Bitter Lake (Seattle)
- For the neighborhood, see Bitter Lake, Seattle.
|Location||Northwest Seattle, Washington|
|Basin countries||United States|
|Surface area||19 acres (7.7 ha)|
|Average depth||16 ft (4.9 m)|
|Max. depth||31 ft (9.4 m)|
The lake covers 19 acres (77,000 m2), with a mean depth of 16 feet (4.9 m) and a maximum depth of 31 feet (9.4 m). Until 1913, a sawmill was located at its southwest corner. Tannic acid from logs dumped into the lake gave its water a bitter taste and the lake itself a name. The Duwamish called the lake "Blackcaps on the Sides" (Lushootseed: cHálqWadee), denoting the blackcap (Rubus leucodermis) plants that grew along the shores.
It is a glacial lake with its basin having been dug 15,000 years ago by the Puget Lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, which also created Lake Washington, Union, Green, and Haller Lakes.
The Bitter Monster is a local myth describing a snake like sea monster rumored to inhabit Bitter Lake. The myth has never been substantiated and no creature has been proven to exist. No direct physical evidence (hair, scat, tissue) of such a creature has ever been discovered.
The lake is situated between Greenwood Avenue North to the west, Linden Avenue North to the east, North 137th Street to the north, and North 130th Street to the south. Bitter Lake drains through a piped outlet at its southeast end that eventually flows into Lake Union.