Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bonnie Lake - Canoeing

Location: Near Cheney, Washington
Duration: 2 Day
Season: Spring
Distance: 5 miles, round trip
Difficulty: Easy

Bonnie Lake is a unique lake located in a deep canyon among the rolling hills and sagebrush of Eastern Washington. On the way in all you can see is rolling grass hills forever and then suddenly you drop into this deep canyon to find an incredible little gem of a canoe trip.

The land all around the lake is private, except for an island in the middle of the lake. Because the land all around the lake is private, the only way to gain access to this lake is where the public road crosses over the outlet to the lake.

You must paddle up the outlet to get to the lake and then follow this long narrow lake deep into the canyon until you reach the public island. This is a nice overnight canoe trip for beginner to advance during the spring to early summer when the water is up.

Beginning at the bridge over Rock Creek paddle north, honing your paddling skills on this very narrow creek. At about 1 mile you will reach Bonnie Lake and a large section of lillypads, known for housing lots of turtles. There is no road access to this lake, so everyone you see came in the same way you did.

Paddling out onto the lake, there is a great place for camp in a wooded spot at the south end of the lake, however it's private land and the owner has posted NO CAMPING signs on most of the trees, so please respect the area. The only legal place to camp is on the island about another 1.5 miles up the lake.

There are several spots for a good camp on the island, I prefer the very north end of the island. If your feeling adventurous and have a few more hours of daylight, you can take the scenic portion of this trip to the very north end of this 4.5 mile lake.

As you near the north end of the lake, hug the right side and find the inlet that you can navigate for about another .25 miles. When it becomes too shallow to paddle portage your canoes and find the trail on the right side of the creek. Follow this trail for another .75 miles to the 200ft waterfall. The land owners don't mind the day visits to the waterfall, but be respectful of the land for future use and don't leave any litter.

For pictures, map and more info click on Bonnie Lake

See you on the trail,

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