Sometimes buffalo are kept out by your last left turn
Canoeing/Kayaking/small row boat or very small power boat handled carefully, are the only ways to get to the county owned island in the center of this lake and see all the scenery and wildlife. All the other land is owned by farmers so you can't get out except the island. You might make a short exception at the waterfall at the far north end hidden in the wild bushes canyon. This waterfall at the north end of the lake is begging to be explored if you are a little bit ambitious. You can camp on the island. There are many hawks here. Sparrows make their nest in the cliffs. A natural rock bridge greets you on the way in. This bridge is very unique. It is so well hidden that if one is not careful, one could easily walk by it. This natural bridge resulted from an underground crack which extended to the surface of a rock terrace formed by a resistant lava flow. Once the process was started, erosion did there rest. On the left of this bridge is the beginnings of a second such bridge so that you can understand better how it actually happens. At night there are bats, wizzing overhead, but don't let them bother you as they are very accurate in their flying. At night we heard landslides off the cliffs falling into the lake. This place is great.
Devil's Well: is a geological wonder, click here to read more and see photos
Turn left at the buffalo. And now in more detail, go to Cheney, in the town's middle take Cheney Plaza way out towards Turnbull Wildlife refuge. Go past Turnbull, but do not turn off the road you are on no matter what the road name changes. Finally you turn left after Williams Lake road and after a large field of buffalo on a road named Belsby (this has only recently changed from Martin to Belsby so be careful out there). I am including the GPS reading taken exactly where you should park your car. GPS:
N 47° 14.390' W 117° 35.786'
Drive slowly on this small road till it takes you into a canyon and beautiful farmland. Park at the bridge over the creek, and go North to Bonnie Lake in the small creek that will go through a swamp before opening up. Going south in this creek will take you to Rock Lake and some interesting history & geology, caution for waterfalls though, see
This place is very hot in summer, so go in spring or fall. Be extremely careful to bring a filter or lots of water if it is hot. Be very careful with fire as the Mt St Helens ash is still here mixing with the vegetation and it makes fire pits that are not rock lined catch very easily. Watch for snakes at the put in; there are garter snakes here, but also rattlesnakes. Watch you don't fall into the mud while getting in/out of boat as I did with my camera. Lastly, the water can get very rough, and there are only a few places to land, so if the wind picks up, head for shore immediately. Beware of being caught alone here as it tends to bring on minute fits of ecstasy :)
Spare change of clothes in case you fall in, if you bring a high quality camera be sure it is in dry bag before you fall in :)