Kayaking the Channeled Scablands Central Washington State - Part one.
Imagine paddling in what many people think of a desert area in Central Washington State away from the Madding Crowd soaking up the sun and sounds of silence in the splendor of nature at every turn and glance from a kayak or canoe.
Kayaking the Channeled Scablands of Central Washington State located south of Moses Lake about 10 miles and north of Othello with entrances at O’Sullivan Dam Road or McManamon Road coming out of Othello.
Columbia Basin Wildlife Area Seep Lakes Wildlife Area website has descriptions of the region. There are many small bodies of water that are suitable for some great recreational day kayaking.
Some of the Seep Lakes like Heart, Windmill, Canal, Long and others allow primitive camping. Potholes State Park close by off the O’Sullivan Dam road is a winner with showers and two types of camping on the grass or in primitive sites. The state park is popular in the weekends so reservations are almost always a must in the peak months of summer. If there is nothing available the Seep Lakes and the Soda Lake Camping in the CNWR are options to consider.
Some of the lakes have boat launch sites that kayaks and canoes can utilize. Check out the Innies and Outties map for some of the location for kayaking and canoeing paddling in this area.
Some of the conditions on the small lakes include the wind from the southwest more often then not as well as the possibility of electrical storms. So it is a good idea to check the local conditions before shoving off from a launch site.
Services are limited in this region. There is a small convenience store with camping and other supplies at the gas station near Potholes Reservoir State Park on O’Sullivan Dam Road, or in Othello or Moses Lake to the north. Bring your own gear and skills if you want to kayak around here. As far as I can tell there are no kayak rentals or guides that provide service in this lovely area.
Most of the Seep Lakes provide the kayaker or canoeist with wildlife viewing critters in the water and out. Turtles, fish, reptiles like rattle snakes can be seen. Coyotes, deer and domesticated cattle are sometimes on the menu. The Seep Lakes and the neighboring Columbia National Wildlife Refuge both are good places for birds, birding, bird watching while in a kayak or canoe or on the shorelines. Spring brings birds, greenery, wildflowers and turtle action. Summer is a bit slower then in the fall more birds use the area.
To enjoy this area to the fullest you need to get Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife $12 parking permit. This license will allow you to park at all public fishing and other sites run by the WDFW in the State Washington. If you plan to kayak much in Washington State this license is the best deal around for launching kayaks and canoes.
Bring your eagerness, skills, and gear and enjoy the basalt cliff and marsh lined Seep Lakes. This is a knock your socks off place of sunny days, starry domed nights and the opportunity to bath in the sounds of silence, less or NO FFN, Fossil Fuel Noise, and soak up some awesome natural wonders of flora, fauna and geography.
Be safe, leave NO trace, pick up some of the garbage you find and have a GREAT time.
Little video featuring a few shots of the area.
Check out the Innies and Outties kayak, canoeing public launch sites for human powered low carbon foot print and FFN, Fossil Fuel Noise.
View Innies and Outies Public Water Access in a larger map