Green shrubs with purple flowers border a trail between a blue lake and tall pine trees.
Lupin wildflowers and ponderosa pines border a trail overlooking Lake Roosevelt.

NPS Photo

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is a land of contrasts. Cold, snowy winters are matched by hot, arid summers. The bright colors of spring are hard to imagine during the thick autumn fog. The landscape, too, varies dramatically between north and south due to differences in geology and climate. The mountains in the north support dense pine forests thanks to higher rainfall. The flat plateaus to the south receive little moisture, and a hardy sagebrush-steppe ecosystem thrives on the dry, sandy soils.

Wildlife species are just as varied at Lake Roosevelt. Mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians thrive on both land and water. Lake Roosevelt and its tributaries support a fish community that today is considerably different from the native fish community of the early 1900s due to habitat alteration and non-native species.

The Lake Roosevelt watershed drains about 44,969 square miles, 88% of which is Canada. The lake extends more than 154 miles along the Columbia River through the national recreation area and includes the lower reaches of many rivers and streams. Most of the water in lake comes from glacial ice, lakes and snow high in the Canadian Rockies. The lake culminates at the Grand Coulee Dam, which is the driving force of the recreation area itself.

Raptor with a black band at the tips of its tail feathers spreads its wings in front of a blue sky.

Lake Roosevelt has a little bit of everything: land dwellers, swimmers, and sky high flyers.

Brown prickly pinecone among long narrow green pine needles.

Plant diversity extends from the channeled scablands of the south to the ponderosa pine forests of the north.

Aerial view of sloping cliffside of brown rocks emerging out of bright blue water.

Granite, basalt, and large coulees make the complex puzzle that is Lake Roosevelt.

Gray body of water with hazy light blue skies above.
Air Quality Information

Wildfires and fog can impact visibility, but can also lead to impacts on health.

invasive mussels and plants in a pile on the shoreline
Aquatic Invasive Species

Learn about AIS and fill out the self-certification form.

Narrow tan grasses stick out on a dry landscape with shrubs overlooking a vast lake.
Channeled Scablands

This shrub-steppe ecosystem is filled with large shrubs, broadleaf wildflowers, and a large diversity of grass species.

Tall pine trees line a wide dirt pathway.
Okanogan Highlands

An extension of the Rocky Mountains, this ecosystem has a more mountainous climate and is dense with conifers.

Last updated: September 12, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
1008 Crest Drive

Coulee Dam, WA 99116


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