Explore the most popular trail running 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.

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

12 days 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!

16 days ago

Recommend snow shoes, poles, and spikes to attempt trappers. Still snow everywhere, lake frozen over.

20 days 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.

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.

5 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.

nature trips
7 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! :)

8 months ago

beautiful Lake!

This is an out and back trail that takes you through interesting landscapes, including rainforest-like vegetation, rocky fields, and dry open areas. About halfway down, the trail leads along the top of a gorge, from which you can look down at the blue-green waters of Lake Diablo. At the end of the trail the Ross Dam is visible. The views aren't stellar, but the water is very pretty when you can see it and the mix of vegetation made it an enjoyable hike for me. If you're looking for big views, seek elsewhere.

8 months ago

Good hike but the end of the trail wasn't very exciting. Leads you to a bridge by the Dam.

9 months ago


Mother. Fucking. Mosquitos. And flies. Probably the lone reason it went from five to four stars. We knew about the mosquitos going in. Mosquito brothels every mile, I'm assuming because of the beautiful streams/falls coming from the mountain. Bought some great deep woods repellent, should have gone 100% deet. Also the horse flies. They bite. There was a constant buzzing all the way to the top of Trappers Peak, and then once at the top there was silence from the buzzing, kind of.

Other than that, it was a great hike. I wish we made it in time to snag a camping pass (there are only three available) but we hit traffic and were too late.

The trail was a little overgrown to begin with. The first two miles are the easiest, the following three were described as a three mile stair step, which I agree with. Once at the lake view point, you can head right and head up to Trappers Peak, which is a scramble most of the way up. Bits of snow on the way, but the trail is still there, nothing really worth noting, as of 7/22. The views were incredible. We didn't go down to the lake, because of time, I wish we had more of it.

We took some hiking poles up, I definitely recommend. The drive up is a 5 mile drive up a logging road, don't take your car. It's a bumpy drive. When we got back to the truck, six vehicles, including our own were broken into. We reported it to the rangers, they knew about the increase of break-ins, and are working on it. They were great to work with.

Time up for us was three hours to the lake view point, another thirty to Trappers Peak, time down was two hours. We did stop and bathe ourselves of the bug repellent (I went a little crazy with it) in the creek where there's a little log bridge. Take a towel, maybe hide it at the bridge on your way up. It was amazing.

Overall, it was a great hike, with great rewards at the end. Yes, difficult but worth it. A great day hike, and I bet an amazing camping place.

10 months ago

This was a fun trail I did in conjunction with a ranger talk and the Dam Good Chicken Dinner offered by the North Cascades Institute. At night they light up the Falls.

view at top isn't really anything special. if you take the ferry back you can actually see many more beautiful views

11 months ago

Short easy hike perfect for a rainy day.

Short easy trail with a small waterfall.

11 months ago

Loved this hike! I agree that you don't need to finish the hike to get the views. Be sure to also hang out at the lake @ the bottom of the parking lot!


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

the views are amazing and once you get to Ross dam you can cross a bridge and go through a tunnel

Monday, May 22, 2017

Don't need to finish the trail, but the views are unbelievable

Monday, May 22, 2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Very pretty hike!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

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.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

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!

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