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10 Best Lakes Near Seattle, Washington

While Seattle may not be known for its lakes, nearby, you'll find some of the most beautiful lakes in Washington. The best lakes near Seattle include Lake Chelan, Lake Washington, and Lake Sammamish.

The lakes near Seattle are some of the best in the Pacific Northwest. Some are quite small, no larger than a few acres, while others are many acres wide and long, with numerous water-based and land-based activities around them.

You can enjoy swimming, hiking, sailing, paddling, boating, and more. Nearby parks attached to the lakes provide multiple sports fields and picnic shelters.

Best Lakes Near Seattle

Best Lakes Near Seattle to Visit

Keep reading to explore some of the most beautiful lake destinations near Seattle, Washington for hiking, swimming, family picnics, and much more!

Lake Washington

Known for: Being the second-largest natural lake in Washington.

Distance from Seattle: 5 miles

Lake Washington
Lake Washington is one of the largest lakes in Washington

Lake Washington is a very large lake near Seattle. It's well-known as the largest lake in King County and one of the largest natural lakes in Washington. The lake is practically in the city of Seattle and works as a border between Seattle and Bellevue. In the lake is Mercer Island, which is accessible via Highway 90, which crosses the lake.

The lake is at an elevation of 16 ft and has an impressive square mileage of nearly 34 miles. Lake Washington is a ribbon lake that was created by glacier movement. Along the shore are numerous cities, including Renton, Kenmore, Yarrow Point, Medina, Seattle itself, and Lake Forest Park.

Lake Sammamish

Known for: Watersports and a beautiful shoreline

Distance from Seattle: 25 minutes

Lake Sammamish
Lake Sammamish is a large, beautiful lake near Seattle

Lake Sammamish is another very large lake near Seattle. It's 7 miles long and around 1.5 miles wide. While it isn't as large as Lake Washington or the massive Lake Chelan, it has multiple shorelines and several neighborhoods border it. Nearby, you'll find Snoqualmie, Fall City, Redmond, and Bellevue.

The lake is popular for fishing, swimming, and watersports. The most popular beach is Tibbetts Beach on the south shore. Sammamish Landing Park is also a popular spot along the shore. You can visit Lake Sammamish in winter too.

Lake Union

Known for: Watersports and its location in downtown Seattle

Distance from Seattle: In downtown

Lake Union
Lake Union is ever-present in downtown Seattle

Lake Union is one of the best lakes within the city limits of Seattle. It's 20,000 acres with an average depth of 34 feet. It has a long history with shipping and is today a popular spot with locals. Lake Union is right in downtown Seattle and is visible from most high points in the city. Seaplanes take off and land on the lake as well.

Haller Lake

Known for: Fishing and walking

Distance from Seattle: 15 minutes

Haller Lake is one of the smaller lakes on this list. It's situated north of Seattle and includes a small park on the west side. The lake is only 15 acres and reaches a maximum depth of 36 feet.

Fishers can seek out Rainbow trout, largemouth bass, and yellow perch in the lake. But make sure to get a fishing permit!

Green Lake

Known for: Its proximity to Seattle

Distance from Seattle: 10 minutes

Green Lake
Green Lake is only 10 minutes from Seattle

Green Lake is a part of Green Lake Park and is one of the best-loved in the city. It's a lovely green space in the middle of the city. There's a path around the lake that's about 3 miles long and is popular with runners. You can also boat, swim, and picnic.

Beaver Lake

Known for: A chain of multiple lakes

Distance from Seattle: 30 mins

Beaver Lake
Beaver Lake is a small lake near Seattle

Seattle's Beaver Lake is part of Beaver Lake Park, that's 83 acres. It includes trails, the lake, and multiple parking lots. There is a larger southern lake and a smaller northern lake. Most of the fishing takes place in the lower lake.

Around the park, you can find a public boat launch, picnic tables, a picnic shelter, and a playground.

Martha Lake

Known for: Fishing and walking

Distance from Seattle: 25 minutes

Martha Lake is part of Martha Lake Park, a 6-acre park in the middle of Seattle. It's just east of Interstate 5, which runs straight through the city. The lake is an impressive 61.6 acres and includes a wetland boardwalk, picnic tables, shelters, and a playground. There is also a fishing dock that's popular throughout the year!

There's a popular loop around the lake, known as the Martha Lake Loop, that is 2.6 miles in length.

Lake Boren

Known for: A park with fun activities

Distance from Seattle: 15 minutes

Lake Boren is a Seattle lake that's popular for fishing and relaxing. In the lake are Rainbow trout, Brown bullhead, Largemouth bass, and Yellow perch. There is a pier in the park as well as a children's park, picnic shelters, a basketball court, a volleyball court, and more.

Angle Lake

Known for: Paddleboarding, fishing, and swimming

Distance from Seattle: 20 minutes

Angle Lake is part of the 10-acre lake park that's popular throughout the year. At the lake, you can enjoy swimming, paddleboarding, boating, and more. There are a number of homes around the lake with private docks, making it feel less than isolated, but it's still a nice destination on a hot day.

Pine Lake

Known for: Swimming, paddling, and fishing

Distance from Seattle: 30 minutes

Pine Lake is one of the only lakes near Seattle that's managed seasonally for fishing. It's part of Pine Lake Park, a 19-acre wooded park that contrasts nicely with water-based activities. There is a turf field and picnic shelter. There are also several other sports fields, trails, and a playground.

Notable Mentions

While not right next to Seattle, our notable mentions are some of the most popular lakes in the state.

Lake Chelan

Known for: Being the third-deepest lake in the United States

Distance from Seattle: 4.5 hours

Lake Chelan
Lake Chelan is one of the most beautiful lakes near Seattle.

Lake Chelan is a large, glacial lake in Washington that sits at an elevation of 1,100 feet. It's named after the Salish word "Deep Water." On the shores of Lake Chelan, you'll find a wide variety of activities, including swimming, hiking, and watersports.

It's a popular area with visitors from around the Pacific Northwest and the rest of the country. The lake is 50 miles long and known for its unique shoreline community, Stehekin.

It's a very popular place to go camping and you can even visit throughout the winter.

Known for: Its popularity and proximity to Leavenworth

Distance from Seattle: 2 hours

Lake Wenatchee
A view of the majestic Lake Wenatchee

Lake Wenatchee is a glacial lake near Leavenworth, Washingtond (one of the best small Pacific Northwest towns to visit!) known for its beautiful shoreline. It's popular with kayakers and paddleboarders as well as boaters. You can rent gear right on the beach and enjoy camping and barbequing.

You can also camp nearby at Nason Creek Campground.

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