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Yellow Lake

Issaquah Alps
47.5697, -122.0154 Map & Directions
1.25 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
20 feet
Highest Point
420 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
View across Yellow Lake toward W. Tiger No. 1 summit. Photo by Quantum Guru. Full-size image
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Hike an easy loop trail through a wide forested buffer zone around this lowland lake. Appreciate the many tall trees that give the illusion of being in a much more remote location, and enjoy the view from a dock from which the entire lake can be seen. In season, see a variety of waterfowl. Continue reading

  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Wildlife
  • Good for kids
  • Lakes

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Hiking Yellow Lake

Yellow Lake is a natural lake surrounded by the Klahanie neighborhood, an area of King County nestled between Issaquah and Sammamish. (In the spring of 2015, residents voted to allow annexation by Sammamish.) In recent years, large homes and townhouses have been built in the area but the lake and a surrounding wide, forested buffer strip have been maintained as an urban wildlife sanctuary.

A graveled loop trail threads through the forest of the buffer strip and a single dock juts out into the water for an extended view. The buffer strip is wide enough that occasional views of homes through the trees do not seem intrusive. The buffer strip contains some large trees, both coniferous and deciduous, particularly around the eastern side of the lake.

The loop trail is only a mile and a quarter long, with less than 20 feet of elevation change. (whew!) The western shore offers occasional views across the lake toward Tiger Mountain.

In spring, yellow-flowering water lilies bloom around much of the lake shore, and likely are the original inspiration for Yellow Lake's name.

From the parking area, head northwest on the obvious path between the two buildings and cross a small footbridge to reach Klahanie Park. Head right past the playground equipment to find the trailhead for the loop trail. A portable toilet is available near the trailhead.

At the trailhead, for the best view of the lake, take the right trail fork. It leads to the dock, which is the only viewpoint from which the entire lake can be seen. The surrounding homes are hidden by the trees, and the view across the lake gives the illusion of being in a more remote location. You are likely to see a few ducks and gulls on the water here, depending on the season.

As you continue around on the loop trail you may see or hear woodpeckers and other birds in the forest. A few wildflowers may be out, particularly in the spring.

Sets of exercise bars and platforms have been set up at several locations along the loop trail, and signs there suggest optional exercises. So this otherwise-gentle hike can become more strenuous if you like.

At various points around the loop, signed side trails lead out to different parts of the Klahanie neighborhood, and any of these trails could be explored as hike extensions. A map of the Klahanie neighborhood and Yellow Lake is available via the link below. The map covers the entire neighborhood, so don't be discouraged by the large number of home sites and the apparent small size of the lake.

Hike Description Written by
Alan Gibbs, WTA Correspondent

Yellow Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 47.5697, -122.0154 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From I-90 in Issaquah, take Exit 17 (Front Street) and head north as Front Street becomes E. Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE. About 0.3 miles from I-90, turn right onto SE Issaquah Fall City Road. In about 1.1 miles, turn left onto Issaquah Pine Lake Rd SE. In about 1 mile, turn right onto SE Klahanie Blvd. In a half-mile turn right onto 244th Pl SE. In 250 feet, turn left into the parking area for the swimming pool and information center. There are parking slots for about 30 cars. A few more curb parking spaces are available along the adjoining streets.

More Hike Details


Issaquah Alps

City of Sammamish

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Yellow Lake

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