Best Lakes in Washington for Swimming

September 29, 2018

Washington is a Pacific Northwest paradise packed with natural wonders. Rising mountains scrape the sky and dense forests come face to face with golden fields that stretch for miles. There are more than 8,000 lakes in the State of Washington alone! It’s practically a swimmers paradise. So, when it comes to the best lakes in Washington for swimming, you may need to expand your bucket list.

Of course, it would be nearly impossible to visit all 8,000 lakes, so here comes the tricky part. Which lake tops the list? Thankfully, we have found the absolute best lakes that the state has to offer. If you’re lucky enough to visit, check out these beautiful, expansive bodies of water, commonly known as the best lakes in Washington for swimming.

Soap Lake

If you’re looking for “unique” and “ultimate relaxation”, look no further than Soap Lake. This world-renowned lake has long been thought to have natural healing powers, thanks to its mineral-rich waters.

In fact, the Native American tribes that once lived in the area would reportedly call a temporary truce with other tribes, just to visit the lake. In a joined community, multiple tribes would come together to take advantage of Soap Lake’s medicinal abilities and revitalize themselves and their animals.

Even today, the popularity has not worn off. The three square mile lake in Grant County is the perfect place to swim for those looking to feel re-energized. It possesses some of the highest, naturally-occurring mineral content of any lake in the world, which creates a restorative and magical experience for any swimmer taking a dip in its shores.

Book a Stay at Soap Lake Resort

If a rejuvenating weekend in a sleepy town sounds like your cup of tea, we recommend making a whole weekend out of your lake trip! Those who take advantage of the incredible healing powers of Soap Lake love to stay at the luxury resort, Soap Lake Resort. The historic wellness accommodation boasts an unbeatable location directly on the shores of the lake and provides a host of holistic health activities such as kayaking, hiking, and more.

“We just spent the week at Soap Lake Resort and had the best time! The owners were simply the best people and did everything to make sure our little family (including our 2 dogs!) enjoyed every part of our stay. I have already begun referring people to stay here and I hope they enjoy it as much as our family did. We will for sure be back!”

— Margaret, Facebook Reviews

Lake Sammamish

The freshwater Lake Sammamish is a stunning body of water sitting on the edge of the Greater Seattle Metropolitan Area. The 98 square mile lake boasts a number of high-octane activities including water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing. It’s also a great place to visit for those simply looking for a peaceful swim.

“Great place any time of the year.”

— Alberto, Google Local Guide

Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake

Franklin D. Roosevelt Lake, also known simply as Lake Roosevelt, is a vast body of water covering 125 square miles. The sheer size of the reservoir, which was created from the damming of the Columbia River, once earned it the nickname of Empire Lake. Now it’s a wonderful place to take a dip and enjoy the sheer power of nature.

“Love this lake and the surrounding areas. There is so much to do and see.”

— Chris, Google Local Guide

Alta Lake

Alta Lake in Okanogan County lies at the bottom of soaring, 1000-foot-high stone cliffs formed by glaciation. Its stunning position makes it a great place for water-based activities since the park offers anything from boating and sailing to fishing and swimming. Swimmers can also enjoy camping and picnicking facilities, plus hiking trails for an extra boost of physical activity.

“We saw people with kayaks, canoes and paddle boats in the lake. You can swim in the lake too. The water on the shore is shallow and so this seems to be a perfect place for kids to play in the water.”

— Ravi, Google Local Guide

Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee in Chelan County boasts stunning views of the Cascades Mountain Range which hugs its shores. Swimmers can enjoy a tranquil splash in the body of water, which is fed by glaciers and melted snow. Of course, there are a host of other water-based activities to enjoy including fishing, boating, and rafting.

“Beautiful lake with an abundance of outdoor activities. In winter, you can snowshoe or fat tire bike while I’m summer, you can hike, mountain bike, swim, kayak. Love it!”

— Jason, Google Local Guide


Whether you’re planning a long day at the lake or a full vacation to a cozy resort, the State of Washington has more than enough lakes to choose from. After browsing through some of the best lakes in Washington for swimming, we hope that you will be able to make your summer lake plans come true!

As we have seen, Washington boasts some incredible bodies of water with breathtaking vistas and unbeatable natural landmarks. Swim away!

For a truly relaxing and energy-restoring swim, Soap Lake Resort is the perfect, lakefront option. Book your stay at the Soap Lake Resort today and experience a natural, healing lake like no other!