Cooper Lake

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

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Cooper Lake


  • Gentle trail.- Cooper Lake
  • Large uprooted trees.- Cooper Lake
  • The trail to Cooper Lake.- Cooper Lake
  • Popular trail for families.- Cooper Lake
  • Riverside break in the shade.- Cooper Lake
  • Walk through dense forest next to the river.- Cooper Lake
  • The trail winds through Owhi Campground.- Cooper Lake
  • Keep an eye on your snacks, the chipmunks are very bold.- Cooper Lake
  • Bench by Cooper Lake.- Cooper Lake
  • Cooper Lake boat launch.- Cooper Lake
  • Cooper Lake and surrounding ridges.- Cooper Lake
Overview + Weather
Gentle hike. Swimming.
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
400.00 ft (121.92 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
6.00 mi (9.66 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,500.00 ft (762.00 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


A short and gentle day hike from Salmon la Sac, Cooper Lake is a great place to visit for a day of swimming or fishing. It is not necessary to make the trip on foot since it is also accessible by car, but if you do choose to hike you'll have a pleasant, ambling trek along the Cooper River.

From the Salmon la Sac Trailhead, start hiking along the river as the trail splits off from those heading to Polallie Ridge and Waptus Lake. With only 400 feet of elevation gain, the trail stays gentle throughout as it rolls along the river valley through old-growth trees, berries, and occasional patches of wildflowers. The river is full of plump trout, so keep an eye out for good fishing holes as you walk by.

After 3 miles the trail intersects Cooper Lake Road and continues on the other side just down the way. As the lake comes into view through the trees, the primitive campsites of Owhi Campground start appearing on either side of the trail. Access the beach from the campground for a good picnic spot, or continue on toward the boat ramp. Since no motorized boats are allowed on Cooper Lake, it is an ideal spot for swimming, kayaking and canoeing.

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Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

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Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(24 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(113 within a 30 mile radius)

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