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Washington > Ross Lake National Recreation Area
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Ross Lake National Recreation Area

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Ross Lake National Recreation Area
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General Information

Description - Ross Lake National Recreation Area divides the two units of the North Cascades National Park. It extends 24 miles and is two miles at its greatest width encompassing 12,000 acres. The National Recreation Area includes 117,000 acres and all three of Seattle City Light's power projects. It also provides the corridor for the popular North Cascades Highway. This scenic route across the Cascade Mountains affords travelers many recreational opportunities.

Recreation - Recreation opportunities abound throughout the Ross Lake National Recreation Area. The area is accessible via the North Cascades Highway, a popular summertime scenic drive. The highway leads 30 miles through the southern portion of the recreation area. A portion of the highway is closed by snow generally from mid-November to April. Trailheads litter the southern landscape of the highway providing hikers the opportunities to head off into the park's far reaches. Also along the roadside are self-guiding trails, exhibits and information and camping facilities.

Seattle City Light sponsors regular, scheduled tours of Diablo Lake and Ross Dam hydro facilities. The reservoirs provide spectacular water gateways to the more remote parts of the park. Food, lodging, gasoline, boat and motor rentals, tackle, licenses and basic camper supplies are available in the recreation area. The only launch facilities on Ross Lake are at its north end, at Hozomeen, reached by a 39-mile dirt-and-gravel road from Canada.

Climate - Cool temperatures and lots of precipitation characterize the weather of the western slope of the Cascades. The mountains capture and hold the moisture laden clouds from the coast until they dump heavy moisture on the range and become light enough to pass over the high peaks. Low elevations around the lake provide higher air temperatures for boaters. The mountains around the lake experience cooler temperatures rarely reaching above 80 degrees F during the hottest summer months. Be prepared for cool, wet weather even in summer. Recommended clothing includes rain gear and layers for warmth.

Location - Ross Lake National Recreation Area lies between the northern and southern units of the North Cascades National Park. The site encompasses Ross, Diablo and Gorge Lakes along the Skagit River. The northern boundary of the recreation area lies on the Canadian border of north central Washington. The site lies amidst the Cascade Mountain Range.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
Add your own trip Report! Newly re-released feature. One of the most popular features on Wildernet, trip reports allow you to share your experiences with others. This is an invaluable resource for determining what to expect on your outdoor adventure, so please participate! To prevent spamming, you must be a registered user of Wildernet in order to submit a trip report

Filed By: Patrick Mooney
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: August 3,4,5, 2002 4 Canadian Kayakers Toughest part was the winds that came up in the afternoons, whitecaps over the front of my kayak. Biggst reward was the awesome sunsets and the sandy camping pads at Cat Island and Little Beaver, also the awesome aterfall at Artic Creek and swimming was also a great reward. Launch at Hozomeen and paddle south from the Candian side. Habe lunch on the boat dock it rocks! FOr the next guy stay off the water after noon, and stick close to shore if you can, paddle in group and if the winds whips up...stay put....bring lots of film...Cheers..Patrick M.

More Information

Contact Information:
Ross Lake National Recreation Area, 2105 State Route 20 , Sedro Woolley, WA, 98284-9314, Phone: 360-856-5700

Additional Information:
North Cascades National Park - High jagged peaks intercept moisture-laden winds, producing glaciers, icefalls, waterfalls, and other water phenomena in this wild alpine region.
Washington National Forests and Parks - Washington has an abundance of National Forests. There are six national forests within the state.

Ross Lake National Recreation Area - Official agency website


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