A Vacationer’s Guide to Jones Lake: Black Diamond’s Hidden Gem

Local City Guides

February 5th, 2024

A roadside welcome to Washington, the Evergreen State sign.
Nestled away in the enchanting woodlands of Washington State lies a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The serene Jones Lake sits at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Jones Lake offers a diverse range of adventures in this slice of the Pacific Northwest, from tranquil hikes through towering forests to the thrill of fishing in various serene waters. This Jones Lake vacation guide is your ticket to unlocking the treasure of the Black Diamond area, with tips and insights into top fishing spots, boating activities, camping retreats, and nature trails to make your vacation unforgettable.

Location and Accessibility

Geographical Details

Jones Lake is a natural jewel in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, near the charming town of Black Diamond, Washington. The lake is known for its stunning emerald waters, which mirror the evergreen trees that line its shores. With an elevation of over 650 feet, the area boasts year-round beauty and opportunities for outdoor recreation in Black Diamond, WA.

How To Get There

The most common entry point to Jones Lake is from Highway 169, offering a picturesque drive through the wilderness. Visitors traveling from Seattle will find themselves 47 miles southeast of the bustling city, a convenient distance for a day trip or weekend escape. The closest urban spot, Renton, acts as a gateway to the outdoor paradise and a starting point for a leisurely hourlong drive to the lake.

Activities and Attractions

Hiking Trails

For those passionate about exploration, Jones Lake is the central spot for many nature trails in and around the Black Diamond area. The Franklin Ghost Town Trail is ideal for a quick 47-minute adventure, leading to a viewpoint that provides a breathtaking panorama of the lush trees, babbling river, and surrounding peaks. Meanwhile, the trailhead of the 3.7-mile Tribulation to Revival to Exodus Loop provides an immersive experience of the local flora and fauna. Other nature trails great for strolls or runs include:
  • Lake Sawyer Trail. This trail is 2.1 miles with a 131-foot elevation gain, an estimated 44-minute hike. Trail difficulty is easy.
  • Cedar River to Green River Trail. This trail is 2.9 miles with a 75-foot elevation gain, an estimated 54-minute hike. Trail difficulty is easy.
  • Black Diamond to Lake Sawyer Trail. This trail is 3.1 miles with an 88-foot elevation gain, an estimated 58-minute hike. Trail difficulty is moderate.
  • Black Diamond Coal Mine Trail. This trail is 2.2 miles with an 82-foot elevation gain, an estimated 43-minute hike. Trail difficulty is moderate.
  • Summit Ridge Loop. This trail is 6.1 miles with a 301-foot elevation gain, an estimated 1-hour and 56-minute hike. Trail difficulty is moderate.

Water Activities

Water lovers will find their bliss among the tranquil waters of Jones Lake and other lowland lakes in the Black Diamond Area. Aquatic life teems in many top fishing spots, open year-round and awaiting exploration. Those seeking to explore the glistening expanse can launch their canoes, kayaks, or paddleboards from the designated area to cruise the calm waters and absorb the stillness of nature.

Camping and RV Options

Camping near Jones Lake is necessary for any visitor to engage fully with the surrounding wilderness. Two campgrounds, known for their stunning views, contribute to the unique, unspoiled charm of the natural wonders of Washington. Aquaman Mountain and Lake Sawyer RV Resort offer diverse camping experiences suitable for seasoned adventurers and those hoping to pitch a tent for the first time or park their RV in front of a gorgeous view. Other camping retreats and RV destinations in the Black Diamond area include:
  • Green Apple Alpacas. This 5-acre working alpaca farm has plenty of space for camping or parking an RV and exploring the gorgeous farmland with stunning views on your own time. Enjoy the company of alpacas, llamas, chickens, and sheep, complemented by lush green pastures.
  • Kanaskat-Palmer State Park. Less than 10 minutes to the north, this state park in Ravensdale has 50 camping and RV parking sites. This campground has electrical hookups, bathrooms, and showers, all surrounded by nature.

Local Tips and Recommendations

Best Times To Visit

Visiting Jones Lake in the spring rewards travelers with vibrant colors, from blooming rhododendrons to apple and cherry blossoms. Summertime is perfect for tranquil activities as the weather is warm and the skies are clear, creating a postcard-worthy backdrop. Fall offers a mosaic of autumnal colors, and winter turns Jones Lake into a snowy wonderland, perfect for cold-weather enthusiasts.

Hidden Gems

Venture beyond the lake's edges to discover hidden waterfalls and peaceful creeks. These secret discoveries pepper the area, each showcasing the raw beauty of the environment. Keep an eye out for the natural mineral lick, a geological formation that draws wildlife to its mineral-rich waters, providing unique animal spotting and bird-watching opportunities.

Local Eateries and Accommodations

After a day of adventure, savor the local flavors at Black Diamond's eateries, known for their homely atmosphere and delectable dishes. Some top restaurants near Lake Jones include:
  • Black Diamond Bakery and Restaurant. This casual American eatery serves three meals a day with a storied past and baked goods from a historic oven.
  • Black Diamond Grill. The Black Diamond Grill started in a cozy family kitchen three generations ago. With a strong focus on family and community, this restaurant perfects timeless recipes while creating fresh, innovative dishes from scratch.
  • Creative Coffee Brewing. This fun, upbeat drive-through coffee stand has classic coffee drinks, blended drinks, and creative concoctions.
  • Italian Fresh Pizza Co. Created with locally sourced ingredients from local farmers’ markets, this restaurant has an array of options, including vegetarian options with outdoor seating.
  • The Vault Taphouse and Beer Garden. This restaurant features 24 rotating taps highlighting local microbreweries and caters to beer, wine, and cider enthusiasts. They offer diverse food options from rotating food trucks and local cuisines.
If you need a place to stay between campgrounds or RV parks, the Lake Access Cabin is an excellent place to experience luxury amid natural wonders. In that case, this cabin for rent has access to Lake Number Twelve, hiking trails, and a lovely natural spring.

Utilize FreeUp Storage in Black Diamond for Your Outdoor Gear

Jones Lake embodies timeless allure, a pristine testament to Earth's artistry. It underscores the imperative of preserving such sanctuaries and the adventurous spirit vital to uncovering them. Consider Jones Lake for your next getaway, nestled in Black Diamond, WA, promising awe and wonder. Embark on an immersive journey at Jones Lake. Tie up your hiking boots, seize your fishing rod and kayak, and get ready to be enchanted by nature. Jones Lake is more than just a vacation—it’s a connection with wilderness at its finest. Before venturing out to capture the essence of Jones Lake, ensure your outdoor gear, recreational vehicles, and other keepsakes are stored safely when not in use. FreeUp Storage in Black Diamond offers affordable and flexible self storage solutions that are convenient and secure. Access your belongings whenever you need them without compromising the spontaneity of your adventures in nature's secret haven. Contact us today or rent a storage unit easily online!