Water Taxi and Portage Services
Want to bring your personal canoe or kayak to Ross Lake? We offer truck portage between Diablo Lake and Ross Lake. Vessels launch on Diablo Lake at Colonial Creek Campground and paddle five miles to the end of Diablo Lake where there is an NPS dock. There are phones located at the Diablo and Ross Lake portage docks with instructions on how to call the resort to request service.
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 between 8:00 AM - 9:30 AM, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM, and 3:30 PM - 4:00 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.
For a map and printable portage instructions click here.
2 or more vessels
Water Taxis are for hikers to/from trailheads on Ross Lake. The fares below are per boat trip (not per person). We can pick-up or drop-off a maximum of 6 passengers per trip anywhere on the lake. When meeting a water taxi bound for a trailhead, hike down from the Ross Lake Trail Head located off Highway 20. Advance reservations and prepayment are required for the water taxis from trailheads on the lake to the gravel road (have a car waiting for you at milepost 134 on Highway 20).
*Due to COVID restrictions, we cannot combine parties at this time. Please visit our dedicated COVID website for more details.
Backcountry camping permits are required and can be obtained free at the Marblemount Ranger Station (360-854-7245) on your way here. We are available to provide water taxis seven days a week 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m, reservations required.
Water Taxi Fares
Cougar Island/Hidden Hand
Big Beaver/Rainbow Point
Little Beaver/Boundary Bay
Click here for a map of the lake
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.
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.
Please visit our Getting Here page for instructions on how to get to Ross Lake and the Resort.