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Between the north and south sections of North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area is shaped like a backward L. For access from the east, west and south, SR 20 parallels the Skagit River through the southern half of the area, continuing southeast into Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This road is normally closed east of Diablo Lake from mid-November to mid-April. Access from the north is possible only through Canada via a secondary road that branches off Hwy. 3 east of Hope, British Columbia.
Ross, Diablo and Gorge lakes are formed by Ross, Diablo and Gorge dams on the Skagit River. The dams are part of a hydroelectric project that supplies Seattle with electricity; an information center is in Newhalem. The 3.5-mile Diablo Lake Trail, beginning near Diablo Lake Resort, leads to Ross Dam. From the south, access to Ross Lake is limited to trail and water routes. Seven major trails lead outward from Ross Lake into the back country.
Surrounding the lakes are 118,000 acres of glaciers, mountain peaks and forested valleys providing habitats for a variety of wildlife. Fishing season for Ross Lake, one of the few remaining large lakes in Washington not artificially stocked, is mid-June to late October; state fishing regulations apply and a license is required. Ranger stations are on SR 20 at Marblemount, phone (360) 854-7245, and in Newhalem; phone (206) 386-4495, ext. 11.
For further information contact the Park Superintendent's Office; phone (360) 854-7200.
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Current Location: Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Washington