Many view points and locations. Photo opportunities at every turn. Amazing driving roads to the lake. Seclusion.

I was looking for something a little new. I wasn't quite feeling a hike, and wanted to get some new photos to edit at a new location. After staring at a map of Washington for a little while, Riffe Lake grabbed my attention. This huge lake in the Southern Washington Cascades had been a spot I had never seen before, so surely it had to be my day trip destination.

Driving from Seattle, I was very impressed by the roads to the lake. Once you get south of Puyallup, the drive becomes heaven for anyone into curvy mountain roads. The drive for me anyways was half the fun, as I am a bit of a driving enthusiast. Grab the keys, hop in the car or on the bike, and go experience something new!

Once you reach the town of Morton, you can access Riffe Lake from Highway 12. Going either East or West gets you to different points of the lake. I personally chose the eastern portion of the lake, at Taidnapam Park. This side of the lake seemed to have the better views for a sunset.

Spend an afternoon walking around the lake's many zones, taking pictures, and enjoying the scenery. From Riffe Lake, you see mountain views, flood plains, beaches, and forests. There is a unique feeling at this lake, and it's hard to put into words. There's something about its location, the logged mountains, the almost creepy looking flood plains, the fog that frequently forms around the lake in the evening; This is a place that has to be experienced to understand.

Getting There:

From Puyallup, take SR 161 through South Hill. Past Eatonville, merge onto SR 7 South heading towards Alder Lake. Stay on SR 7 until the town of Morton where you will come to Highway 12. Go east on Highway 12 for 9.5 miles until you see Kosmos Road. Turn right onto Kosmos Road and follow the signs to the boat launch (3 miles).

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Snacks
  • Good Company
Show More
Activities Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Swimming
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Romantic
Scenic
Swimming Hole

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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