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Baker Lake kayaking
Baker Lake kayaking
Paddle Heaven
"Some" Washington State, British Columbia, Californial flatwater recreational kayak put in sites
"Some" day touring route wet dreams information.

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Washington State public lands parking permit.

Starts July 1, 2011.
Supports our parks.

WDFW Public Water Access sites.

Kayaking Lake Shannon

  1. Put-in
    Launch fees, parking ...

  2. Summaries
    Location, conditions, warnings, paddle route, nature ...

  3. Provisions
    Food, fuel, firewood, WIFI, local information

  4. Accommodations
    Camping, cabins

  5. Additional info
    Rating, disclaimer


There is only one place to put a kayak, canoe or other human powered water craft. The launch site location can be found on the map provided.

The launch is 3 miles up a dirt road from Concrete Washington in the North Cascades.

PSE, Puget Sound Energy manages the lake, reservoir that is used to produce electricity.

The launch and parking are free.

The actual launch area is a popular boat ramp for people into fishing.

The area is fairly rocky.

The level of lake goes up and down on a regular basis so each launch and paddle here is different. Sometimes it is a good distance to the shoreline from the main parking lot on top.

Get prepared then back down and unload the gear or if you prefer park in the shade on the top under the trees, then haul your stuff to the water.

Lake Shannon Water Levels from the USGS.


Can you say ***STUNNING***?

On a clear day the views are nothing less then breath taking.

Mt Baker and Mt Shuksan and other peaks in the area make for a visual masterpiece backdrop.

Next there is little fossil fuel racket here. The two dinosaur noises you will hear are 1. jets 2. Motorized boats.

Lake Shannon is located 3 miles north of the town of Concrete off Highway 20 the North Cascades Highway. See the map provided for the exact location. Click on the map to enlarge it and ask Google how far and how much time it will take you to get there.

Concrete web cam provides some current visual on the conditions in the region.

Wind and cold water and possible electrical storms in the summer need to be taken into consideration.

Most people don't wear PDF, personal flotation devices let alone are NOT prepared in the event they fall in the freezing water that comes from snow melt. Cold water kills. Most will find out the hard way.

Wind can be a problem here. In the summer when the weather is good, afternoon winds arrive around noon and calm in the evening again. The May 5, 2010 paddle adventure from the launch to the north end of the lake was blessed with a lot of placid conditions. The middle of the route on the return was windy. On the first paddle here see the blog link the wind blow hard.

Come EARLY to beat the launch, parking crowd and the wind.

Wind cold water. Electrical storms. Get it? Check the weather thoroughly. If you get up lake and trapped by howling wind, more often then not the conditions calm in the evening. Watch out for the stumps and debris in the water.

Paddle route
There have been two paddle routes here. As previously mentioned see the blog post link here for the first little paddle in the summer of 2009.

The latest May 5, 2010 started with overcast skies that broke into a Simpson's sort of day if not better.

Mt Baker and Shuksan as well as the many other fine mountains in the area were on display.

Two thirds of the route was along a shoreline that is fairly rocky or clay and steep banks with tons of stumps on the edge and in the water.

The last third of this paddle was more intimate as the lake narrows and the shoreline changes with grass and even more stumps and trees in a graveyard like atmosphere.

The ghostly stumps some enormous in sizer can be just a couple inches below the water. The alien looking stumps line much of the shore most of the way.

There ware many little coves to explore. In the spring there are rushing waters from the mountain creeks breaking the silence in a nice way.

Did you figure out this is a reservoir? The water goes and and water goes down. NO two paddles here are ever the same.

Consequently the route is always different if you are exploring the shoreline. When the water is higher more territory in the micro coves and inlets can be explored.

For example the maps of the lake and pictures online give the idea the lake goes fairly close to the Baker Lake dam at the north end. Not on this paddle. The north end turned into an impassable river with rapids. Possibly if the lake was filled to capacity the lake might extend closer to the dam.

The hills and mountains are spectacular with evergreen and broadleaf trees from the shoreline to the alpine peaks and snowfields.

Not much in the way of critter activity on or around the lake to report. Fairly quiet except for a loon or two on the upper third of the lake.


There are NO services in the area.

Fuel up and bring your own water.

Concrete or other locations along the North Cascades Highway 20 offers food and fuel.

Paddle Heaven's Maps page featuring put-in locations and some budget camping, cabins, yurts, RV and hostels.

Grandy Lake has a nice county park campground. Baker lake has several car and boat in campsites. Rasar State Park on the Skagit River near the Baker Lake road at Highway 20 has showers and camping. There are a several of places at the corner of 20 and Baker Lake Road, Creekside Camping, Grandy Lake Cabins, and a KOA. Check the link provided below for some camping opportunities in the area.

If you stay at Grandy Lake check the paddling or Baker lake both provide paddling opportunities.

For some budget camping, cabins, yurts, RV and hostels, check out Paddle Heaven's Cascade Mountains map and Cascade Mountains page of links as well as Paddle Heaven's Camping cabins and more.

Additional Information

Deliverance rating.

The creep meter goes up and down here. On the weekends especially when the weather is nice and it is fishing season, when isn't it, the ramp and parking area can be very busy. Busy ramps and lots keep other busy hands of thieves down to a minimum. The launch is sort of one big outdoor bar like atmosphere on nice days.

Fishing Reports, Stocking Reports & Fish Counts from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Things your need to know.
Read Me disclaimer, warnings, paddle at your own risk.

Click for Concrete, Washington Forecast

See some of the weather conditions in Washington State by viewing Web Cams in diffefrent locaitons before you head out paddling.

View Cascade Mountains Kayak Put-ins in a larger map

Topographic map and aerial photo of Lake Shannon area.

Approximate distance from:
Seattle 97 miles.
Everett 70 miles.
Bellingham 54 miles.
Vancouver Canada 105 mile.

Lake Shannon topograpahic map from the USGS Map Locator

GPS: 48.555894,-121.72872

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Click to view larger Paddle Heaven a world of flatwater kayak canoe put ins, launch sites and routes..

Region: Cascade Mountains

Overall rating: 5 paddles.

Launch: Free boat launch area.

Launch rating: 5 paddles.

Parking: Free ample parking. Come early to beat the wind and the crowds on nice weekends. Washington State public lands parking permit

Miscellaneous Cold water kills. Survival and rescue skills are handy.

Route Distance: 7.5 miles from the launch to the north end.

Highlights: ****SCENIC**** on a nice day. ****QUIET**** when the boats are not roaring.

Warnings: WIND, cold water, underwater stumps and other debris.

Fossil fuel noise levels: 1 on a scale of 0-10. 10 being the loudest.

Facilities: Porta potties. Cell phone works.

Services: NO services.

Budget accommodations: Tent,Cabin,Hostels,Kayak Camps,RV,Yurt.

More information: Visit blog or page.


Views = 9031

Last Update: 05.18.11 6:31am