Best Trails in Ross Lake National Recreation Area

53 reviews

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"The North Cascades are Calling!" Less than three hours from Seattle, an alpine landscape beckons. Discover communities of life adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fire in the east. Explore jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers. Listen to cascading waters in forested valleys. Witness a landscape sensitive to the Earth's changing climate. Help steward the ecological heart of the Cascades.

on Diablo Lake Trail
5 days ago

hiking

Very pretty hike!

on Diablo Lake Trail
8 days ago

So dissapointed in this hike. the views from the parking lot or even driving around the lake are better. I would never recommend this to anyone, hike up to the top, have a little view point, then you hike back down the other side to the lake for not much, only to see a dam. If you are going to do that, i recommend timing it with the ferry since we would have had to wait 3 hours for the ferry so we made the awful hike back up.

on Diablo Lake Trail
15 days ago

hiking

Best day trail we've done since I've come up to the area. make sure you reach the bottom at the end and take a couple (very. . .very short) swims. From what I've heard the water is glacier fed. From what I felt, I believe it! We got lazy after swimming and took the ferry back... be sure to bring cash (10 per person) if you want to take the boat back!

on Thunder Knob Trail
16 days ago

hiking

on Thunder Knob Trail
25 days ago

hiking

on Thunder Knob Trail
30 days ago

hiking

I took my eleven year old son and my 3 year old lab. Perfect length and elevation gain for minimal complaining. :) beautiful view of the lake from the top. Well maintained trail.

on Pyramid Lake Trail
1 month ago

a good climb! The old growth timber was awesome!

on Diablo Lake Trail
1 month ago

hiking

Nice, easier hike with not too much elevation change. We did it as a second hike of the day and had no problems, minus getting lost at the Ross Dam end thinking there would be a lookout. A few good views of the lake and surrounding mountains, but by far not the best hike in the area.

on Thornton Lakes Trail
2 months ago

backpacking

Picturesque. Hard hike, but totally worth it.

on Diablo Lake Trail
2 months ago

hiking

It definitely had some great views, at times. However skip this of you want to separate yourself from all things manmade. It is a good hike for beginners and those with so so knees. Very mild elevation gain.

on Thornton Lakes Trail
2 months ago

Quite the challenge, but worth it. The views are amazing, and the lake at the end is jaw dropping.

on Thunder Knob Trail
2 months ago

hiking

The Thunder Knob trail presents a cool, relatively easy trail with a consistent but gradual incline, and results in some rather grand views of an already pristine area.

The trail begins at the north loop of the Colonial Creek campground. It immediately takes you over and across Colonial Creek, which with the recent late Spring thaws, was rather powerful. After crossing the creek you're taken through a gorgeous old growth forest and eventually you start to climb various hillocks and rises until you reach the trail's end.

At one point about halfway through there is an absolutely gorgeous promontory, looking out against Colonial Peak and a heavily wooded valley. It's an ideal resting place for sure.

Eventually, the trail dips down past the hidden Thunder Lake (which is really a long pond), and rises up again to end at the eponymous Thunder Knob, which overlooks Diablo Lake. Rest here and absorb all that this perfect vision of nature has to offer, and then return to the trailhead, knowing that the way back is much, much easier.

on Thunder Creek Trail
2 months ago

backpacking

We hiked in and camped at Mcallister, approx 6.5 ish miles in! There's some incline, but fairly easy terrain, I would rate moderate mostly because of the distance and some of the log crossings. It was a beautiful home, thunder creek lives up to its name!

on Thunder Creek Trail
3 months ago

hiking

Good trail, roughly 6 miles in there were too many trees down on the trail for me to attempt to navigate. Turned back and camped at Neve camp after that.

on Diablo Lake Trail
4 months ago

lost...did not finish

on Diablo Lake Trail
4 months ago

hiking

Beautiful, warm, spring day. Lovely views of the surrounding mountains and lots of water in the creek beds. Not many flowers yet. One person in our group went swimming, twice. We hiked from the parking lot up to the suspension bridge and back.

on Thornton Lakes Trail
10 months ago

hiking

Trailhead to Trappers Peak. Snow free all the way to the glacier on Triumph as of 10/19.