Sullivan Lake

Area Status: Open

Sullivan Lake


Sullivan Lake is 1290.7 acre, 312’ deep luminous lake with breathtaking views and world class recreational opportunities. This lake is a popular recreation lake nestled in the mountains of the northwest Washington. In addition to fishing for trout, salmon and turbot, visitors come to the lake for camping canoeing, swimming, SCUBA diving and hiking along the trail on the east side of the lake. Other attractions include ice fishing for burbot/ling cod and bighorn sheep viewing during the winter months.

History: In the Metaline District, a gold strike on the Sullivan Creek occurred in 1859 which brought prospectors flocking into the region, including Michael R.O. Sullivan for whom Sullivan Creek and Sullivan Lake were named.

Image of mountain lake scenery Google earth map of Sullivan Lake area Image of open water view on Sullivan Lake Hillshade view of Sullivan Lake area Image of boat launch

At a Glance

Restrictions: Washington state fishing license required. See Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at for more information.
Closest Towns: Metaline Falls, WA

General Information


From Metaline Falls, WA: Head northeast on Grandview St toward International Selkirk Loop N/Lehigh Ave for 49 feet.  Turn right onto WA-31 N/International Selkirk Loop N/Lehigh Ave for 2.1 miles.  Turn right onto Sullivan Lake Rd for 6.8 miles.

Google map directions from Metaline Falls, WA


From Sullivan Lake Ranger District: Head southeast on Sullivan Lake Rd for 5.7 miles.

Google map directions from Sullivan Lake Ranger District

General Notes:

This is a grizzly bear and black bear area.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Campground Camping

Recreation areas with activity Campground Camping:

East Sullivan Lake Campground (Group Camping)

There is one group campsite with picnic tables, fire pits, and group fire ring for up to 40 people. The day use is open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm and has picnic tables, fire pits, a boat launch and swim area. Drinking water, vault toilet, food storage boxes and garbage disposal are provided. Reservations can be made online through or through telephone at 1-877-444-6777 for both east and west Sullivan Lake campgrounds. Camp host is available during open camping season.

West Sullivan Lake Campground

West Sullivan Lake has 10 campsites with picnic tables, and fire pits. There is a day use area with picnic shelter, a boat launch, and swim area. See Figure 3 below. Drinking water, vault toilet and garbage disposal is provided here. Trailers and small RV’s are allowed. There is a campground spur trail that connects the two campgrounds along the northern shore of the lake. A dog swimming beach is available on the northeast corner of the lake, just east of the dam along the shoreline. East and West Sullivan Lake Campground is separated by a 2,300’ airfield runway that was built large enough for commercial use by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the early 1900’s.


Noisy Creek Campground is located on the southern end of the lake. There are 19 campsites with picnic tables and fire pits. There is a day use area the is open from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm. Picnic tables, fire rings, a boat launch and swimming area can be accessed at the day use area. Drinking water, vault toilet and garbage disposal are provided here. RV camping is allowed, though hook-ups and dump stations are not on site. Camp hosts are available throughout open camping season. Reservations can be made through or by telephone at 1-877-444-6777. 

Lake and Pond Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Lake and Pond Fishing:
  • Fish Species: German Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout, Kokanee, Burbot/Ling Cod
  • Fishing Access: 2X4, 4X4, and boat.
  • Fishing Methods: Fly, spin, and bait.
  • Angling Season: Spring, fall and winter.
  • Depth and Size: 320 feet - 1291 acres

Fishing License

Washington state fishing license required. See Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife at for more information. 

Ice Fishing

Recreation areas with activity Ice Fishing:

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:

Lake Shore Trail #504 is 4.25-mile easy hike for the family with minimal elevation gain.  The trail runs along the eastern shore of the lake and has a north and south trail entrance. Noisy Creek #588, Hall Mt #503, Hall Mt-Grassy Top #540, North Fork-Grassy Top #379 are a complex system of trais that take you to Grassy Top and Hall Mt Ridge. These trail levels are moderate to mostly difficult and range from 240’ - 2800’ elevation gain. Several other overnight backpacking opportunities take place near the Salmo-Priest Wilderness on the Colville National Forest. For access information and full map descriptions please go to  

Lake Shore Trail #504 North End Access: To get to the north trailhead, continue north Sullivan lake Rd for 4.7 miles. Turn right onto Sullivan Creek Rd and take the first right into the boat launch road for the Sullivan Lake Campground. Trailhead is on the left about halfway to the lake.                    

Lake Shore Trail #504 South End Access: To get to the south trailhead from Ione, WA: Head west on Main St toward S 2nd Ave for 174 ft. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto WA-31 S/S 2nd Ave continue to follow WA-31 S for 0.9 mile. Turn left onto Elizabeth Ave/Sullivan Lake Rd continue to follow Sullivan Lake Rd for 0.4 mile. Slight left to stay on Sullivan Lake Rd for 7.9 mile. Turn right into Noisy Creek Campground. The south trailhead is located near the boat launch parking area at the north end of the campground and connects East Sullivan and Noisy Creek Campgrounds.


Viewing Plants

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Plants:

Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), pink spirea (Spiraea douglasii), fireweed (Chamaenerion angustofolium), ocean-spray (Holodiscus discolor), western-red cedar (Thuja plicata), alder (Alnus spp.), thimbleberry (Rubus parviflorus), Utah honeysuckle (Lonicera utahensis), currant (Ribes spp.), ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), western larch (Larix occidentalis), Rocky-Mountain maple (Acer glabrum), yarrow (Achillea millefolium), rose (Rosa spp.), black cottonwood (Populus tricocharpa), paper birch (Betula papyrifera) Englemann spruce (Picea engelmannii), brackenfern (Pteridium aquilinum), wild sarsaparilla (Aralia nudicaulis), red-osier dogwood (Cornus stolinifera), knapweed (Centaurea spp.), russet buffaloberry (Shepherdia canadensis), hawkweed (Hieracium spp.), pathfinder (Adenocaulon bicolor), clover (Trifolium arvense), sedge (Carex spp.), mullein (Verbascum thapsus).     

In water: pondweed (Potamogeton spp.), common mare’s-tail (Hippuris vulgaris)

Boating - Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Motorized:

Boating - Non-Motorized

Recreation areas with activity Boating - Non-Motorized:


Recreation areas with activity Swimming:


Recreation areas with activity Tubing:


Recreation areas with activity Waterskiing:

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities



  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2,600 feet