Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Horseshoe Lake, Pend Oreille County, WA.

This lake as its name indicates is shaped like a horseshoe. This lake is a very popular kayaking, sailing, and fishing lake. Because there is a 5 mph speed limit the annoying presence of jet skis and ski boats do not exist. I would say that this lake is one of the most unique lakes within the Inland NW because of its shape, features, and vista. On the northeast side of the lake is a beautiful water fall called Exley Falls with some small pools at its base that during the hot summer some people will sit in to cool off. To access the falls travel via boat northeast to a narrow short passage into the east side of the lake, once through the passage you will easily see the falls. Another unique feature is the geological marvel called the Devils Well, which is directly south of the falls on the east side of the lake (Latitude 48.1114924/48-06'43"N, Longitude -117.4165613/117-24'32"W, Elevation 2,037 ft). This well is a large vertical and round hole in the rock. Not to distract from the wonder of this feature but the interesting fact about this well is it was created much in the same way a toilet creates a circular flushing motion. Water cascades into the well and swerrals, and then exits the well cracks and sometimes overflows running down the hill into the lake. The only time of year you can see this action is during spring run off as there is no stream of water to consistently feeds the well throughout the dry season. The well always has water in it and is a must see. To access the well after the falls you will pass through a narrow passage to the south with high cliffs and you will see an inclined wooded clearing area with a well traveled trail up the hill, the trail will take you directly to the well. The trail is only about 100 ft long or so to the well. Continuing south after the well you will enter the end of the lake and the little Spokane river. If you portage over the logs that block the river you will enter a series of river pools that are enjoyable to paddle or swim in when there is little current. Facilities: One wide hard packed gravel launch, large gravel parking lot, one vault toilet, Discovery Pass required to use this site. For the pass and fishing info call the WA. Fish & Game, Spokane office, 509-456-4082. Fishing: Rainbow Trout, Kokanee, Largemouth Bass, Yellow Perch, Crappie, Brown Bullhead Catfish. Bait typically used? Troll with wedding ring spinners tipped with maggots. Season is April-Oct. Catching 10 lb. fish is not uncommon on this lake. Directions: Take U.S. 2 north from Spokane for 20 miles and turn west (left) on Eloika Lake Road, following it three miles to Division Road. Turn north (right) on Division Road, which becomes Horseshoe Lake Road somewhere along the line, and follow it 7.5 miles to the lake. LOCATION - 48,110, -177.420. In. Maps: CLICK HERE FOR PRINTABLE MAP!


  1. Climb the well worn trail on the right side of Exley Falls and hike upstream. There are several pools that are very inviting above the falls.

  2. Thanks for the info. I had planned to add this info but forgot to do so, so thank you for the reminder. Just to let everyone now the data from this site will be moved over to as I am expanding and this site will be closed. No worries its all at