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Rock Lake

Rock Lake is the deepest, largest, and most mysterious of all the "Channeled Scablands" lakes. This long, narrow lake lies between towering basalt cliffs and covers over 2,000 acres and is estimated to reach depths of 425 feet. The water is extremely cold, yet, for reasons that aren't completely understood, the lake rarely freezes in winter.


In the early 1900's, a tiny community was nestled amongst the cliffs of Rock Lake. The trains would make stops there where passengers could stay in the local hotel or enjoy a ride from one end of the lake to the other on a boat. The town dissolved shortly after being built when the railroad moved its line. 

Rock Lake offers excellent year round fishing with a large variety of species to fish for. Most popular amongst anglers are Bass, Trout, Bluegill, and Sturgeon.  Legends have it that lake monsters reside below the surface of this ancient lake, but little research has been done to verify or deny such allegations. 

Recreational enthusiast will find Rock Lake an ideal spot for canoeing, kayaking, sailing, fishing, bird watching, and swimming. Large boats are prohibited as the only boat launch drops off quickly not allowing large boats to be launched. 

Boaters must be wary as the wind can pick up suddenly between the cliffs and overturn small vessels. Also, the deep, murky water hides sharp pinnacles just below the surface that can the bottom of small boats. 

A portion of the John Wayne Trail skirts the southeast shore of the lake for some distance. Much of the trail is on privately owned property, but the Rock Lake portion passes through two long tunnels and over iron and concrete trestles with abandoned railcars overturned and lying next to the tracks from a long ago derailment. Locals claim several boxcars full of Model T Fords went into the lake never to be recovered. To date, no divers have found them. 

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