Ross Lake East Bank Trail - North Cascades NP

I've wanted to do this trail for years, and it finally came together. The trail is mostly pretty flat, but it is also mostly in the forest. You don't see the lake at all for seven miles and after that, just bits and snatches. There is about a half mile section south of Devils Creek where the trail follow the lake shore. For the most part, enjoyment of the lake comes from following a side trail down to the area where lakeside camps are. Most lakeside camps are used by people who got a boat ride in, but they can be reserved by hikers too. And there are some camps that are not lakeside. These obviously lack views but have better creek water in some cases and usually a lot more privacy, as shore camps are often right next to each other.

I spent five days, with my four camps at Roland Ck (forest camp), two nights at Lightning Creek boat camps, and my last night at May Creek Stock Camp (forest camp). I hiked up Desolation peak to the lookout made famous by Jack Kerouac in between my two nights at Lightning.

First glimpse of the lake! Just after Roland Creek.


I went for a stroll from my Roland Ck camp after dinner and got this first real view about 3/4 of a mile past camp


Taking a break at Rainbow Point camp area


Typical camp at Rainbow Point


A section of trail near the lake


A short distance north of Rainbow the trail has it's one section right at the lakeshore


Heavy trail construction next to the lake, I can see why trail builders didn't do too much of this


Big suspension bridge at Devils Creek


Devils Creek inlet, the actual creek is not accessible


Another suspension bridge over Lightning Creek inlet


Peaks just peaking over the lower hills


Lightning Creek Boat Camp #3 (there are 4 + the group camp). Note the large bear food locker - one for each camp.


Lightning Creek boat dock, 20 yards from my camp


Looking south at sunset


A little marine layer at sunrise, low temps never were below 60 deg


Start of my hike up Desolation Peak (gaining 4500 feet), looking at Cat Island, note the boat ramp on the right


Still some clouds on the peaks as I hike up and up and up


Desolation Camp about 1000 feet below the summit - no water available here, you must carry all you need


Jack Mountain from near Desolation Camp


First view of the lookout on the summit - I'm almost there!


Imposing Hozomeen Mountain, just to the north


Peaks to the northwest


The lookout with Hozomeen. It took me just over four hours to hike the 6.7 miles up (the first two miles were flat)


More of Ross Lake


Loo with a View - looking east at Skagit Peak


That evening back at camp, being entertained by this family


The next day (my birthday, by the way), I slept in and had a leisurely morning. What a coffee view to start the day.


Last camp at May Ck was not on the lakeshore, but I could walk a quarter mile to a cozy spot