Potholes State Park

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The Potholes are the defining geologic feature near this eastern Washington park. A series of Ice Age flood-carved depressions in the earth, combined with the dynamics of the O’Sullivan Dam, created hundreds of tiny islands surrounded by “pothole” lakes.

These little lakes make up half the O’Sullivan Reservoir, and Potholes State Park lies on the other side, where visitors find the lakes deeper and welcoming to boaters and fishers.

The year-round fishing at Potholes is superb, with abundant yellow perch, crappie, largemouth bass, rainbow trout and walleye. But if you would rather be in the water on a hot, eastern Washington day, water sports abound. Think waterskiing, kayaking and paddleboarding.

More into birding than fishing? Fill your field journal on a visit to the Potholes lakes and islands. Sandhill cranes and waterfowl come through in late February; raptors in April; sage thrasher, lark sparrow and burrowing and long-eared owls arrive in May, along with shorebirds. When water levels drop in August, the mud flats beckon sandpipers, stilts, plovers and curlews.

If you have a sleeping bag, eastern Washington is the place to sleep under the stars, or you can rent a cute cabin in the primitive campground. Either way, you’ll have fun and learn about natural history and geology at this fascinating park.

Park features

Potholes State Park is a 773-acre camping park with 6,000 feet of freshwater shoreline on O'Sullivan Reservoir. This body of water is often confused with the Pothole Lakes themselves, which are a 30- to 45-minute drive from the park. The terrain is desert with freshwater marshes.

Automated pay stations: This park is equipped with automated pay stations for visitors to purchase a one-day or annual Discover Pass and boat launch permit.


Link to Washington State Parks WiFi information page Opens in new window
Free, high-speed Wi-Fi access is available in limited coverage areas at Potholes. For more information on coverage areas and hours of service and our growing list of parks with Wi-Fi service, visit our parks Wi-Fi page.

  1. Activities
  2. Boating
  3. Camping
  4. History
  5. Maps

ada amenities/facilities

  • Campgrounds
  • Restroom
  • Showers

Use our interactive ADA recreation map to search for other state parks with ADA amenities and facilities. 

Picnic & day-use facilities 
The park provides three picnic shelters with four tables each, plus 73 unsheltered picnic tables in a lawned, well-shaded area. All day-use facilities are first come, first served. Restrooms are available in the day-use area, located on the banks of the reservoir.



  • 3 miles of hiking trails

Water activities & features

  • 60 feet of dock
  • Boating
  • Fishing (freshwater)
  • Fish cleaning station
  • Personal watercraft use
  • Watercraft launches (4)
  • Waterskiing
  • White-water kayaking

Other activities & features

  • Bird watching
  • Horseshoe pit
  • Volleyball fields (2)
  • Wildlife viewing

Additional information