Bonny Lakes holds a special place in the hearts of many locals who grew up with summer visits at the lake. With its clear waters that perfectly mirror the surrounding greenery and expansive skies, it’s no wonder these lakes have been a favorite retreat for decades. Located right in the heart of some of the country’s most untouched landscapes, the Bonnie Lake makes for a perfect break from the loud city.

I’ve had the pleasure of watching countless sunrises over these lakes, each one more mesmerizing than the last and trust me, there’s nothing quite like the peace you find here.

Escaping Seattle To Bonny Lakes

Driving over from Seattle, the ride to Bonny Lakes winds over 200 miles of Washington State beauty. Depending on the route you choose and driving conditions, this drive typically takes about 3.5 to 4 hours, making it a great choice for a weekend getaway.

Must-See Stops Along the Way

  • Snoqualmie Falls

    Located just a short detour off the main route, this 268-foot waterfall is a sight to behold, offering ample RV parking and a great spot for a picnic.

  • Cle Elum

    This charming town boasts a rich history and provides a perfect stopping point for stretching your legs, grabbing a bite to eat, or exploring local artisan shops.

  • Wenatchee National Forest

    Before reaching Bonny Lakes, consider taking a slight detour through the heart of this expansive forest. With well-maintained roads, scenic viewpoints, and occasional wildlife sightings, it’s a detour worth making.

RV-Friendly Parking

Upon arriving at Bonny Lakes, visitors will find a dedicated RV parking area located near the main entrance. Spacious and well-marked, it caters to vehicles of various sizes. However, during peak season, it’s advisable to arrive early or consider booking a spot in advance if the facility allows. The proximity to the lakes and trails ensures convenience, making it an ideal base for your lakeside getaway.

Why Do People Travel To Bonny Lakes?

Natural Beauty

The view is amazing when the lake reflects the surrounding mountain ranges, creating an ever-changing panorama of colors and shadows. Every season paints Bonny Lakes in a unique hue – from the vibrant wildflower blooms of spring to the gilded foliage of autumn. Cascading waterfalls hidden amidst the forests make for good background noise. And for families, the gentle shores provide ample opportunities for lakeside picnics, tanning, and building sand castles.

A Haven for Wildlife Enthusiasts

This area teems with life. Deer can often be seen grazing near the water’s edge in the early hours, while the distinct calls of native birds fill the air. The dense woods around the lakes are home to more seldom seen animals too – from the stealthy fox to the occasional playful otter near the banks. For those with a keen eye, the fluttering of butterflies and the busy world of insects provide endless fascination.

Stargazing Opportunities

When night descends upon Bonny Lakes, a different kind of beauty unveils itself. Far from the city’s light pollution, the skies above the lakes are a canvas of twinkling stars, radiant planets, and the ethereal glow of the Milky Way. On clear nights, stargazers can revel in celestial wonders and even the occasional meteor Families can gather around the campfire for a night of smores, stories, and good memories.

Trails Around Bonny Lakes: Exploration Awaits

Family-friendly Trails

For families wanting a gentle stroll, the Lakeside Loop offers a flat, well-maintained pathway that encircles the main water body. At just 2 miles in length, it provides plenty of spots to rest and enjoy the view. For those with younger children, the Meadow’s Delight Trail is a 1-mile loop that meanders through open fields, sprinkled with wildflowers and buzzing with butterflies – a delightful visual treat for the little ones during the summer.

Adventurous Trails

For the more seasoned hikers, Eagle’s Crest is a must-try. Climbing steadily over 4 miles, this trail rewards with unparalleled views of Bonny Lakes from a majestic vantage point. The occasional sight of eagles soaring overhead adds to its allure. Another challenging but rewarding trail is the Forest Whisper Path, a winding 5-mile trek through dense woodlands, with occasional clearings presenting glimpses of hidden waterfalls and the serene lake beyond.

Bonny Lakes via Tenderfoot Wagon Road and Nooney Lakes Trail

This trail offers hikers a sublime journey through the heart of Oregon’s backcountry. Winding through dense forests and open meadows, the trail provides panoramic vistas of the Wallowa Mountains, ensuring a frame from a movie at every turn. The tranquil waters of Bonny Lakes, combined with the diverse flora and fauna encountered en route, encapsulate the essence of the Eagle Cap Wilderness.

Safety Tips:

While the area offers a natural sanctuary for relaxation and exploration, there are things that you should keep in mind:

Be Prepared

Especially for the longer trails, ensure you have adequate water, sun protection, and a basic first-aid kit. If it’s summer, you’ll need more water than you think!

Stay Alert

The area is home to diverse wildlife. Most animals will keep their distance, but always be cautious and avoid feeding or approaching them.

Know the Terrain

Some trails, especially the more adventurous ones, may have steep sections or loose ground. You’ll want to wear appropriate footwear and consider using trekking poles for added stability.

Stay Informed

Before setting out, check for any trail advisories at the local ranger station or information center. Sometimes these places have information that Google doesn’t.

Beyond the Trails: Activities for Families at Bonny Lakes

Picnicking Paradises

The shores of Bonny Lakes are dotted with numerous picnic spots, each offering a unique perspective of the tranquil waters and verdant surroundings. Whispering Pines Clearing is an excellent choice with its shaded spots and the soft hum of pine trees in the breeze. Families preferring an open area can opt for Sunny Meadows, a grassy expanse overlooking the lake, ideal for games or lounging in the sun after a delightful meal.

Water Activities

  • Fishing

    Yes, families can fish at Bonny Lakes! The waters are teeming with various species, ensuring a thrilling experience for both amateur and seasoned anglers. Ensure you have the necessary permits and follow catch-and-release guidelines where specified.

  • Swimming

    There’s a designated swimming zone at Crystal Cove, marked with buoys to ensure safety. The gentle slopes make it ideal for younger swimmers, while the clear waters are a treat for all.

  • Paddleboarding

    The calm waters of Bonny Lakes make paddleboarding a popular choice. Moonlight Bay is a favored spot for this activity, allowing paddlers to glide effortlessly while absorbing the beauty around.

Interactive Learning

The Bonny Lakes Interpretive Center is a haven for curious minds. With a range of exhibits showcasing the region’s ecology, geology, and history, it provides a comprehensive understanding of the lakes and their significance. Regular nature talks and interactive sessions, especially curated for children, ensure learning is fun and engaging. Keep an eye out for their schedule, as some talks are led by local Indigenous people, offering profound insights into the area’s cultural heritage.

Evening by the Lakeside

As dusk sets, Bonny Lakes transforms into a realm of golden hues and serene silhouettes. Families often gather around designated campfire zones when it gets dark out. If camping is on the agenda, Starry Night Campground provides RV-friendly spots with a clear view of the night sky. Remember to always check for campfire restrictions, especially during dry seasons, and ensure all fires are completely extinguished before retiring for the night.

Take an RV to Bonny Lakes

Bonny Lakes’ shimmering waters, diverse trails, and variety of activities promise families in RVs an experience that seamlessly weaves together adventure, relaxation, and profound connection with the great outdoors. Whether it’s the gentle lull of waves, the thrilling sightings of wildlife, or the night skies painted with stars, every moment spent here etches unforgettable memories.

If the allure of Bonny Lakes beckons and you’re yet to embark on the RV journey, consider renting an RV from NW Adventure Rentals With our wide range of vehicles tailored to your family’s needs, every trip becomes a comfortable, enjoyable, and memorable adventure. Dive into the magic of Bonny Lakes, and let the road take you where your heart desires.