Hayden Lake Watershed

Imagine Hayden Lake as a cupped hand under a faucet, with streams running into it from several directions….and then water spilling out at the south end. Your Conservancy has protected lands and streams around the lake to protect habitat and water quality. Hayden Creek is a westslope cutthroat trout stronghold. Hudlow Mountain stands sentinel over the east side of the lake, with the remains of a Forest Service fire lookout at its crest. The biggest secret, though, may be the hidden outlet at Honeysuckle Bay and its astonishing role at replenishing the mighty Rathdrum Prairie Spokane Valley aquifer.

The Trickle Down Effect

A majority of drinking water supplied to over 500,000 residents of the Inland Northwest comes from the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer. You can most likely trace the water in your glass back through your plumbing, through the city water system or back into your well, into the groundwater, all the way to its origin in this aquifer.

Lakes in our region like Coeur d’Alene, Pend Oreille, and Spirit Lake feed the aquifer on a daily basis. One big contributor to the aquifer is Hayden Lake. Located in Kootenai County, Idaho, Hayden Lake contributes million gallons of water to our local aquifer every day, right through the Richards property at the south end.

Formed by the Missoula Floods, the health of Hayden Lake is crucial to life in the Inland Northwest.

Honeysuckle Bay

This 65-acre property at the toe of Hayden Lake, at Honeysuckle Bay, is perhaps one of the most important places the Conservancy has protected for water quality. Residents of Hayden have long enjoyed walking the dike road along Honeysuckle Beach and admiring the meadows and wetlands but few are aware of this critical connection to our clean water.

The Richards property sits atop deep gravels, and every day 45 million gallons of water course from Hayden Lake down through the gravels and into Spokane Valley Rathdrum Prairie aquifer. A year later, that water shows up in Spokane’s tap water and gushes out at our Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve on the Little Spokane River. 

Thanks to the Richards family and their work with the Conservancy, instead of being developed into dozens of houses, this land will stay green and growing, pouring fresh, cool water from the Idaho foothills into the aquifer for generations to come. 

A River Runs Through It

Other Conservancy properties near Hayden Lake:

Your Conservancy has helped willing private landowners nearby protect their own favorite places in the world. The Cedar Mountain Working Forest (pictured right) is within sight of Silverwood, and has three streams that replenish the aquifer. Another 160 acres on Ohio Match Road provide rugged habitat and wildlife connections between state and federal forests, as well as several streams.  

The Inland Northwest Land Conservancy has protected many other lands that ring the aquifer in Idaho and Washington. These include land in Rathdrum, Hauser, Newman Lake, Post Falls, and Mt Spokane. You can visit our StoryMap to read more about them. 


Explore Hayden Lake

Whether by land or water there are many ways to enjoy picturesque Hayden Lake!

English Point Recreation Trails

Honeysuckle Beach