Explore the most popular nature trips trails in Ross Lake National Recreation Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

I hiked this trail mid June. I have mixed feelings about this trail as my motive is to move away from noise and buildings when hiking. You hear the highway during much of this hike and the power lines kind of ruin the views. The trail does have some value as it offers a gradual climb (easy enough for most hikers) starting in a peaceful forest. The only sounds are the many song birds. You will cross a few snow melt streams without any problem. The avalanche presents some boulders to climb. This is a very short area, though. Take notice near the end of the boulders a low cave like area that looks somewhat filled in, yet blows cold air. Great way to cool off. Next, is a short off trail look out near a power line tower. I spotted some warblers there. The trail moves close to the gorge edge. Here you are exposed to the sun and need sure footing as the drop off can be dangerous. There are a few limited views along this part which include the lake, mountains, and cliffs. Just before the trail descends to Ross dam is a lookout. The view from route 20 is actually better then this one.

backpacking
1 day ago

Backpacked out to Roland Creek campground (about 7 miles in) and back, pretty unimpressive to be honest. It starts out pretty nice, but fades to generic green tunnel with no vantages, distinctive features, or anything of note really for the majority of the hike, although Roland Creek itself at the end is nice.

That said, it looks like the trail might get a bit better if you go a bit farther than I did.

Hike was not what i expected.. probably should have read more comments … It was a very easy trail with no reward at the end barely a view… But when you drive to the Lookout it made up for the 3 Hour Drive. Everyone’s photos were taken from the look out..you drive to.

Popular hike, busy on weekends

backpacking
2 days ago

Backpacked to Rainbow Point. Goes through a lot of forest but it’s worth it

It’s ok. Not my favorite in the park

Great easy out and back hike. Great views! Recommended

hiking
12 days ago

Not a huge fan of this trail. The views at the base of the lake and Diablo Dam is pretty but a bit disappointing with all the power lines strewn across the lake. The hike is a bit steep in the beginning but you get a small reward halfway through with views of the lake from above. The rest of the hike is not very exciting and all you get at the end is a view of more power lines and Ross Dam.

hiking
16 days ago

Beautiful views from the top

The trail was pretty easy with great views of mountain peaks most of the way. The views of Diablo Lake are amazing. Definitely wear good, supportive shoes to make your life easier, lots of lose rocks that can make it tricky for someone older or not so graceful.
No complaints at all and will be back!

This was a beautiful trail! The lookout point is not what we expected as there were power lines and a dam in the view but it was still very beautiful. If you're looking for views I wouldn't say this trail is the best as far as vantage point but there's still so much to see. To see the lake as depicted in some of the photos we were told to head to Keplar (name?) trail which was about a 3/4 mile drive past the Diablo turn-off on the highway. The trail was well marked and easy to moderate. It was fairly busy but still very enjoyable. Highly recommend!

Beautiful view

This trail can be very confusing is you haven’t hiked it before. From the trailhead, you hike about a quarter mile before you get to where the trail actually starts! There is a wooden vertical “Diablo Trail” sign to the left at the actual start to the trail. I accidentally wondered an hour out of my way going the wrong way today and had to wander back to actually start on the correct trail!

The first 1/2 mike is steeper and gets rocky in some places. Then the trail levels a bit for a while.
I hike passed the lookout point, but didn’t make it to the lake. The lookout point isn’t great, since it has power lines in your view. If you actually go about 5 more mins past the lookout point, you’ll get a much better view just from the trail.

To get to the viewpoint, you’ll scramble over some large boulders.

Again, I didn’t make it to the lake. I wandered back to the trailhead parking lot and went down to the lake area there.

Just pay attention to where you start and when going back. I got so lost, turned around, and confused. The trail isn’t marked at well as it could be.

hiking
25 days ago

Simple hike. Don't let the creeks in the beginning stop you from this one. They aren't too difficult to cross especially with trekking poles.

Lookout was gorgeous, have to go up a little more for the actual hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great early season trail. Lots of down trees but nothing too gnarly. Don’t blow your ACL

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike. We got to the trailhead at 10 on a sunny Sunday morning (75 degrees!). I definitely expected it to be more crowded, but it wasn’t until the 2.5 mile mark that we saw another hiker. I think this trail is on the easier side for moderate—was testing out a new backpack and carrying extra weight (for training) and we still cruised along. Saw one snake (Northwestern garter snake) and one chipmunk, but that’s it for wildlife. Enjoy the hike!

1 month ago

Gorgeous day to enjoy the fresh mountain air. Beautiful drive and views along the trail.

Good short trail to do if you only have a little time

Road is open (to Diablo lake at least)! Walked the trail today in the sunshine and it was magnificent. Hiked from the shared trailhead with the North Cascades Institute and turned around at the overlook to Ross Dam. There were about 3 small creeks that you had to hop some rocks over but they were very easy.

camping
2 months ago

nice hike up very beautiful views.

Beautiful hike over the damn and you can hike up along the falls coming down. Was beautiful back on 1/7/2018

Love the lake, the view it’s amazing

Gorgeous but short

Made the mistake of starting this trail during the hottest part of the day in July. This hike is no joke! We had to turn around half a mile from the summit as we didn’t Bring enough water and one member of our group was getting very ill. One member of our group did make it to the top and said the views of the sun setting into the mountains that stretched far into Canada were absolutely stunning.

hiking
6 months ago

not the best hike but a decent little afternoon out and back and a great starter hike for those folks who enjoy nature walks and want to jump to the next step of an actual "hike." I say this because there is minimal elevation gain but has enough subtle gains, rocks and root systems to warrant it a hike (though, we were passed by a trail runner. how they can run these things and not break an ankle I'll never know). it's a fun way to get in a little exercise while playing tourist as you check out diablo dam and ross dam as well. the switchbacks close to the final descent to ross dam may be challenging for beginners but you can bypass them and head straight to the lookout point and settle in for a lunch there if you wish. the best part for us was being able to see the lake(s) from the other side instead of the highway AND seeing the inlets and islands we kayaked to the day before. be aware: if you do not like heights, you may not enjoy the break in the treeline close to the halfway point ; it's steep, narrow and really cool! I am a major klutz so I walked purposefully and used my poles. overall a very level and fun hike. I would say be mindful of the steep mountainside if you've got little ones or people afraid of heights but it's a nice little ditty for sure.

hiking
8 months ago

hiked on Friday for sunset, still no snow and very beautiful

hiking
8 months ago

This is a nice trail, though the distance is closer to 3.9 miles for the out and back trip. The trail is almost entirely incline on the way to the lake, but not too steep in most places. Moderate is an accurate rating.

nature trips
8 months ago

Like to stop here on my way to Chelan to visit my parents! It's beautiful, quick and easy for the dog and I to stretch our legs! The waterfall is breathtaking and the bridge and damn, great little spot! :)

Easy hike with a few great lookouts

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