River Trails Section 1

 

Kettle Falls to Grand Coulee Dam

(Section 1)

 

Length of this water section: 105 miles
Lake formed behind Grand Coulee Dam: Lake Roosevelt
Dam completed: 1942

 

 

Landscape: The northern half is marked by sandy beaches and by mountains and hillsides forested with Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and western larch trees. The southern shores are home to basalt cliffs and hillsides, adorned with sage and golden bunchgrass, a smattering of pine, and, in some spots, hayfields.

Put in: Kettle Falls Marina
Take out: Spring Canyon Campground
Elevation drop: From 1,275 to 1,222 feet above sea level
Water character: Flat

Navigation tips: The upper part of the lake is serene and mirror-like on calm days. But like other parts of the Columbia in Eastern Washington can turn nasty quickly if the wind picks up. Motorized boat traffic is minimal and typically a mix of people fishing or puttering about on large houseboats. The southern part of the lake gets a significant amount of boat use, so be prepared for frequent boat wakes and noise from jet skis. When drawdowns occur, the water level can fluctuate immensely, although during the summer the lake is typically full.

Navigation links: Wind conditions | River flow

Shoreline paddler facilities (north to south on river):

  • Kettle Falls (Mile 102, east shore): Campground, RVs, marina, dock, toilet, store
  • Haag Cove (Mile 99, west shore): Campground, toilet
  • Bradbury Beach (Mile 95, east shore): Dock, toilet
  • French Rocks (Mile 95, west shore): Dock, toilet
  • Barnaby Island (Mile 90, west shore): Boat-in Campground, toilet
  • Barnaby Creek (Mile 89, west shore): Campground, toilet
  • Daisy (Mile 85, east shore): Dock, toilet
  • Cloverleaf (Mile 79, east shore): Walk-in/Boat-in Campground, toilet
  • Gifford (Mile 78, east shore): Campground, dock, toilet
  • Hunters (Mile 64, east shore): Campground, dock, toilet
  • Rogers Bar (Mile 60, west shore): Campground, toilet
  • Enterprise (Mile 56, east shore): Boat-in Campground, toilet
  • Wilmont Creek (Mile 54, west shore): Campground, toilet
  • Columbia (Mile 43, east shore): Campground, toilet
  • Two Rivers (Mile 43, east shore): Campground, RVs, marina, dock, toilet, store
  • Fort Spokane (Mile 43, east shore): Campground, dock, toilet
  • Seven Bays (Mile 39, east shore): Campground, RVs, marina, dock, toilet, store
  • Hawk Creek (Mile 37, south shore): Campground, dock, toilet
  • Lincoln (Mile 35, south shore): Dock, toilet
  • Sterling Point (Mile 31, south shore): Boat-in Campground, toilet
  • Jones Bay (Mile 22, south shore): Campground, dock, toilet
  • Penix Canyon (Mile 22, south shore): Boat-in Campground, toilet
  • Hanson Harbor (Mile 21, south shore): Dock, toilet
  • Goldsmith (Mile 19, south shore): Boat-in Campground, toilet
  • Keller Ferry (Mile 16, south shore): Campground, RVs, marina, dock, toilet, store
  • Plum Point (Mile 6, south shore): Boat-in Campground, toilet
  • Spring Canyon (Mile 4, south shore): Campground, dock, toilet
  • Crescent Bay (Mile 1, south shore): Dock, toilet

 

Note: Shoreline camping is permitted only in National Park Service boat-in sites and undeveloped areas provided the und eveloped site is one-half mile from a developed area. Additional campgrounds and facilities exist on the Colville Indian Reservation side of the lake, and along the Spokane River and Sanpoil River arms. For more: http://www.nps.gov/laro/index.htm.

Places to eat/drink: Kettle Falls, a town of 2,000 people, has several restaurants and grocery stores. Down lake, you will find restaurant meals served at Two Rivers Resort and Casino and at Keller Ferry. The Grand Coulee Dam area has a full array of services, including restaurants and grocery stores.

Other lodging: Hotel accommodations are available at Kettle Falls, Fort Spokane area, and the Grand Coulee Dam area.

If you have a vehicle: St. Paul’s Mission, built in 1845 and one of the oldest churches in the state, is worth a visit. Fort Spokane, constructed in 1880 at the confluence of the Columbia and Spokane rivers, has four original buildings remaining. Another must see, of course, is Grand Coulee Dam, the third largest hydroelectric facility in the world.

Links of interest:
Grand Coulee Dam Chamber of Commerce | Colville Confederated Tribes | Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area | Kettle Falls Chamber of Commerce |
Fort Spokane

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