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Skagit Bay Camano Island Washington
Skagit Bay Camano Island Washington. George Grubb
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"Some" Washington State, British Columbia, Californial flatwater recreational kayak put in sites
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Washington State public lands parking permit.

Starts July 1, 2011.
Supports our parks.

WDFW Public Water Access sites.

Paddling Osborne Bay Banks Lake

Spring time paddling Banks Lake at Osborne Bay.

Roar of birds and bugs at Potholes water side campsite May 2011.

  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

WARNING: Banks Lake water level is being lowered August 2011.

Roar of birds and bugs at Potholes water side campsite May 2011.


The main put-in at the Osborne Bay Campground is a cement boat ramp. There is a small amount of gravel on the sides to slip canoes and kayaks into Banks Lake for kayaking, canoeing.

Some of the campsites have water access if you are prepared to climb down a short bank. There are boats often times tied up at these little step down into the water blocking the entry.

So the boat ramp is the best bet.

Car top launching is included in the launch and parking fee with the day $10 or $30.00 yearly purchase of the Washington State Discover Pass. Great way to support the state public lands. What a great deal for all.


Update August 14, 2011
Banks Lake is being lowered about one foot day for reservoir repairs. The shoreline is growing and is extremely muddy and smells. Lots of unsanctioned paddle in places to find and camp with the lower water levels. Currently the lake is down about 5 feet and will be 20 feet lower by September and then down to 30 feet lower.

Paddling Osborne Bay Banks Lake June 2011.

Another in a series of sensaround style paddling places to feed the MBS, Mind-Body-Spirit.

The air in the springtime is pungent with roses and more while paddling on Banks Lake.

Osborne Bay is on Banks Lake and part of the larger Steamboat Rock Park.

Camping is cheap at 12 bucks a night and a boat ramp or some trails to the water from some campsites to put-in.

Osborne is across from the Subbanks Resort where you can spend some bucks on cabins, camping and other types of amenities with the crowds. Lots of noise from people and jet skis can fill the area in the resort and in the State Park. The State Park is the quieter and cheaper of the two.

Osborne Bay is on the north eastern side of Banks Lake in Grant County Central Washington Washington State south of Electric City a mile or two at the most in what is known as the Coulee Corridor.

The Coulee Corridor a National Scenic Byway runs from Omak in the north south to Othello. Along the way there are great sites and plenty of knock your socks off places to put-in a kayak or canoe for the day or longer.

This is at least a 3 season place to put-in and paddle. Spring is ripe with birds and the lush growth along the shoreline in the area from the reeds to the wildflowers. Summer can be HOT and sunny with more people. Fall can be perfect, not too hot or too cold. Winter is a toss up with more cold then not, in fact freezing. Spring, summer and fall can host some lightning you might want to keep in mind when out and about.

Wind, speed boats. But get this. Most of the boats on this lake fly past and the noise is over quickly. The wake from the speed boats here is no big deal unlike the noise and waves of the slow noisy things in Puget Sound and other lakes. Jet skis can be out and about.

The standard like underwater hazards and other debris like fallen trees/sweepers along the shoreline.

Lightning is an issue that needs to be addressed here.

Poison ivy and snakes are out and about waiting for you.

Paddle route
The route from Osborne Bay is more gentle cattail, bulrush and other greenery like poison ivy that line the shoreline by the campground and to the south to Jones Bay.

At the campground there is a fairly large area that is more or less protected from the wind on either the south west and to the north east towards the main highway that more then likely brought your here.

The shoreline during the June 2011 paddling was ALIVE with new growth and tons of birds singing and carrying on. If you get off on wildlife like the feathered type this might be a good choice to paddle and explore the many little coves that line the east side of the lake between Osborne and Jones Bay.

From Osborne Bay campground put-in kayakers and canoeists can head in a variety of directions. East heads towards Osborne Lake. Paddlers need to portage over the highway to reach the lake or drive a vehicle and gear across the highway into the entrance to the WDFW property. Best bet for portage appears to be on the north end of the causeway that separates Banks from Osborne Lake. The water from the campground to the causeway can be more protected when the winds come up.

North past the Sunbanks Resort a paddler can reach Electric City.

Across the lake there is wide open terrain to explore.

South is a good bet to paddle because the shoreline is lined with vegetation and birds. If a paddler is up for it, Jones Bay Campground can be easily reached if the conditions are right. From there the rock gardens of Banks Lake between Jones and the main park at Steamboat Rock can be explored. The rock garden areas are really best from Jones Bay Campground or Northrup Boat Launch.

Stars at night. Sun during the day, hopefully. Birds, birds, birds and more birds in spring. A variety of wildflowers grow in the area.

For on land nature exploration check out Northrup Canyon part of the Steamboat Park caomplex. There is hiking with a critter fest including raptors of all sorts, eagles in the winter and TONS of wildflowers especially on the Old Wagon Road that goes up the basalt talus hills from near the parking area. Bring your camera.

For further details on the wonderful wildlife including the wildflowers in Steamboat Park and other areas of Central and Easter Washington State check out Bentler.us a wonderful site dedicated to the flora and fauna in this region.


There are NO provisions including NO potable water at Osborne Bay launch and campground.

There is a vault toilet.

Electric city is close by only a couple miles or so for food, fuel and some camping supplies in the first grocery going north on the highway at H&H advertised as the friendliest store on Banks Lake. I have to agree with the friendly service. Super kewl.


Osborne Bay Campground is part of the Washington State Parks Steamboat Rock Park. Primitive camping is only $12.00 a night. There is a vault toilet but no water so bring your own H2o. If there is sun the east side of the camping area is cooler in shade.

Check the link below for other places to pitch a tent in the area.

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

Additional Information

Deliverance rating. The crazy bell doesn't ring all that loud here. Knock on wood.

Tranquility Ranking
One way to up the tranquility rank besides taking Valium, until a National Day of Silence, no fossil fuel noise, try hearing protection.

When the drunks and crowds are asleep in the summer all is well. Off season of course is best for quiet time. When I am elected dicktator the highway will be limited to local traffic only and jet skis and other fossil fuel BS limited to hours and days of the week. Evil grin.
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 Electric_City, Washington Forecast

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

View Coulee Corridor Paddling in a larger map

Approximate distance from:
Seattle 225 miles.
Spokane 90 miles.

USGA Electric City topographic map.

GPS: 47.92359,-119.06019

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: Coulee Corridor

Overall rating: 5 paddles.

Launch: Requires Discover card.

Launch rating: 3 paddles.

Parking: Included with discovery or camping fees. Washington State public lands parking permit

Miscellaneous Novice and up with proper instruction and gear for the conditions.

Route Distance: Varies up to many miles.

Highlights: Nature, tons of paddling available and exploration.

Warnings: Wind, speed boats, underwater hazards, lightning, poison ivy, snakes

Fossil fuel noise levels: 5 on a scale of 0-10. 10 being the loudest.

Facilities: Vault toilet. No potable water.

Services: Water, food fuel in Electric City a couple miles north.

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

Early morning birding on Banks Lake while paddling kayaking at Osborne Bay.


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Last Update: 08.14.11 5:14pm