Best Places to Kayak in Washington State

June 7, 2018

When it comes to choosing the best places to kayak in Washington State, at first, it seems easy, right? There are over 8,000 lakes in Washington State alone, making it a kayakers paradise! But, every rose has its thorn. With so many opinions, you now have to paddle through an overwhelming wave of choices before making your decision.

But, we’ve done most of the legwork for you. Whether you are looking for a vibrant urban location surrounded by a bustling city or a quiet lake situated perfectly between the mountains, we’ve found the perfect options for you. Here’s our list of the best places to kayak in the Evergreen State.

Soap Lake Resort

Soap Lake, located in the heart of Central Washington, is a beautiful destination renowned for its mineral properties and healing waters. With golden, rolling hills and gentle waves next to a quiet town, this lake is truly one of the best lakes to kayak in Washinton State.

Plus, after your kayaking adventure, we’re guessing that your arms will be pretty sore. If that’s the case, you’re in luck! The naturally mineralized water of Soap Lake is known for providing ailment to joint pain and muscle aches. Also, not only is the lake itself healing, the mud is also said to have healing properties. On any given day, you can find travelers along the lakeshore covered in a soothing mud mask.

Also, there is no need to haul your own kayak across the state. Soap Lake Resort offers kayak rentals and lakefront access! Head on over to Soap Lake Resort for fun adventures and afternoon relaxation.

Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent is a scenic lake at the northern end of the Olympic National Park, west of Port Angeles. No matter which direction you look, you will find cascading views of trees and the Olympic Mountains.

Adventures Through Kayaking offers kayak rental and tours of this beautiful glacial lake. Keep an eye out for eagles and deer while kayaking along the historical Spruce Railroad Trail to the deep gorge Devil’s Punchbowl. After your kayaking trip, hike to the area’s nearby waterfalls and hiking trails.

Lake Union

If you find yourself more fascinated with city energy as opposed to quiet, remote destinations, consider Lake Union. This urban gem, situated almost perfectly in the middle of Seattle, is the perfect place to enjoy a day on the lake.

Kayak around Seattle’s vibrant houseboat community or drift alongside wildfowl and turtles in Washington Park Arboretum. If this sounds like your kind of kayaking, the Agua Verde Paddle Club at Portage Bay can help you do just that. You can even get lovely views of the city skyline at sunset or take a Moon Tour at night.

Lake Wenatchee

If a beautiful, natural wildlife area with easy access to a crystal blue lake is what you’re after, Lake Wenatchee is the destination for you! Located 16 miles from Leavenworth and 2 hours from Seattle, Lake Wenatchee State Park is a lake you have to see to believe.

The park even offers camping and access to a wide range of outdoor activities. If you need a place to get equipment, Leavenworth Outdoor Centre is located in Leavenworth. They’ll get you situated so that you are ready to hit the water!

Lake Sammamish

With two relaxing lakefront beaches, Lake Sammamish State Park in Issaquah is the perfect place for a day of water sports. You can rent kayaks and other water sports equipment from Issaquah Paddle Sports, located directly on Tibbets Beach.

As you paddle along, keep an eye out for the great blue herons or bald eagles that nest in the park. Or you could traverse the Sammamish Slough — the river connecting Lake Sammamish and Lake Washington.


In conclusion, although there are thousands of lakes to choose from, it is clear to see that these five lakes are some of the best places to kayak in Washington State.

Read more about our healing lake and unique resort »