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Lake Washington is the second largest natural lake in the state of Washington and is connected to Puget Sound via Lake Union and the Lake Washington ship canal. Boat traffic from Lake Washington travels through the Montlake cut, Lake Union, the Fremont cut, and then the Hiram M. Chittenden “Ballard” Locks in its journey to the open water. Lake Washington is about 214 feet deep and 33.8 square miles. The vast expanse of Lake Washington touches 12 cities (Beaux Arts, Bellevue, Hunts Point, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, Medina, Mercer Island, Newcastle, Kirkland, Renton, Seattle, and Yarrow Point) and unincorporated King County.
Lake Sammamish is the sixth largest lake in Washington, and one of the major recreational lakes—with high use by fishermen, boaters, water skiers, swimmers, and picnickers. The freshwater lake is 7 miles long and 1.5 miles wide, with a maximum depth of 105 feet and a surface area of 8 square miles. It lies east of Bellevue and west of the Sammamish Plateau, and stretches from Issaquah in the south to Redmond in the north.
Puget Sound is the body of water that envelops the greater Seattle area in natural beauty. Seattle waterfront homes border the Sound to the west and Lake Washington to the east. Elliott Bay is the body of water immediately viable from downtown Seattle and much enjoyed by Seattle dwellers and sightseers alike. West Seattle is surrounded by the sound and Elliott Bay on three sides of its natural peninsula. Puget sound is approximately 100 miles long in total, extending from Deception Pass to Olympia with an average depth of 450 feet. The ship canal and Montlake Cut link the Sound to Lake Washington via Lake Union.