact station, but the park manager, lead ranger, maintenance lead and office assistant are now housed in the new park headquarters building.
After the park closes on Oct. 27, visitors will find on-duty staff in the headquarters building, Lewis said.
For more information call the park office at 996-2370.