Kayaking Banks Lake Coulee Corridor Central Washington State
Banks Lake is part of what is known as the Coulee Corridor. The Grand Coulee is basalt cliff lined depression in North Central Washington State. The Coulee runs from the Grand Coulee Dam south to the town of Soap Lake.
In this coulee there are many lakes suitable for paddling kayaks and canoes. Among the many lakes Banks Lake is the largest. Banks Lake runs from the Coulee City at the southern end to Electric City at the northern end. The lake is a reservoir that is about 27 miles long. The lake is part of the Columbia Basin Reclamation Project where water is diverted from Lake Roosevelt from behind the Grand Coulee Damn for farms in the Columbia Basin region.
The lake is long and narrow with numerous public water access sites where paddlers can put-in.
At the southern tip at Coulee City Community Park there is some RV and tent camping and places to put human powered craft in and enjoy paddling on Banks Lake.
On the eastern side where highway 155 runs up to the northern end of the lake in the Grand Coulee Dam area, there are several WDFW, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, public fishing sites. These sites require an inexpensive permit from the WDFW that can be purchased in local stores or online. The permits allows users to park and launch at WDFW sites all over Washington State.
There are places to tent or RV camp in Coulee City or in Steamboat State Park and to the north of the park at Sun Banks Resort or the Coulee Playland in Electric City. There is also some camping close by on the Columbia River three miles east of Coulee Dam at the NPS, National Park Service at Spring Canyon.
Steamboat Park offers some boat in camping. Check with the park webpage for details.
Some of the best paddling opportunities are in Steamboat State Park area. Much of Banks Lake is a wildlife refuge. Consequently the lake is not spoiled with tons of human stuff like houses everywhere that would more then likely show up on other lakes especially in western Washington Puget Sound areas.
Check out the Paddle Heaven page about kayaking Banks Lake in the area of Steamboat State Park. There you will see pictures, videos, and information about launching kayaks and canoes.