Ross Lake Resort (Oct 21-24, 2011)

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Map: USGS Ross Dam, USGS Pumpkin Mountain
Area: Ross Lake
Stats: 5mi, 1234' gain (round trip from the resort)

My first trip to the resort. I'd heard talk of the resort here and there but nothing memorable. In all my trips into the area, I'd never managed to investigate any. A friend of mine had. She was been in the area the year before and inquired about openings. The resort books solid pretty much every year (giving preference to those who booked the previous year) and openings are rare. They told my friend they had a few days available in the Fall...October. She snatched the dates and extended an invite for me to join her.

Wow...this place is cool. It reminds me of the summer vacations as a kid in northern Ontario. A few weeks in a cabin far from radio, TV, and any hussle and bustle of the city. We had three nights in a small cabin that came complete with a kitchen, bathroom, and a good old fashioned wood burning stove. We needed it as much of the time was spent huddled inside reading, chatting and catching up on news, playing cards, or just looking out the window at the rain pounding on the lake.

The history of the resort is interesting. The cabins actually float. There are several dozen cabins and bunkhouses (about 1/4 mile from the dam) rests entirely on log booms. During the winter the lake level drops and the resort detaches from its shore moorings and relocates to the center of the lake. A bit of research shows the resort is owned by the North Cascade National Park Complex but leases the operations of the resort to a concessionaire. The resort is primarily for hunters and fisherman but many who go are also just looking to get away. Looks like the resort has been in operation since 1950. I'd heard, though don't know how, that the older cabins were build up in Canada and then floated down the river/lake and used as housing for some of those working on the dams.

Honestly, the cool and comfy factor of the resort rates a 10+ on my scale.

When we weren't huddled inside taking shelter from the rain we encased ourselves in GoreTex and ventured a way up the West Bank Trail. On the nice blue sky day we had, we rented kayaks and paddled up the lake enjoying some stunning sights and sounds.

One of the best parts if the adventure of just getting to the resort. There are a few options options 1) park at the Ross Dam overlook TH, hike down the steep trail/road to the dam, walk across the dam and continue the 1/2 mile to the resort, 2) park at the resort parking area on the far side of Diablo Dam and take a series of boats, truck, tractors and a bit of walking to get delivered by boat to the door of your cabin, or 3) a combination of the previous two...hike down to the lake and take on short boat ride across to the resort. Guess which one we did ;)

Really...this is a wonderful place and was very, very thankful a kind friend extended an invite. Thank You...
Ross Lake Resort Slideshow

(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright 2013 Janet M. Putz
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