Kayaking Kachess Lake

2023 May 6

There are three finger-like lakes at the top of I-90's Snoqualmie Pass: the road directly skirts Keechelus Lake, but Kachess Lake and Cle Elum Lake are slightly inland and not visible from the road.

This makes kayaking on Kachess Lake feel very remote. There are a very few houses along the lake and most of it is undeveloped.

kayak with lake and mountains

At the north end is a vigorous waterfall directly fed by snow melt. The day was cool with clouds in the sky, but the air blown down by the waterfall was much colder, so I was glad to have my neoprene paddling gloves on. (There were still some patches of snow nearby.)

waterfall with me in drysuit in front

People had make made nice improvements for camping at that spot. There was a wooden cooking station and a raised stone fire pit with log benches around it.

I first kayaked here August 2018: That day it was raining with no wind, so the lake felt especially calm. The rain and rhythmic sounds of paddling also made for an ASMR-like effect toward relaxation.

kayak bow and rain-spotted lake

The lake easily creates a moody feeling when it is cloudy. It makes me feel calm and contented as I paddle.

view south across the lake