Ross Lake National Recreation Area, North Cascades National Park

4.5
#7 of 9 in Parks in North Cascades National Park
Ross Lake National Recreation Area is a US National Recreation Area located in north central Washington just south of the Canadian border. It is the most accessible part of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex which also includes North Cascades National Park and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Ross Lake NRA follows the Skagit River corridor from the Canadian border to the western foothills of the Cascades. The NRA contains a portion of scenic Washington State Route 20, the North Cascades Highway, and includes three reservoirs: 12,000acre Ross Lake, 910acre Diablo Lake, and 210acre Gorge Lake. These reservoirs make up the Skagit Hydroelectic Project operated by Seattle City Light. Nestled in the "American Alps" the Ross Lake NRA bisects the north and south units of North Cascades National Park. The Shape of the National Recreation area, was design to prevent the proposed High ross dam from flooding the national park.
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Ross Lake National Recreation Area Reviews
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Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Nice view from here but best stop and view is nearby at the Diablo Lake Overlook. The Ross Lake is bigger than Diablo on the map but it is hard to see it from this spot.  more »
  • The Overlook to Ross Lake is much smaller than that of Diablo Lake, but the view still beautiful. It is basically a turnout with no facilities. It can be found 3.5 miles east of Diablo Lake Overlook, ...  more »
  • It has a nice view but you only need to stop about 5 minutes to see it. Diablo Lake and Dam are way better to spend some time at.  more »
Google
  • A wonderful place to explore and soak in the mountains of the northern Cascades in Washington! I found it in excellent place for both landscape photography as well as amazing hikes in the woods and mountains. Given I was there in mid June, I can't be sure of what it's like during the height of the summer months, but it is well worth the visit! Other than camping, there is no lodging within the national park or nearby recreation areas, other than a few spots Ross Lake resort. Otherwise you'll have to find lodging outside the national park and rec area in nearby towns.
  • Went backpacking here and it's great! Trails were fairly flat and mostly maintained with a few fallen trees across the path that the rangers haven't cleared yet. The camp sites were really nice with fire rings and outhouses.
  • We got lucky with great weather. Gorgeous views but that water was cold. I got about ankle deep and decided a beer sounded like more fun.
  • Paradise. One of the most beautiful places on planet earth. Absolutely gorgeous lake and view of the mountains. I wish I could have stayed a year.
  • Great park for motorcyclists as well as cars! If you are heading east stop in Winthrop and surrounding towns for gifts and food. There are no services the pass that I can recall.

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Where to stay in North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park offers various styles of camping, including camping from a car, RV, or boat at a developed campground (wilderness camping is also available). The park permits numerous private concessionaires to provide lodging within the park's boundaries, so you'll find numerous lodges, rustic resorts, and cabins throughout the park. Many visitors also stay in the assortment of lodges, inns, motels, and campgrounds lining Route 20 on both the western and eastern sides of the park.
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