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Skill: 1+ (advanced beginner)
Fitness: 1+ (advanced beginner)
Distance:4 miles (round trip).
Elevation: 200 vertical feet of gain.
Access. At the south end of Tonasket, turn east on Highway 20 and drive 20.3 miles from Tonasket to Milepost 282.2. Turn left (north) on Bonaparte Lake Road (aka Road 32). There’s a good gravel parking lot at this junction if you want to use bicycles for the remainder of the approach. Drive 5.7 miles, pass the Bonaparte Lake Campground (a popular Forest Service Campground with good fishing, swimming, and a boat launch), and drive another 2.7 miles to a Y in the road. Take the right fork, remaining on Road 32. The road is still paved and goes downhill for 3.2 miles to the Beaver Lake Campground. Turn left into the campground, drive to its far end, and park between sites 3 and 4 (no permits required).
-Start at the kiosk noting the trail. Within 100 or 150 feet, there is a confusing split. It’s least confusing to go left and climb thirty or forty vertical feet. Now follow the trail as it contours in a northwesterly direction about forty vertical feet above lake. The trail undulates slightly and, at times, comes down to water level, giving fishermen access to the water.
-At the northwest end of Beaver Lake, the trail enters the Beth Lake Campground (a primitive Forest Service campground), situated between the two lakes. The route follows campground roads here and is a bit confusing. Keep walking segments of road that lead you north 0.4 miles where you’ll eventually see the earth/gravel dam blocking the south end of Beth Lake. Walk across the dam and uphill 20 vertical feet to find the trail bordering Beth Lake.
-Contour in a northwesterly direction some thirty vertical feet above Beth Lake. This trail also undulates and occasionally dips down to lake level for fishing or swimming.
-At the north end of Beth Lake, a bridge takes you over to the paved road (Chesaw Road\Road 9480) bordering the southeast flanks of both lakes. The road is not heavily traveled and provides a faster return to the Beaver Lake Campground. The trail, of course, will be much cooler and more enjoyable for walkers, so we recommend retracing your steps back to the start.
Fishing. Beth and Beaver Lakes are both excellent fisheries, particularly in late spring and October-November. Winter ice fishing is a good bet as well. Both lakes have campgrounds complete with boat launches. Expect to catch some decent sized rainbow trout and westslope cutthroat. For more information on fishing Beth Lake, click here. For more info on Beaver Lake, click here.
Allowed: Hiking, trail running. No motorized use and not recommended for horses.
Land Ownership: Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.
Fees/Permits. None needed as of August 2013.
Trip Reporter: Andy Dappen, August 2013
Leave It Better than You Found It. This should be every user’s goal. Do no damage and pick up trash left by others.
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or not know all the issues affecting a route. You are responsible for yourself, your actions, and your safety. If you won’t accept that responsibility, you are prohibited from using our information.
This post was originally published on 7/30/14.