Alder Lake, Washington, USA

Also known as:  Alder Reservoir

Vacationers planning to visit Mount Rainer need to fit beautiful Alder Lake into their plans. This reservoir in the Southwest Region of Washington offers over 3000 acres of water fun. The sparsely developed lake stretches over seven miles alongside Highway 7, about 25 miles south of Tacoma, offering stunning water views to tantalize passersby. Those wise enough to stop will find 2,931-acre Alder Lake Recreation Area offers everything from boat – READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Alder Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Alder Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

Welcome to the ultimate guide to Alder Lake! Article topics include:

Looking for Alder Lake cabins or other accommodations? Save time and use this interactive map to find, compare and book at the best rates. Or explore more of our favorite travel partners.

All About Alder Lake

Lake Locations: USA - West - Washington - Southwest Washington -

Vacationers planning to visit Mount Rainer need to fit beautiful Alder Lake into their plans. This reservoir in the Southwest Region of Washington offers over 3000 acres of water fun. The sparsely developed lake stretches over seven miles alongside Highway 7, about 25 miles south of Tacoma, offering stunning water views to tantalize passersby. Those wise enough to stop will find 2,931-acre Alder Lake Recreation Area offers everything from boat launch sites to camping and swimming beaches. The main park area at the north end of the reservoir offers the breathtaking sight of snow-capped Mount Rainer reflected in the vast expanse of Alder Lake. There is no better place to photograph majestic Mount Rainer than this special vantage point.

The view was not the purpose when the Nisqually River was dammed in 1945. The need for hydroelectric power for Tacoma drove the Nisqually River Project. Although the river had been dammed before the project began, the newly-built Alder Dam was the highest dam constructed in the United States at the time. The resultant flooding drowned the small town of Alder, much of which had been moved to higher ground in anticipation of the reservoir. The newly-created Tacoma Power reservoir captured the Nisqually River and several tributaries fed by Mount Rainer’s glacial melt. The town of Alder still exists as a cluster of homes near the main park entrance.

Tacoma Power has provided well for recreational opportunities on Alder Lake. Two different boat launch sites are provided, one near the main park area on the north end of the lake and another at Rocky Point a few miles away. Three separate campgrounds and two day-use areas offer camping, swimming, picnic areas, playgrounds, bathhouse, restrooms and water. The large open expanse of water lends itself well to all types of boating activities, including water skiing, tubing, windsurfing, sailing, personal watercraft and power boating. Boaters who are camping at the park and want to moor their boats overnight can use the first-come, first-served 20-slip boat moorage dock at the Stacel Point day-use area. The park does not allow overnight camping on moored boats.

The Little Nisqually tributary arm of the lake is designated a no-wake area, and a smaller arm does not allow any type of motorized craft. These sheltered areas offer quiet waters for canoeing, kayaking, fishing and wildlife observation along with providing the solitude necessary for waterfowl breeding.

Alder Lake is known for its kokanee fishery. Tacoma Power stocks 500,000 kokanee each spring to provide sport for visiting fishermen. Other fish caught include rainbow trout, smallmouth bass, perch, catfish, crappie, largemouth bass and bluegill. Some years, the Nisqually River and other Alder Lake tributaries are open for fishing all season long. Those wishing to fish these creeks should check availability in advance as rules may change from season to season. Lake fishing is sometimes erratic because Alder Lake is first and foremost a reservoir. During periods of drought, lake levels can drop drastically, making boat launching and fishing challenging. The lake also has a tendency to be awash with floating and submerged logs after various water events such as spring flooding, and boating should be approached with caution. Those planning activities on the water should call 1-888-502-8690 for recorded water level information.

The Snoqualmie National Forest abuts the southwest side of Alder Lake, offering even more public land for adventurous visitors to explore. Trails travel along the shore for a considerable distance, offering excellent areas for hiking and mountain biking. Several hiking and cycling areas exist in close proximity to the little town of Elba at the Nisqually River inlet on the south end of the lake. The Elbe Hills are well-known for a wealth of hiking trails as is the Mount Rainer National Park only 15 miles away. Elbe offers a restaurant and a small hotel for those not interested in camping. A scenic railroad nearby offers a tour by steam-powered train to Mount Rainer National Park. Rainer National Park offers a bounty of year-round activities from skiing in winter to hiking and glacier viewing in summer.

A variety of wildlife lives in the forests around Alder Lake, but the one sure way to actually see a number of them is to visit Northwest Trek Wildlife Park. This non-profit wildlife park is only about eight miles north of the lake near Eatonville. Besides exhibits of native wildlife in their natural habitat, the park offers various children’s activities throughout the year to educate youngsters about the bounty of life that exists in the Northwest.

Vacation rentals at Alder Lake are somewhat rare. The occasional private dwelling can be found as a weekly or monthly rental, sometimes with rare lake frontage. Nearby motels and cabins are often available but, like the campsites, reservations should be made during the summer season. The off-season is usually less crowded and will offer a better selection of vacation rentals. A few bed-and-breakfasts exist near Mount Rainer, and real estate can even be found on occasion in the area. So, the next time you consider Mount Rainer part of your summer vacation itinerary, plan a few days at Alder Lake. It will quickly become one of your favorite vacation spots and will provide you with a host of scenic memories.

Things to Do at Alder Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Water Skiing
  • Tubing
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Cabin Rentals
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • National Park
  • National Forest
  • Playground

Fish Species Found at Alder Lake

  • Bass
  • Black Bass
  • Bluegill
  • Catfish
  • Crappie
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Largemouth Bass
  • Perch
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Smallmouth Bass
  • Sunfish
  • Trout

All About Alder Lake

Best hotels and vacation rentals at Alder Lake

The Alder Lake map shown above is a simple and stress-free way to search for trip accommodations. But if you want to take a deeper dive to find the ideal waterfront home, cabin, condo, hotel or resort, visit our favorite lodging partners by clicking the buttons below.

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.


More Ways to Book a Alder Lake Vacation

While our interactive map above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME rental homes (with VRBO) and nearby hotels (with Booking.com), there might be times when you need to expand your search with a different type of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you might want to explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our full disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Alder Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


More Sites to Book a Alder Lake Vacation

Our interactive lodging map shown above is perfect for comparing LAKENAME VRBO rental homes and nearby Booking.com hotels, there are times when you need to expand your search for different types of accommodation. Here are some other LAKNAME lodging partners you can explore:

Check TripAdvisor
Explore RV Rentals
Find a Campspot
View All Resources

Note: These are affiliate links and we may earn a small commission. Read our disclosure policy here.


Recommended Sites to Book a Alder Lake Vacation

If you want to take a deeper dive to find waterfront lake cabins, cottages, condos, hotels or resorts, check out our favorite Alder Lake lodging partners.

  • VRBO – Use VRBO to find the perfect lake rental home, condo, cabin, cottage or other vacation property.
  • Booking.com – One of the world’s leading digital travel companies, Booking.com connects travelers to everything from cozy B&Bs to luxury resorts.
  • Expedia – Expedia is a popular online travel agency with more than 140,000 lodging properties worldwide.
  • Hotels.com – With more than 325,000 hotels in 19,000-plus locations, Hotels.com is an industry leader in online accommodations.
  • TripAdvisor – Read traveler reviews and compare prices on hotels, vacation rentals and more at TripAdvisor.
  • Trivago – Trivago helps travelers compare deals for hotels and other accommodations from a variety of booking sites.
  • KAYAK – KAYAK scours hundreds of other travel websites at once to find the best deals on hotels and other travel-related services.
  • RVshare –RVshare connects travelers interested in renting a motorhome with owners who have RVs to rent.
  • CampSpot – Campspot offers premier RV resorts, family campgrounds, cabins and glamping options across North America.
ALL TRAVEL RESOURCES

Note: These are affiliate links so we may earn a small commission if you book through them. While there is no extra cost to you, it helps provide resources to keep our site running (thank you)! You can read our full disclosure policy here.

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Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

Water Level Control: Tacoma Power

Surface Area: 3,065 acres

Shoreline Length: 28 miles

Minimum Elevation (Min Pond): 1,114 feet

Maximum Elevation (Max Pond): 1,207 feet

Average Depth: 75 feet

Maximum Depth: 290 feet

Completion Year: 1945

Drainage Area: 286 sq. miles

We strive to keep the information on LakeLubbers as accurate as possible. However, if you’ve found something in this article that needs updating, we’d certainly love to hear from you! Please fill out our Content Correction form.

More Alder Lake news from LakeLubbers.com

  • Advertise your vacation rental property or local business: DETAILS HERE
  • The Alder Lake forum has been discontinued: HERE’S WHY
  • New Alder Lake photos coming soon!
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  • Share this Alder Lake article with your fellow LakeLubbers:

Do you have a vacation rental property at Alder Lake? Coming in 2022, LakeLubbers will have an opportunity for you to showcase your listing and put it in front of thousands of lake lovers searching our site for homes, condos or townhomes to rent for their upcoming lake trip this season.

Please get in touch with our advertising team HERE and we’ll provide you more details on this upcoming advertising opportunity.

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Looking for the Alder Lake forum?

LakeLubbers previously offered visitors the ability to create accounts and participate in lake forums. When we overhauled the site’s content management system in 2021 we had to disable those features. We’re evaluating options and welcome your comments and feedback here.

We also encourage you to join our lake-lovin’ community on Facebook and Instagram!

Click here to advertise your Alder Lake vacation rental or local business.

The former Alder Lake forum is closed. Find out why here.

New Alder Lake photo gallery is coming soon.

Please share this article with your fellow lake lovers!

Spread the word! Share our Alder Lake article with your fellow Lake Lubbers!

Explore local Alder Lake vacation rentals and hotel accommodations using our interactive map. Clicking on listings below will allow you to compare nearby properties, best rates and availability for your dates.

Looking for the old Alder Lake forum group? Click Here

New Alder Lake photos coming soon!

Vacation Home Name

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  • 2 bedrooms
  • 2 bathrooms
  • hot tub
  • wifi