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.
- 1.25 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 20 feet
- Highest Point
- 420 feet
Hiking Yellow Lake
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 47.5697, -122.0154 Open in Google Maps