Ross Dam Trail is a 11.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Marblemount, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length11.8 miElevation gain1,761 ftRoute typeOut & back
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestLakeViewsWaterfallWildflowersWildlife
Waypoints (0)
Contact

North Cascades National Park Service Complex 810 State Route 20 Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284 Visitor Information (360) 854-7200 Wilderness Information Center (360) 854-7245 HEADQUARTERS FAX: (360) 856-1934

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Reviews (39)
Photos (113)
Recordings (33)
Completed (181)
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K G
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HikingRocky

We only went to the far end of the dam, for a 2 mile out and back hike, with 500 elevation gain as you hike back up to the trailhead. Mid afternoon, mid week, the parking lot was almost entirely full but we managed to find a space. There is an outhouse at the trailhead, but it’s pretty ripe. There’s one spot where the trail is a bit unclear as you head down to the dam, but look for the cairn and you’ll do fine. The walk across the dam is weirdly industrial for a national park hike, but when else can you walk across a dam? The drop is wild, the wind was fierce at points, and the views of the lake, Jack Mountain, and Colonial Peak are solid. Of note, at the far end of the dam is a grave marker for a former SCL assistant superintendent whose ashes are interred in the dam. On a warm day, make sure you have plenty of water. Also, I found a tripod winch on the way back and left it at the trailhead sign.

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Daniel Chang
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Hiking

Only did the mile to dam and back but was a nice stroll down a forest trail before reaching a cool walkable dam. Great pit stop for a quick for kid in pack hike.

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Lennea Elise
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HikingBugsRocky

We did the full 12 mile hike today. Parking lot was super full and we had to park on side of road. We saw a bunch of people towards the beginning, but only a couple people once we crossed the dam. This might be because we didn’t start out until ~3pm on a Sunday. Trail was shaded most of the way, due to being later in the day, but it was SO HOT out and we should’ve brought double the amount of water. We were looking for a longer moderate hike and this was nice - I wish there had been somewhere to swim in the lake along the way though :(

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Alison Fesler
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HikingRocky

This was such a beautiful trail that we were able to enjoy despite the large amount of people on the trail. Expect to have to find “creative” parking because the parking lot outside the trailhead is tiny and there is only one entrance with a dead end. Many cars were double or even triple parking other cars! Even though the parking was a little iffy we saw countless waterfalls along the drive and trail. It was just gorgeous.

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Gautam Dogra
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Took the trail down Hwy 20 to Ross Dam. Short hike, Saw a bear on the way up on the trail.

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Adam Uboldi
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Hiking

Great hike! The snow covered mountains are beautiful while crossing the dam.

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Wesley Suplit
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Hiking

Easy trail. Great if you are pressed for time. I would recommend going slightly farther distance to Greene Point campsite (5.75 miles round trip took 2.25 hours) to experience the lake from the shoreline. The water was beautiful and refreshing!

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Sarah Wiesner
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Hiking

Easy trail that eventually will take you to the top of the dam. When the trail ends at a road, head left, and pretty soon you’ll see the trail pick up on the right side. Follow that and it will lead you to where you can walk over the top of the dam. Pretty great payoff for a short hike.

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Elizabeth Jackson
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Hiking

Hiked this on 8/21, and despite the smoky haze the views were still beautiful. Didn’t hike this route in its entirety, but started off of Hwy 20 and hiked the ~1.25 miles down to the dam (not shown on the route), and then hiked over to Ross Lake Resort and back clocking in around 5.5 miles total. The portion of the trail between Hwy 20 and the dam features a nice little waterfall, and past the dam there’s great views of the lake while hiking through the woods.

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Eric Likkel
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Lots of lake views, lots of mountain views, even though the trail remains forested throughout. Well maintained and easy to follow. Ross Dam a plus.

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Robert Greer
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Hiking

Only hiked down to the dam and a little past it and back, it's a little bit of elevation gain coming back up but no too bad, the views from the dam were very nice

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Rachelle Van Winkle
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Hiking

We walked down to the dam then took a boat to Ross Resort where we rented a boat for the day. Round-trip, the hike was about 2.5 miles and the day boating was priceless! We made it to British Columbia with views of glaciers, suspension bridges, a dozen or so waterfalls, and private islands along the way. Amazing!

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Dan McComb
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Backpacking

Trail is well maintained to big beaver campground, but currently beyond that there are quite a few trees down.

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Beau/Sasha Clifton
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Backpacking
First to Review

Great hike, a few elevation gains and drops but overall very mild. Most of the trail is under cover in the Forrest with periodic lookouts. Later in the year the streams for water along the way are dried up until mile 7. Semi-easy, our friends took a small corgi and she made it just fine.

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Yahong Xie
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Hiking
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Doudou Z
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Andre LeBrun
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Hiking
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Rosie Bosse
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Hiking
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Jonathan Van Eck
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Hiking
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Jonathan Van Eck
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Hiking
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Dennison Lim
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Hiking
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Josh Clarke
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Hiking
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Erik Yang
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Hiking
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Craig Smith
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Hiking
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Nicolás Sacheri
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Hiking
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Matthew Ogle
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Hiking
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Σπυριδούλα Μπαβέλα
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Hiking
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nayyef Hrebid
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Hiking
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Abraham Nurkiewicz
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Backpacking
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