The Byway’s plentiful lakes, rivers and ponds provide boat enthusiasts picturesque places to explore some of the state’s greatest waterways. Lakes Mayfield, Riffe, and Rimrock are just a few popular spots for boating.  From small, non-motorized lakes to large lakes serving as recreational hotspots, the byway offers boaters a variety of choices.  Wherever you launch your boat, the forested shores of these picturesque lakes provide a charming setting.  Watch the shorelines for birds and other wildlife.

On the water is arguably the most relaxing way to spend a beautiful day outdoors. Whether you spend it in a power boat or a row boat, be sure to take time to explore the Byway’s beauty from the water. After a day of boating fun on the byway, it’s easy to remember why it’s called the “Great Outdoors.”

Here are a few top picks for boating along the Byway:

Boating on White Pass WA Lakes

Boating Hotspots

Mayfield Lake

People seeking that classic trip to the lake will fall in love with 2,250-acre Mayfield Lake and its family-friendly atmosphere. Considered one of the state’s premier recreational lakes, if offers 33 miles of mainly undeveloped shoreline.  On its eastern shore, discover Mayfield Lake Park, a day use park offering boat launches, playgrounds, a swimming area and more.  Also located on the lake to the north is popular Ike Kinswa State Park, offering boat launch facilities, camping, day-use picnicking and more.  Additional boat ramps can be found at a marina and lake resort.  As one of the state’s largest freshwater lakes, fishing is also at the top of list for many guests.  The lake was formed in 1962 with the creation of Mayfield Lake Dam. Today the dam provides hydropower to over 50,000 area homes.

For recorded information about boat launches, water levels and river flows, call Tacoma Power at 1-888-502-8690.

Swofford Pond

A charming lake in an idyllic setting, come to Swofford Pond for fishing and wildlife watching opportunities.  Seek out the osprey nests and watch bald eagles fly. Look for common loons and western grebes. In early spring watch for the mating dance, when birds walk on water. Swofford Pond is a quiet birder’s paradise. River otters, muskrat, and beavers also make their homes here. Deer and elk frequent the fields surrounding the pond.

Also Popular with anglers, Swofford Pond has both bank fishing and is accessible to small boats with electric motors only.  This 240-acre lake is stocked with rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. The pond also has largemouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill.

Riffe Lake

Formed by the Tacoma Power’s Mossyrock Dam, the tallest dam in Washington State, 11,830-acre Riffe Lake winds for over 20 miles through forested hillsides as a recreational mecca. With Mossyrock Park on the west end of the lake, and Taidnapam Park on the east end, the lake is well-equipped with recreational facilities for fun on the water. On the highway at the west end of Riffe Lake, the North Shore Fishing Access offers a close-up view of the dam and great fishing possibilities. Nearby, the Riffe Lake Overlook provides beautiful views of the lake and surrounding foothills.  Watch the lake’s shores during dawn and dusk for deer and elk.  Boats can be launched from either end of the lake at Mossyrock Park and Taidnapam Park.

For recorded information about boat launches, water levels and river flows, call Tacoma Power at 1-888-502-8690.

Lake Scanewa

A favorite place for anglers and families, 610-acre Lake Scanewa, was created by Lewis County PUD’s Cowlitz Falls Dam in 1994, making it one of the state’s newest lakes.  Scanewa is well stocked with rainbow trout and is a popular destination for fishing .  Situated at the east end of the lake is the Cowlitz Falls Day-Use park offering a boat ramp and dock as well as a  swimming and picnic area.  Just a few miles down the shore is Leonard “Bud” Allen Park/Cowlitz Falls Campground offering nature trails, boat launches, sports fields, picnic areas and more.  A popular event each year on the lake is the Kid’s Fishing Derby coinciding with the Free Fishing Weekend in Washington during the first weekend in June, following the first Monday in June.  The event is sponsored by the Lewis County PUD. about river flows, lake levels, and boat launch usability.

Leech Lake

Covering 41 acres, Leech Lake is a high-elevation, fly-fishing-only lake that is quite popular with anglers fishing brook trout during the summer months. A boat launch is located on its quiet and scenic shores.  It is an ideal destination for time spent on quiet waters.   Use of motors is prohibited.

Dog Lake

It’s not a common sight to find such a beautiful alpine lake right alongside a major state highway, but Dog Lake is an exception.  Sitting at 3,400 feet elevation, 61-acre Dog Lake offers an abundance of nearby outdoor activities and is a great option for boating in a small size boat or even a float tube. Set up camp along the shores and fish for native rainbow trout.  Enjoy easy access to this serene little gem right alongside the byway.

Clear Lake

Located right next to Rimrock Lake, smaller 265-acre Clear Lake is a little gem of a lake on the “dry” side of the Cascade Mountains.  It is known as a popular fishing destination during the summer months, a good watchable wildlife location, and a truly picturesque setting for camping lakeside.  Like Rimrock, the scenic shores of Clear Lake are a premium spot for viewing bald eagles, osprey and elk.  Bring the canoe to this lake – it’s common to see them trolling the lake.

Rimrock Lake

So very scenic and a fan favorite of many repeat visitors, 2,530-acre Rimrock Lake is the highest elevation large-lake along the byway.   The outstanding natural beauty of this area creates a scene that beckons to boaters.  From the water, gaze upon the serrated snowcaps of the Goat Rocks and surrounding mountains.  Many forest service campgrounds are located around the lake offering boat launches.  Anglers enjoy time spent fishing for rainbow trout and kokanee.  Rimrock Lake is the whole package for boaters– recreation, camping and spectacular natural beauty.

Additional information on Boating along the Byway

Boat Launches in Lewis County

Call Tacoma Power at (888) 502-8690 for recorded information