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Plan Your Day Visit to Ross Lake 

If you're looking for a quick day trip, there are a number of ways to enjoy Ross Lake including Boating, paddling, fishing, and hiking. Explore the options below to start planning your visit. 

Boat and Paddle Equipment Rentals 

Ross Lake Resort offers a number of equipment rentals you can enjoy for the day including motorboats, canoes, kayaks, and SUP's. Visit our Equipment Rentals Page for more detailed information on our rentals and to make a reservation. 


Hiking in the North Cascades National Park

The North Cascades National Park Service Complex preserves some of the finest mountain country in North America. From accessible trails and short, scenic strolls to steep mountain hikes, there is a trail here for everyone. Visit the NPS website to plan your hiking adventure. We offer a water taxi service that will drop you off at your hiking destination. Click here for more info and to submit a reservation request. 


Fishing on Ross Lake

One of the most popular activities is fishing for our native Rainbow trout (also an occasional Cutthroat and Eastern Brook trout). Trolling with artificial lures or flies is the recommended method of fishing. The resort has rods for rent and tackle for sale. The resort staff can provide information on fishing conditions and techniques. Fishing is open from July 1st through October 31st.  Regulations stipulate that a single, barbless hook be used and no bait is allowed (artificial lures and flies only!)  Bull trout/Dolly Varden must be released. Several of the major tributaries to the lake are closed to fishing and are marked.  Our friendly colleagues in the National Park Service and from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife patrol the lake so we kindly ask that you know and obey the regulations. Always check the Washington State Fishing Regulations for Ross Lake before you cast!



No reservations are required for portage service.  We portage on a first-come-first-serve basis.  During the busy summer months, backups can occur during busy days and we appreciate your patience during these busy times. Our portage service operates seven days a week from 8 AM to 4 PM but the best portage times are from 10 AM to 1 PM.  Do you want to bring your personal watercraft that is larger than a canoe or kayak to Ross Lake? To do so you must go through Hozomeen Canada. Click here for more info. 

Be Prepared

Ross Lake is a BIG lake with LOTS of wind. The weather can change quickly and without warning. Each week we have to assist/rescue multiple canoes/kayaks who get into distress on the lake. Please remember these key safety reminders:


  • There is no restaurant or store on-site 

  • Know your skill level

  • Be prepared for the elements

  • Do not overload your vessel

  • Paddle early in the day to minimize wind exposure 

  • Wear your life jacket

Do not forget, there is no cell phone coverage on Ross Lake.

Key Tips for Day Users: 

  • Advise that you arrive before 11 AM for best lake conditions

  • Paddle equipment is due back to the Resort by 6 PM

  • Two-hour minimum rental on Mon - Thurs (full day rentals only on Fri, Sat, and Sun)

  • No day rentals after 4 PM

  • Important notes about wind:

    • We frequently deal with high winds on the lake.  When sustained winds pose a safety issue, we will stop renting canoes/kayaks/SUPs for day-use.  If winds are unsafe for day users we will make all attempts to contact you before your arrival 

    • Note that the predominant wind direction is from the south…which means your return paddle to the Resort will generally be longer and more difficult than your paddle up the lake. It is wise to check the weather conditions before you leave. Click here to get the current weather conditions on Ross Lake. 

Getting Here

Please visit our Getting Here page for instructions on how to get to Ross Lake and the Resort. 

Click here for a printable map of Ross Lake.

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