About the Park:
The 470 acres of the Bass Lake Complex includes three low-elevation lakes, conifer forests, wetlands, a fen, and views of Mt. Rainier. This area is renowned for having the largest bird species diversity in the county, the North Rainier elk herd and other protected wildlife. This wetland ecosystem is also important for flood storage and groundwater recharge.
Bass Lake, the furthest south, is the largest of the three lakes with a depth of 12 meters. Dandy Lake, also known as Sinkhole Lake, is the smallest and northernmost of the three lakes with some shoreline access from the trail surrounding the lake. Beaver Lake is in the middle with some residential properties along the west side of the lake.
The three lakes are attractive flyways for migratory birds and also provide shoreline refuge in willow thickets and cattails. Birds species spotted at the natural area include: bald eagle, pileated woodpecker, wood duck, bufflehead, common loon, and band-tailed pigeon, great blue heron, golden eagle, turkey vulture, osprey, green heron, kingfisher, ruffed grouse, least sandpiper, goldfinch, rufous hummingbird, Bewick's/march/Pacific wren, Swainson's thrush, and spotted towhee.
Be on the lookout for other wildlife such as cougar, black bear, bobcat, red fox, coyote, river otter, weasel, muskrat, mink, mountain beaver, bats, and the Northern Rainier Elk herd (White River Unit) - one of ten herds monitored by the state. The wetlands surrounding the lakes also house Northwestern salamander, Pacific tree frog, and red-legged frog.
From the south end of Bass Lake flows Cristy Creek, a small stream running through the complex that is particularly beautiful between Beaver and Dandy lakes where it cascades over boulders and downed logs. After Dandy Lake, the stream flows underground until it daylights at Flaming Geyer State Park on its way to recharge the salmon-bearing Middle Green River. Chum, coho, cutthroat, and steelhead can be found in the lower half-mile of Cristy Creek.
Park Activities: angling, birding, dog walking, hiking, nature observation, non-motorized boating, volunteer
Location: The Bass Lake Complex Natural Area is south of Green River and the City of Black Diamond, and north of the City of Enumclaw. The site is located along State Route 169, 2.5 miles southeast of the city of Black Diamond and 3.5 north of the city of Enumclaw.
It is south of Flaming Geyser State Park and the Black Diamond Bridge Site, which runs along the Green River; these parks are owned and maintained by Washington State Parks.
Parking: Shoulder parking along 252 Ave SE between SE 380 St and SE 348 St.
Trailheads: There is a trail for walking around Dandy Lake.