Keechelus Lake

View along lake Keechelus
Photo: Washington State Department of Transportation

Lake Keechelus offers fishing, boating, picnicking, and a trailhead for the Palouse to Cascades State Park Trail. Find additional information on fishing here from the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife.

The lake, which sits at the headwaters of the Yakima River, was the site of a summer fishing camp for the Kittitas band of the Yakama Tribe. A wagon road (completed in 1867) later ran along the south end of the lake, over Snoqualmie Pass, and west down to the Puget Sound basin. By the turn of the century, the lake attracted recreational travelers who arrived by a combination of train, stagecoach, and boat travel. By 1912 a ferry service carried travelers across the lake. The Milwaukee Ski Bowl was built near the northwest shore (built in 1937 and operated by the railroad until 1950).

Today, I-90 hugs the eastern shore, and the lake is managed as a reservoir for irrigation as part of the Bureau of Reclamation’s Yakima Project. While the lake is naturally formed, its capacity and discharge are controlled by the Keechelus Dam, built in 1917 without fish passage.

Pass or Permit Required:
Northwest Forest Pass | Learn More
More Information:
Snoqualmie Pass, WA | Google Maps
Greenway Trust Priority Area:
Map Categories: