Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ross Lake

Ross Lake
Location: North Cascades NP, Washington
Duration: 6 Day
Season: Summer - Fall
Distance: 50+ miles, round trip
Difficulty: Moderate

Located in the North Cascades this is an incredible setting for a canoe trip. Surrounded by towering mountains and waterfalls this makes for a great week multi-day trip for the more experienced paddler.
From the Colonial Creek Boat Launch, paddle north on Diablo Lake hugging the right shore. As you reach the larger part of the lake at about the 2 mile mark, remember to stay against the right shore and you will turn east into the canal leading to the Ross Lake Dam.

As you paddle toward the dam, be very cautious of the power boats moving quickly around the blind corners, we nearly got ran over.
At the 4 mile mark you will see a glimpse of the dam and some buildings owned by Seattle City Lights, the Portage landing is on your right 100 yards before you reach the buildings. Be careful not to park your boats on the large concrete slab, that is for the barge they use to ferry vehicles with. Instead just around the floating dock is a nice gravel landing spot.
From here you need to hike up the road to the power building and use the phone to call and have them bring down the trucks to portage you up to the lake.
Be prepared to wait a while. Also, check the More Info Link for details on the portage fees. Once you portaged up onto Ross Lake, the rest of your trip depends on what you have pre-determined and your trip permit.
The authors trip is laid out on the map. There's plenty of campsites and lots of water for however long you want to stay.
Directions: From Diablo Washington follow North Cascades Highway #20 east about 4 miles till you reach the right turn for Colonial Creek Campground & boat launch (mile mark 130). The turn is directly before you reach the bridge that crosses Diablo Lake.

For a map, pictures and more info click on Ross Lake

See you on the trail,

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