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One of the most scenic places to go canoeing in Washington is Ross Lake. The North Cascades are spectacular and if you can get some nice weather, it is an amazing trip. Canoes and kayaks can be launched on Diablo Lake at Colonial Creek Campground and paddled five miles to the end of scenic Diablo Lake. Then you portage around Ross Dam (1 mile, 520 foot gain), or Ross Lake Resort provides portage service for small boats for a fee. There are nineteen boat-in camps along the shores with fire-rings, picnic tables, vault toilets, and bear-resistant food storage boxes. Some have docks. A backcountry permit from the National Park Service is required for any overnight camping at these sites. Strong gusty winds and whitecaps occur frequently and without warning. It is safest to travel along the eastern shore and in the mornings. The water level is generally full from late June through mid-September, which is generally the time you would be there anyway. I have done this trip twice and both times were a blast.
Canoeing Ross Lake
Ready for the shuttle
Near Spencers Camp
Lightning Creek Bridge
No canoe trip up Ross Lake is complete without a hike up to the Desolation Peak Lookout. You can leave your boats at the base and start right up the mountain. The trail is well built going all the way to the top with a nice campground just below the summit.
The summit views are fantastic and the lookout is usually open. Pictures at link below:
Desolation Peak Lookout
Ross Lake from Desolation Peak trail