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Cowles Scout Reservation

COWLES SCOUT RESERVATION - Scroll to bottom to view rental options

    Cowles Scout Reservation is located on the North and West shores of Diamond Lake Washington, approximately 40 Miles North of Spokane, just North of Highway 2 East, on Northshore Diamond Lake Road.

       Pick your spot at Cowles Scout Reservation, and, bring your outdoor imagination!

We can provide the perfect venue in the outdoors, for groups large or small, from your family camp-out to a large training event or retreat in the woods. We have facilities for school, church, or club events, a company get-away, your family reunion, weddings … and more.

A land donation by William F. Cowles consisting of “80 acres of forest with 200 feet of sandy beachfront” was originally established as “Camp Cowles”  in 1920.

Cowles Scout Reservation has since grown into a 960 acre, 4 Camp, reservation with almost 2 miles of lakefront on the North and West shores of Diamond Lake Washington. Over the last 10 decades our year-round “camping wonderland in the woods” has hosted camping groups from single families up to nearly 3,000 people at one time.

The reservation is divided generally into 4 diverse camping areas known as Cub County, Camp Foseen, Camp Ponderosa, and Camp Sunrise, each area with different landscape and its own set of outdoor opportunities that can accommodate virtually any camping style.

Note – Potable water on the reservation; The Cub Country, Camp Foseen, and Camp Ponderosa areas are connected to, and supplied with potable water, by the Diamond Lake Water and Sewer System. Potable water is sampled within the reservation weekly. Camp Sunrise is NOT connected to this water system.


     This area is the home of our “Wild West at Cub Country” summer resident Camp for Cub Scouts. This is the oldest, most established area of the reservation sitting on approximately 250 forested acres on the South slope of the ridge below Northshore road. 

     Cub Country consists of 3 areas accessed by 2 Main Entrances, each with large unpaved parking lots (both are bus accessible). The Carbon Lodge Road entrance and Parking Lot - Cub Country resident Camp participants, training groups, and other large event groups utilize this entrance for check-in, unloading, and loading. It is located at the “Wild West at Cub Country” sign. This entrance is on the South side of Northshore Diamond Lake Road, 3.9 miles in, North of Highway 2, turn right onto Carbon Lodge Road then right into the graveled parking lot. The Cub Country Program Area Entrance and Parking Lot - From the Carbon Lodge parking lot, proceed east on Northshore down the hill just past Mile Marker 4, turn right onto Bayview Blvd., proceed on Bayview about 200’ down the hill and turn left into the parking lot.

     “The Carbon Lodge Complex” is located on the Eastern edge of this Cub Country Area along Carbon Lodge Road. This “complex” includes our year-round Carbon Lodge Dining Hall facility, Bunkhouse, and the Main Parking Lot. The seasonal Kiowa Shower House is adjacent to Kiowa Campsite immediately west of the Carbon Lodge Road.  

     “The Campsite area” is located to the East of the Lodge between the graveled Carbon Lodge Road and Bayview Blvd. (a paved county road accessing residential areas on the lake). Within this area are 10 more long-established campsites each with a seasonal potable water point within. 3 rustic seasonal restrooms are located across this area with the seasonal Thunderbird Shower house at the eastern end.

     “The Cub Country Program Area” is the eastern half of Cub Country located South of Northshore Diamond Lake Road and extends East of Bayview Blvd. to the Andrew S. Rosell Firebowl on its eastern edge.

This area includes permanent program structures and activity areas including the fenced waterfront and boat house, swim area, and docks South of the old Finch Lodge, the Rosell Firebowl on the eastern edge, the “Treehouse Complex, a BB-gun Range, a temporary archery range, some other structures now converted into cabins or program activity and storage facilities, along with a 7acre open field activity area on the hillside above the year-round Finch Shower house and restroom facility.


     The Camp Foseen Area is generally considered to be the area West of the Foseen Waterfront on the East, along the lake edge to the South of Carbon Lodge, and West of the “Carbon Lodge Complex” to the Campmaster Road. Foseen is bordered on the North by Northshore Diamond Lake Road.

      This Camp includes the shotgun range, the small bore rifle range, the barn, and a Multi-purpose Range that can be configured for small bore pistol, or archery. Used primarily for shooting sports activities this area is served by seasonal potable water and 2 vault toilets.


     Camp Ponderosa is the area West of the Campmaster Road from the Wetlands North to Northshore Diamond Lake Road, and West to the Reservation property line.

     This area includes the COPE area, the Cope Loop road, the Campmaster Cabin, and undeveloped, managed forest and natural wetlands to the South and West to the western property line.

      Also within Camp Ponderosa are The Bill Burch Outdoor Training Area, and, Order of the Arrow Park are located North of Northshore Diamond Lake Road straddling the top of the ridge and is bordered by the “Good Turn Trail” on the West and McGowan Road on the East and North sides.This area includes the new Outdoor Training Pavilion, lovingly referred to as the “Aardvark Center” by Tom Bitterwolf completed in 2018 with funding provided by Mr. Bitterwolf and his wife. The “Aardvark Center” is central to 8 established campsites, a separate staff camp area, a small parade ground, a Firebowl, and a Chapel area. This area is served by 4 vault toilets, and, seasonal potable water can be supplied from Main Camp with advanced notice.             

Primarily an outdoor training facility since the late 1990’s. This area is the outdoor home to our week-long Woodbadge Adult Leader Training, National Youth Leadership Training, Powder-horn Adult training, and Outdoor Leadership Training sessions.



    The Camp Sunrise Main Entrance is 2 miles (and Highway 2 East on the east side of Northshore Diamond Lake Road.

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     The Sunrise Area landscape is mostly forested, and flat (only 6 to 8 feet above the level of Diamond Lake), with natural (protected) wetlands to the north and east. A ¾ mile long east/west dirt “main road” splits camp Sunrise starting at Northshore Road and ending at the wetland area West of Japeechen Island.

     Since being selectively logged in the early 2000’s this area has had over 40,000 plantings of 4 species of native trees and 4 species of wetland shrubs.

     Camp Sunrise is comprised of 3 general areas, the “Encampment Camping Area” (in the N.W. corner), the “Sunrise Activity Area”    (south and west of the wetlands areas), and, the “Japeechen Island Area”.

     A 3.5 mile long Mountain-Bike Trail was established as 3 trail “loops” throughout the  Camp Sunrise Area perimeters in 2018. It can be used for biking, hiking, or snow-shoeing. Each of these “loops” can be used separately or combined into one 3.56 mile-long trail.

The “Encampment Camping Area” at Camp Sunrise

     This area covers about 60 acres in the West end of our 300 acre “Camp Sunrise” and North of the main Sunrise road. It has 18 established tent camping sites surrounding a one-way graveled vehicle access loop, each suitable for 1 to 100 (or more) tent campers. In the center of the loop road is an open activity area with permanent flagpoles. South of the main road adjacent to the Encampment Camping Area entrance is an open 1,000 car parking area.

NOTE; Camp Sunrise is an “Outpost Camping Area”. There are no bathroom or potable water facilities at Camp Sunrise. Currently the Sunrise well and distribution system cannot be used until it is certified by a Water System Engineer and approved by Washington State Dept. of Drinking Water. It will be activated only for annual sampling until state approval.

The “Sunrise Activity Area”

      This area is approximately 150 forested acres, mostly wooded and flat with some open areas. This area can be used for outpost tent camping, hiking, mountain biking, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, environmental, nature training activities, wildlife observation, and, many other outdoor activities. This area contains the North Loop and South Loop of the Mountain Bike/Hiking Trail around its perimeter.

The “Japeechen Island Area”

      Approximately 90 acres in size. Japeechen Island is located in the Eastern-most end of Camp Sunrise and connected to the Activity Area by a 500 yd. long, one lane, causeway across the wetlands. Japeechen Island rises about 65’ above the west end of Diamond Lake, with protected wetlands on 3 sides.

      This area is primarily used for outpost type tent camping with limited vehicle access. Vehicle access is for maintenance, or, by Ranger permission only. At the base of the West side of the island is our covered muzzle-loader/black-powder firing range, Our Rendezvous site with a its old trapper’s cabin, outdoor cook shack, and forge sits atop the southern end of the island.

     Japeechen Island has supported our High Adventure Mountain Man Rendezvous, Encampment Iron-man competitions, N.Y.L.T. outpost camping, muzzle-loading events, search and rescue training, first responder training, mountain biking and hiking.

      This island forest and wetland habitat supports and provides nesting sites for Bald Eagle, Osprey, Great Blue Herron, and many waterfowl species. Japeechen Island provides habitat for Beaver, Muskrat, Badger, Coyote, White-tail Deer has been known to host the occasional Black Bear, Cougars, Bobcat, Fox, Badger, Moose, and Elk …and … many more wildlife species.

      This area contains the Island Loop of the Mountain Bike/Hiking Trail around its perimeter.




4161 N Shore Diamond Lk Rd
Newport, Washington 99156

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Meeting/Training Room
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Program Area Multi-Use
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Camp Use Policy Back to Top


1. The Leader on site is responsible to ensure that all participants are familiar with the information in the camp use policy.

2. Off limits areas include: Ranger home and yard, maintenance area (shop) and storage facilities. 

3. All fires must be tended, fireguard charts must be posted and followed. Firewood may be available depending on the season, please contact the Ranger for details.

4. Cutting or removal of trees of any size on property is not allowed without the express direction of the Ranger.

5. No open flames of any kind in tents, cabins or sleeping quarters.

6. All liquid fuels must be stored and secured properly in clearly marked containers. Liquid fuels must be used under adult supervision only.

7. No fireworks may be kept or used in camp. Those with fireworks will be sent home.

8. No intoxicating beverages or illegal drugs are allowed on Scout property.

9. Please leave your campsite, cabin, and latrine area better than you found it.

10. Smoking is allowed only in designated smoking areas which are the parking lots. There is no smoking allowed in or near campsites, cabins, tents, or buildings.

11. Hand tools (such as axes, saws, shovels) should be used with adult supervision. Power tools may be used by qualified adults only. The use of Chainsaws on property is not allowed except under the supervision and direction of the Camp Ranger.

12. No pets other than licensed service animals allowed in camp.

13. The waterfront, program areas and shooting ranges are off limits unless included as part of your reservation.

14. The leader on site is responsible for the behavior of your group and must provide adequate supervision.

Check In Procedure Back to Top

Check In Procedure Back to Top

Please call Ranger Jack Graham (Mad Jack”) at 509-671-2394 an hour before you plan to arrive at Camp. Together with Ranger Jack your “ETA” can be determined, and the Ranger can share verbal directions if needed, and, arrange a meeting point. The Ranger can also give an update on “real time” weather, road conditions and restrictions near Camp, along with current Fire Danger Level, etc.

Please call Ranger Jack upon your arrival so he or a volunteer Camp-master can meet you as soon as possible to give you updated information on camp activity, safety concerns, current camp conditions (such as burn ban information, camping facility updates or trail availability due to weather/maintenance). You will then be shown where your site or cabin is located and have an opportunity to ask any questions needed. Unload your gear and enjoy your stay!

*If you are interested in doing a service project while on the property, please contact Ranger Jack (509-671-2394) at least week ahead of time to discuss the scope of service work projects, availability of tools and materials as well as Safety considerations. He will need to know the number of people participating, the general age/ability of the group and when, during your stay, you would like to do it.

             PLEASE DO NOT block the gates, roads, trails or public roadways around camp for any reason. Blocked Camp access can greatly diminish effectiveness of first responders and Emergency vehicles if a need arises. For obvious safety reasons trails, roads, and program areas are for people … vehicles belong in parking lots. If vehicle access to campsites is approved for unloading or loading gear, park to the side of the trail and please limit the number of vehicles going up the roads to sites to one or two at a time. You will be asked to move your vehicle to a parking lot after unloading or loading.

Check Out Procedure Back to Top

Check Out Procedure Back to Top

Let Ranger Jack know when you would like to depart ahead of time.

Ranger Jack or a volunteer Camp-master will meet with you before you leave to double check the areas you used.

Leave your campsites, bathrooms and buildings better than you found them. Make sure you have all your things!

Drive home safely and come back again!

Cancellation Policy Back to Top

Any Reservation can be canceled up to 14 days prior with no penalty.

Starting 14 days before arrival only 50% of the reservation fee will be refunded.

After the reservation begins no refunds will be available.

Cancellation Policy Back to Top

Any Reservation can be canceled up to 14 days prior with no penalty.

Starting 14 days before arrival only 50% of the reservation fee will be refunded.

After the reservation begins no refunds will be available.