Waptus Lake

A 9 mile hike along the Waptus River brings you to this classic large wooded alpine lake. Waptus Lake is a mile long from its outlet to its inlet at the upper (west end) and offers a commanding view of the surrounding peaks that include Mt. Daniel, Bears Breast, and Summit Chief. A good variety of medium-sized naturally reproducing trout including Westslope Cutthroat, Eastern Brook, Rainbow, and Bull Trout are present. Brook trout appear to be the most abundant. All bull trout must be released unharmed. The lake is popular with equestrians and there are horse camps at the outlet end of the lake with hiker camps found further up the lake.

Getting here:

From I-90 take the Roslyn/Salmon La Sac exit #80 and follow the road past Lake Cle Elum to the Salmon la Sac Campground sign ~ 19m (turn left crossing bridge over river.) Continue to the trailhead #1310 - horse trailer parking available. Take trail #1310 to the lake; a ford of the Waptus River is required about a half mile from the lake - can be high early in the season. One way ~9m 560' gain.

Species you might catch

Lake information

County: Kittitas
Acreage: 255.20 ac.
Elevation: 2967 ft.
TRS: T23R13E SEC11
Center: 47.50341, -121.177974
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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


Waptus Lake
Photo by WDFW