• The calm, inviting waters of the Spokane Arm. Photo Credit: NPS\LARO\John Salisbury

    Lake Roosevelt

    National Recreation Area Washington

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Canoeing and Kayaking

50 MILE CANOE TRIP FAQ's (Frequently Asked Questions)

What canoe routes and camping areas would you suggest for a party of 10 to get in 50 miles of canoeing in 4 days?

North End of Lake Roosevelt

  • Bradbury Beach Day-Use Area/Boat Launch to Fort Spokane Campground/Boat Launch. Both have parking lots and toilets. You have to carry your own water to Bradbury.

South End of Lake Roosevelt

  • Hunters Campground/Boat Launch to Keller Ferry Campground/Boat Launch. Both have parking lots and toilets. It is a harder route due to the higher volume of boat use in the southern part of the lake.

Purchase a launch permit at the boat launch if you plan on using it to put in your canoes. They are good for 7 consecutive days.

Where is a good place to park our canoe trailer/van and an extra car at the beginning and end of our route? Is there any risk of cars/equipment being damaged while we are on the lake?

All four of the locations listed above have parking lots. There is always risk to cars and equipment no matter where you go. We highly recommend filing a float plan with us including good descriptions of your vehicles, a contact person not on the lake with you, and your expected date of departure and arrival. Our Visitor & Resource Protection Rangers patrol every day, but this is a big lake with 1.5 million visitors a year.

What are the potential impacts of the low water levels this summer?

The lower the water, the faster the current. Make sure your participants are wearing their life vest at all times on the water. The water is cold, and fast moving. Hypothermia is one of the biggest dangers here, even in summer. Practice your water saving skills before you need to use them.

Are there any other things we should be aware of for the trip?

Federal law requires you to carry approved Coast Guard-approved Marine Sanitation Devices or portable toilets (including disposable bags designed to carry human waste) with you when you are primitive camping at Lake Roosevelt. Ammo cans with a bag are not approved. Being a reservoir, digging a hole does not work since lake fluctuations and erosion expose vast amounts of lakebed every year.

Pack in and pack out EVERYTHING with you; trash, toilets, food waste.

Can we camp on the beach and have a fire?

Shoreline camping is permitted in specific areas. Check our camping page for more information.

Beach fires are allowed below the full pool line year round when the fire danger rating for the park is at or below Level 2. High fire danger closure will be in effect whenever the Washington State Department of Natural Resources issues a fire closure for areas that include Lake Roosevelt. Check with the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation and the Spokane Tribe of Indians for their regulations and permit requirements if you are planning on camping on their lands. You must have your permits from them before camping on their land.

Filing a Float Plan

If you want to file a float plan, use one of the addresses listed below.

Northern Route

Kettle Falls District Office
Attn: North District LE Ranger
1368 S Kettle Park Rd
Kettle Falls, WA 99141

Southern Route

Spring Canyon District Office
Attn: South District LE Ranger
1008 Crest Dr
Coulee Dam, WA 99116



Did You Know?

These folks thought their campsite was far enough away from the water, but woke to find toys and coolers floating away.

Lake Roosevelt is the primary flood control reservoir on the Columbia River. The lake level can rise up to 4 feet per day in spring and drop 1 foot per day in summer. When shoreline camping, find out what the lake level is and don't put a tent close to the water unless you want a chilly surprise.