Diablo Lake Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Marblemount, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,538 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

snow

This is an out and back trail with mild elevation gain that takes you through interesting landscapes, including rainforest-like vegetation, rocky fields, dry open areas and the Skagit River. About halfway down, the trail leads along the top of a gorge, from which you can look down at the turquoise waters of Lake Diablo. At the end of the trail the Ross Dam is visible. This trail does not have the most beautiful views of any hike in the area, but the varied vegetation keeps things interesting.

hiking
1 month ago

The hike its self is just ok, but the glimpses of aqua water make it well worth it. There is a ferry at the end of the trail that will bring you back to the parking lot. I found it hard to get info on it. It departs from the end of the trail twice a day 8:00am and 3:00pm. It was $10 cash and allowed dogs, this was the highlight of the hike for me.

1 month ago

This hike was pretty disappointing once you get to the end, I probably should have read more reviews before we went. You get little glimpses of the beautiful lake. I don’t know about everyone else but I’m not a fan of hiking to see a Dam and power lines. The trail was nice though and we did see some little snakes. By the trailhead you can go swimming in the lake and it is beautiful (better than my hiking views

hiking
2 months ago

Such an amazing hike! We took the ferry which left at 3:00 P.M. to the other side of the trail. My group and I are fast walkers so we finished the hike in about 2.5-3 hours but we did wander quite a bit off the trail. It’s up hill to start but has moments of flat and downhill. I do have to say the views are absolutely breathtaking from this hike. However if you are afraid of heights do note this has thin parts right next to the edge. The water bellow is so blue green that it’s worth every second!

hiking
2 months ago

This hike is nice but know that it is not for any good views. We only did half of hike to the top as the last half of the hike just goes back down to the lake with no view. There is a ferry that you can catch if you decide to hike all the way to the bottom that will take you back to the trail head. The trail is well maintained and easy enough to follow. It is mostly uphill the whole way until you reach the top. We were there last week when the smoke was thick and heavy. In order to get the view you have to drive up to Diablo Lake Overlook.

3 months ago

Good hike with the family when camping nearby.

3 months ago

Went last night and had a blast great walk

hiking
4 months ago

Did this hike on July 3rd. It was a beautiful day in the NCNP, easy parking. We clocked 7.8 miles round trip and 1750 ft elev gain. The best way to do this hike is to look up the ferry schedule and hike in one way (wish we had known this ahead of time.) Cost is $10 cash per person. I even saw several people with dogs planning to take the ferry, but I don't know the rules.

hiking
4 months ago

Great Trail. Little bit of Traffic but not bad. Took our dog on the leash, that's the great part! Had a blast! Make sure to Gas up in Marblemount first! There's Colonial Creek Campground just down the road from the trailhead too!!

4 months ago

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.

4 months ago

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.

5 months ago

It’s ok. Not my favorite in the park

hiking
5 months 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.

5 months ago

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!

5 months ago

Beautiful view

5 months ago

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.

6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months 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!

6 months ago

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

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.

8 months ago

Love the lake, the view it’s amazing

hiking
11 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
Wednesday, September 06, 2017

beautiful Lake!

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

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.

hiking
Monday, August 28, 2017

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

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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

hiking
Saturday, June 03, 2017

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!

hiking
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

hiking
Monday, May 22, 2017

Friday, December 30, 2016

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