Ross Lake National Recreation Area

Ross Lake National Recreation Area sits deep in the mountains of North Cascades National Park. Impossibly blue and surrounded by rugged, densely forested peaks, this postcard-worthy lake is a haven for adventurers who come to escape the crowds. Although it has the vibe of a wild, off-the-grid location, Ross Lake is remarkably easy to reach. The scenic North Cascades Highway passes just south of the lake, providing access to local hiking trails and some of the best kayaking in the United States. It's best to visit Ross Lake National Recreational Area in the summer as winter snows cut off access from December through April.

Things to Do

Things To Do Near Ross Lake National Recreation Area

You won't find sleek visitor centers and sprawling picnic areas at Ross Lake National Recreation Area, but what it lacks in amenities, the park makes up for in adventure. The easiest way to explore is on foot since a network of beautiful hiking trails travels into the mountains and along the eastern shore of the lake. Boating is also a fantastic way to explore. Plan to portage your boat around the Ross Dam or drive to the northern end of the lake via Hope, Canada, and use the boat launch there. Ross Lake Resort provides paddleboat and motorboat rentals as well as a water taxi to points around the lake.

Hiking Trails



Nearby Shops and Restaurants

map-marker-alt-regular How to Get There

How To Get To Ross Lake National Recreation Area

From the United States, the only way to reach Ross Lake National Recreation Area is on the North Cascades Highway. Come in from the east or the west. The lake is impossible to miss.


810 State Route 20, Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Fee: Entry fee $0

With its stunning scenery, Ross Lake National Recreation Area is a memorable place to spend a day or a week. Bring a kayak and sturdy shoes, and take in the natural beauty as you hike, paddle and fish. An RV is a beautiful way to camp at Ross Lake whether you're visiting in the late spring, summer, or early fall.