Bumping Lake, Washington, USA

Lake Locations:

USA - West - Washington - South Central Washington -

Also known as:  Bumping Reservoir

Lying near the shadow of Mt. Rainier, Bumping Lake is the first of six reservoirs owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation. Part of the Yakima Project, these reservoirs store water to irrigate the fertile land in south-central Washington. Bumping Lake Dam impounds an original natural glacial lake located within the Naches Ranger District of the Wenatchee National Forest. Surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty of the Cascade Mountains in northwest Yakima County, Bumping Lake offers a full range of outdoor experiences for Washington’s South-Central Tourism Region.

Land surrounding Bumping Lake is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation and is managed predominantly by the Forest Service for recreational purposes. The Bumping Lake area offers minimally-developed and primitive accommodations with sailing, canoeing, kayaking, boating, camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, and picnicking provided at Upper Bumping Lake Campground and Lower Bumping Lake Campground. Boat launching is available at a nearby marina for fees and also offers boat rentals for a period of two to eight hours. Enjoy whitewater paddling on Bumping River which flows to the American River tributary and on to the Naches River.

Bumping Lake’s heavily wooded ten-mile shoreline, and the mountainous terrain beyond Nelson Ridge, have many wildlife habitats protecting six federally listed endangered or threatened wildlife species. These include American Peregrine Falcon, Northern Spotted Owl, Northern Bald Eagle, Marbled Murrelet, gray wolf, and the American grizzly bear. Wildlife hunting is allowed with special permits and licenses.

Bumping Lake typically reaches its maximum level, 33,700 acre-feet, in early June with the snowmelt and is maintained at this level until mid to late August when water releases begin for late summer irrigation. As irrigation demands grow and residential developments increase, the Bureau of Reclamation is finding it more difficult to meet their contractual demand for water. Expansion of Bumping Reservoir may become the acceptable alternative with two plans under consideration. The larger expansion would construct a dam 4,500 feet downstream of existing Bumping Lake Dam creating a new surface area of 4,120 acres. A second, smaller alternative would expand Bumping Lake to 3,500 acres. Either expansion would likely close access to Bumping Lake during construction but would eventually incorporate fish ladders and improved fish habitat.

The completion of Bumping Lake Reservoir in 1910, and five additional reservoirs in theYakima Project, decimated salmon runs on the Yakima River. Runs estimated at 300,000 to 960,000 fish in the 1880s dropped to 8,000 between 1981 and 1990. Native summer Chinook, coho and summer steelhead were also greatly reduced. Numbers of returning fish have increased in recent years with improvements in river management, habitat and hatchery programs. Today, Bumping Lake offers great fishing for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout, bull trout and kokanee which average six to nine inches.

Bumping Lake Trail is excellent for day hikes or extended walks to Blankenship Meadows and Mosquito Valley (take note of the name and bring repellant during warm months). The more daring and adventuresome will enjoy back country trips into the hills and mountains of William O. Douglas and Goat Rock Wilderness areas to the south and Norse Peak Wilderness to the north of Bumping Reservoir. With large winter snow accumulations, cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing, and snowmobiling are popular along the many miles of mountainous trails.

Bumping Lake is surrounded by two of the many scenic byways that crisscross the Cascades. Chinook Scenic Byway begins in the community of Naches, east of Bumping Reservoir, and veers north through the Wenatchee National Forest, ending at Mount Rainier National Park. White Pass Scenic Byway also starts at Naches and travels south of Bumping Lake passing Rimrock Lake, Mount Rainier, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and Riffe Lake, ending at Interstate 5 south of Seattle.

Surrounded by rugged mountain terrain, coniferous forests, crystal clear water with a wide variety of wildlife, Bumping Lake is great find for those wanting a peaceful getaway and back to nature respite. The rapidly growing communities east of Bumping Lake are seeing increases in vacation rentals, resorts, and real estate developments catering to the needs of visitors and new residents. Yakima, Ellensburg and Roslyn are only three of the communities where you can complete your trip by enjoying mouthwatering cuisine, unique shops and comfortable accommodations. Stay by a babbling brook or under whispering pines and watch the day fade away over the mountains knowing that the wild and remote areas of Bumping Lake will greet you in the morning.

Things to do at Bumping Lake

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Camping
  • Campground
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Cross-Country Skiing
  • Snowmobiling
  • Hunting
  • Wildlife Viewing
  • Birding
  • National Park
  • National Forest

Fish species found at Bumping Lake

  • Bull Trout
  • Chinook Salmon
  • Cutthroat Trout
  • Kokanee Salmon
  • Rainbow Trout
  • Salmon
  • Steelhead Trout
  • Trout

Bumping Lake Photo Gallery

Bumping Lake Statistics & Helpful Links

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Lake Type: Natural Freshwater Lake, Dammed

Water Level Control: Bureau of Reclamation

Surface Area: 1,300 acres

Shoreline Length: 10 miles

Normal Elevation (Full Pond): 3,426 feet

Average Depth: 45 feet

Maximum Depth: 117 feet

Water Volume: 33,700 acre-feet

Completion Year: 1910

Drainage Area: 68 sq. miles

Trophic State: Oligotrophic

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Trophic State | LakeLubbers

Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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Completion Year | LakeLubbers

This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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Water Volume | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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Average Depth | LakeLubbers

This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

You can find many of the world's highest-elevated lakes on LakeLubbers. Lakes with the lowest elevations (known by LakeLubbers) are shown on the final page of that list.


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Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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Surface Area | LakeLubbers

This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

"Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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Lake Type | LakeLubbers

There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

- A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

- A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

- A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

"Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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