Hester Lake

You'll need good boots for the numerous water crossings and muddy conditions encountered on the trail to Hester Lake. Those who persevere will be treated to the expansive view across Hester to Mt. Price. This  lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness offers fishing oppotunity for Rainbow Trout and an occacsioanl Coastal Cutthroat Trout. Hester's clear waters can make you work for your fish, the reward being a feisty fighter on the line. A few campsites are found around the outlet area and a limited shore fishing is possible.

Getting here:

Take I-90 N. Bend Exit #34, turn towards truck stop. Continue past gas stations, taking a right onto SE Middle Fork Rd. Continue on to FS Rd #56 (unpaved, potholes.) Follow #56 past the Middle Fork Campground, across the river then take a right continuing to the Dingford Creek trailhead parking area (total ~19 miles). Trailhead #1005 is located across the parking lot away from the river. Ascend several switchbacks until the trail levels out reaching the junction to the Hester Lake trail at ~ 3 miles. Continue another slow 2.5 miles to Hester; total elevation gain ~2500.

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: King
Acreage: 64.80 ac.
Elevation: 3890 ft.
Center: 47.508764, -121.393627
Open in Google Maps

Fish stocking info

Release Location: HESTER LK (KING)
Stock Date Species Number Released Number of Fish Per Pound Facility
Jul 2, 2016 Rainbow 60 630 TOKUL CR HATCHERY
Sep 15, 2009 Rainbow 3,200 750 ARLINGTON HATCHERY
Sep 15, 2009 Rainbow 1,800 450 ARLINGTON HATCHERY
Jul 20, 2007 Rainbow 340 450 TOKUL CR HATCHERY
Sep 28, 2006 Rainbow 52 215 TOKUL CR HATCHERY
Aug 24, 2005 Rainbow 5,040 450 ARLINGTON HATCHERY
Aug 27, 2001 Rainbow 5,044 485 ARLINGTON HATCHERY
Sep 23, 1996 Rainbow 5,200 250 TOKUL CR HATCHERY
Sep 14, 1996 Rainbow 100 140 TOKUL CR HATCHERY

Fishing prospects calendar

Rainbow trout

Fishing success for Rainbow Trout is generally best in the spring when thousands of fish are stocked statewide, but they can be caught year-round in most waters with a little patience and persistence. Success remains high into June and gradually declines as water temperatures increase and fish move offshore to stay cool. Fish that escaped the spring harvest return to the nearshore areas in the fall as waters cool off. Some waters may also be stocked again in the fall further boosting catch rates.
Chart showing fishing prospects throughout the calendar year


Hester Lake
Photo by WDFW