Camping on Ross Lake

Scenic lakeside views where you can really get away from it all! Ross Lake is the perfect place to relax, unwind and soak in nature's beauty.

96% (1269 reviews)
96% (1269 reviews)

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Camping on Ross Lake guide


Camping at Ross Lake gives new meaning to “getting off the grid”. Tucked deep in the North Cascades of Washington, this reservoir isn’t accessible by car (on the U.S. side, anyway). You can hike in —or, paddle from Diablo Lake up Riprap Creek and portage your boat overland to Ross Lake.

It takes some effort to get in, but the work is well worth the reward. Wake up to views of snow-capped summits at your lakeside campsite. Fish from the shore, or paddle out into the brilliant blue water.

Feel like a walk? The Pacific Northwest Trail and the East Bank Trail are right in your backyard. Hike along the 23-mile lake toward Canada. On the Sourdough Mountain Trail, you can climb high into the Cascades. From there, the views over North Cascades National Park are breathtaking.

There are 19 campgrounds on Ross Lake, each with 1-7 campsites. Whether you choose a boat-in or trail-accessible site, you’ll need to get a backcountry permit. At Ross Lake Resort, you can rent boats and book floating cabins.

Spring, summer, and fall are the best times for camping in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area. In the winter, heavy snow causes avalanches and road closures. Due to changing water levels, boating is possible from July through September.

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