Joe Lake

A very rugged fisherman's trail to a lonely mountain lake. To reach Little Joe Lake, hike Gold Creek Trail to the Alaska Lake turnoff at about 5 miles. The main trail goes left and uphill to Alaska Lake. Continue straight ahead. The Joe Lake trail starts here and goes straight ahead into the open meadows of slide alder and vine maple. The trail is no longer maintained past this point. Follow this rough trail around Alaska Mountain paying careful attention to stay on the main trail. You will have to crawl through the brush and the occasional downed log. After about two miles, you will encounter a waterfall on your left. Once you cross the water you'll be on the right side of the waterfall and the trail goes straight up.  Once you reach the lake, you will find meadows and a few campsites. Decent fishing for Westslope Cutthroat Trout awaits the fisherman hearty enough to reach this spot.

Getting here:

From Seattle, take I-90 east to exit 54, Hyak. Turn left, go under freeway and follow frontage road (Gold Creek) for 0.9 mile, turn left and go 0.5 mile to the Gold Creek Pond parking lot.

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Kittitas
Acreage: 28.70 ac.
Elevation: 4628 ft.
TRS: T23R12E SEC22
Center: 47.467748, -121.337478
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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


Joe Lake
Photo by WDFW