Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Soda Lake, Grant County, Washington

Mid Draft Boats, Motors Allowed
Top Photo, north end of Lake. 2nd Photo, south end of lake.
Soda Lake is the largest of the lakes in the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge and Sheep Lakes area, and the deepest at around 100'. Soda Lakes west shore is on the wildlife boundaries and the east shore is within state lands called the Sheep Lakes area. All camping and recreational lake access is on the west shoreline. Swimming is not allowed on wildlife refuge lands but is ok in the State Sheep Lake lands so crossing the lake to the east shore is where you can swim. The Potholes Canal enters the northwest end of the lake and exists the southeast end. Fisherman with power boats travel up canal going north near the dam. I would not recommend paddling a kayak or canoe north on this canal as the currents very very strong and besides there really is nothing to see but rock canal walls. Out of all the lakes in this area this lake is best suited for sailing due to it being the widest and deepest lake allowing for some fabulous sailing. At the south end of the lake is a boat launch (with no camping allowed) and is closest to the dam. Motorized craft can portage around the dam by exiting before the short canal that leads to the dam on the north side. You can also take out on the south side. The important think is not to enter the short canal to the dam at all because once in it, it's unlikely you will be able to get out of it due to the strong currents, plus the vertical walls in this canal would make it near impossible to climb out. There is also an extreme level of under-toe at this dam as well. Click here to read the POTHOLES CANAL ADVENTURE ARTICLE for details about this dam and boating the Potholes Canal and Chain Lakes. Most poplar activities on this lake include fishing, wildlife viewing, kayaking/canoeing, sailing, swimming. Fishing: Spiny Rays; Walleye; Large & Small Mouth Bass; Crappie; Bluegill; Perch; Whitefish; Trout. Directions: From Moses Lake take HWY 17 south toward Othello; turn right (west) on HWY 262/O'Sullivan Dam Road. Before crossing the O'Sullivan Dam and after just passing the entrance to the Potholes Reservoir boat launch on your left/south is Soda Lake Road. Follow this road to either the sign indicating the Soda Lake Campground with launch or proceed further and take left at the next sign indicating Soda Lake which brings you to another Soda Lake boat launch. Maps: To view a map click on http://www.mapquest.com and type in, Potholes State Park, WA. pan to the east to view this lake a short distance below (southeast) the O'Sullivan Dam.
Boat Launches
 from the Soda Lake Campground.

1. Soda Lake Campground Launch. Hard packed primitive gravel boat launch, official campsites/campground, accessible restrooms, covered picnic tables, fire pits, day parking, rocky shore line, no running water. MarDon Resort is about 4 miles from this campground. See Directions Above.

2. Soda Lake Dike Road Launch. Hard packed primitive gravel boat launch, day parking, rocky shore line, no running water. See Directions Above.

1 comment:

  1. This is great. All my life I have wondered about these small lakes. Don't forget the Discover Pass.