There is a bounty of stunning lakes situated amidst the mountains, hills, and evergreen forests of the state of Washington. Although these lakes vary in size and surroundings, each offers an abundance of fun activities and attractions. Look forward to hiking, bicycling, swimming, fishing, and water sports. As for accommodations, there are plenty of Washington vacation rentals to choose from. Check out the most noteworthy lakes in Washington.
1. Green Lake, Seattle
Lovely Green Lake lies within Green Lake Park in northern Seattle. A 2.8-mile path surrounds the lake. The unpaved inner trail is popular with walkers and joggers, while cyclists and roller skaters use the paved outer trail. At the southern end of the lake is the award-winning Woodland Park Zoo. On the east and west sides of Green Lake are swimming beaches with swimming rafts, diving boards, children’s playgrounds, and lifeguards. Only non-motorized watercrafts are allowed on the lake. Rent kayaks, canoes, paddle boats, water bikes, and stand-up paddleboards at the Green Lake Boathouse.
2. Lake Union, Seattle
Located east of the Seattle Center and just north of downtown, scenic Lake Union is a haven for boaters. On the southern side of the lake are two fascinating museums: the Center for Wooden Boats and the Museum of History and Industry. On the north side is Gas Works Park, a historic landmark with spacious lawns and picnic tables that is popular for strolling and cycling. Seattle Boat Rentals on Westlake Avenue offers power boats to help you explore the lake. Don’t miss a historic or wine tasting cruise on Lake Union with Argosy Cruises.
3. Lake Sammamish, Issaquah
Breathtakingly beautiful Lake Sammamish lies east of Seattle and Bellevue between vacation rentals in the cities of Redmond on the north and Issaquah on the south. Spacious Marymoor Park at the lake’s north end offers hiking and rock climbing as well as cycling along the Sammamish River Trail by means of the free Blue Bike Program, which offers complementary bicycles for day use. Lake Sammamish State Park on the south end has beaches, trails, sports fields, and wildlife observation. Rent kayaks and stand-up paddleboards from Issaquah Paddle Sports.
4. Lake Crescent, Olympic Peninsula
Sapphire-blue Lake Crescent sits within Olympic National Park on the north-central end of the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington. The Fairholme General Store on the west side of the lake offers rentals of canoes or kayaks for fishing and water fun. A number of exceptional hiking trails initiate at Lake Crescent, including the Pyramid Mountain Trail, the Spruce Railroad Trail, and the Barnes Creek Trail, which leads to magnificent Marymere Falls.
5. Lake Quinault, Olympic Peninsula
Located on the western side of the Olympic Peninsula, stunning Lake Quinault is surrounded by the emerald-green Quinault Rain Forest. The Quinault Indian Nation owns the lake and surrounding area. The Quinault Rain Forest Visitor Information Center and Lake Quinault Museum are in Amanda Park on the south side of the lake. Quinault Guide Services takes you on fishing trips to angle for trout, steelhead, and salmon. Take a comfortable shuttle into the rain forest to view the majestic evergreens and local wildlife with Lake Quinault Rain Forest Tours. For an unforgettable culinary experience, have a meal at the Salmon House on the east side of the lake.
6. Lake Tapps, Pierce County
Lake Tapps is a large reservoir with a magnificent view of Mount Rainier that lies south of Seattle and east of Tacoma in western Washington. Lake Tapps County Park on the northeastern side of the lake has a sandy swimming area, picnic tables, barbecue grills, and walking trails. The Fishing Fanatic’s Guide Service out of the town of Bonney Lake leads you to the best spots to angle for smallmouth bass, carp, perch, and tiger musky. The Tapps Island Golf Course offers nine holes of play in an amazingly scenic setting on an island in the midst of the lake.
7. Packwood Lake, Lewis County
Beautiful Packwood Lake is in the midst of the Cascade Mountains within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The scenic 9.2-mile Packwood Lake Trail takes you from vacation rentals in the town of Packwood to the northern lakeshore and back. The lake offers a unique species of rainbow trout that is renowned for its size and taste. Around the lake are opportunities for observing wildlife such as deer, elk, black bears, herons, and bald eagles. For hiking and fishing equipment, head for White Pass Sports Hut in the town of Packwood.
8. Omak Lake, Okanogan County
Omak Lake, the state’s largest saline lake, lies near the town of Omak in north-central Washington. Activities around the lake include swimming, sunbathing, fishing, water sports, and cycling. A family-friendly public beach and boat access is located on the northern end of the lake. Omak Recreational Rentals offers watercraft, jet skis, and water sports equipment for fun on the lake. The North 40 Fly Shop in Omak provides gear and advice to help you take advantage of the great fishing opportunities at Omak Lake.
9. Lake Chelan, Chelan County
Lake Chelan is a lovely long narrow lake on the eastern side of the Cascade Mountains in central Washington. The city of Chelan on the southern end of the lake offers modern amenities and recreational opportunities. Shoreline Watercraft and Boat Rentals offers power boats, pontoon boats, and jet skis for lake exploration and water sports. Take a tour of the lakeside trails and local wineries with Chelan Electric Bikes. For some help finding the best fishing spots on the lake, look to Darrell and Dad’s Fishing Guide Service in Manson. For the thrill of a lifetime, get a bird’s eye view of the lake and beautiful surrounding countryside with Pirate’s Cove Parasail.
10. Loon Lake, Stevens County
Loon Lake lies north of the city of Spokane in eastern Washington. This large and lovely lake provides opportunities for swimming, fishing, boating, and water sports. Loon Lake Marina on the southeastern shore of the lake offers rentals of power boats, pontoon boats, kayaks, canoes, and stand-up paddleboards. Loon Lake offers excellent fishing for largemouth bass, rainbow trout, and lake trout.
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