Ross Lake National Recreation Area

Ross Lake National Recreation Area

RV Rental Dates


Welcome to the enchanting Ross Lake National Recreation Area, a paradise for RV camping enthusiasts! Here, you’ll find an extraordinary destination that boasts scenic beauty, a plethora of recreational opportunities, and top-notch campgrounds, making it the perfect haven for nature-loving travelers like you.

Delve into the rich history of this magical place, where the construction of the Ross Dam in the 1940s gave birth to the magnificent Ross Lake. This reservoir, with its meandering shape, winds its way through valleys, offering a unique experience amidst the remnants of the Skagit River’s original course. Amidst this transformation, the area proudly preserves its cultural heritage, with archaeological sites that narrate the tales of indigenous communities who once thrived in these very lands.

What truly sets Ross Lake apart is its awe-inspiring landscape, a masterpiece crafted by Mother Nature herself. As you venture through this wonderland, you’ll be greeted by cascading waterfalls that dance harmoniously, majestic mountains that stretch to touch the sky, and deep valleys that beckon you to explore their mysteries. All around, the stunning Ross Lake mirrors the breathtaking surroundings, reflecting the beauty that surrounds it.

Ross Lake National Recreation Area offers ideal RV camping and outdoor activities during the warm and dry summers, but visitors should be prepared for sudden weather changes, including rain and cooler temperatures at higher elevations. Packing appropriate clothing, sufficient food, water, and camping gear is essential for RV renters, and checking weather forecasts and road conditions before embarking on the trip is highly recommended. The peak season for visiting Ross Lake falls between June and August, offering the most favorable weather for outdoor adventures; however, travelers seeking a quieter experience and preferred camping spots may consider planning their visit during the shoulder seasons of spring or fall.

RV campers at Ross Lake can enjoy a wide range of activities. Hiking enthusiasts can explore popular trails such as the Diablo Lake Trail and Thunder Creek Trail, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Birdwatching and wildlife viewing opportunities abound, allowing visitors to observe the diverse flora and fauna that inhabit the area. Boating and fishing on Ross Lake are also popular activities, providing a chance to unwind amidst the tranquil waters.

Ross Lake National Recreation Area offers several RV-friendly campgrounds, each providing a comfortable stay amidst the natural beauty. These campgrounds offer amenities such as restrooms, picnic areas, and potable water to ensure a pleasant camping experience. Some campgrounds may also provide access to dumping stations for RV waste disposal.

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or simply seeking solace amidst nature’s embrace, Ross Lake National Recreation Area welcomes you with open arms. From RV camping amidst the pristine wilderness to engaging in a myriad of outdoor activities, there’s something for every soul here.

Park Alerts (2)

From March to November, especially on busy holiday weekends, it is possible to encounter extensive queues at the entrance road. The parking areas near popular trailheads and viewpoints tend to reach capacity quickly. It is advisable to bring along your patience and arrive early to evade large crowds.

IThe Hite Ramp is currently not accessible due to closure. The take-out at North Wash is a basic and undeveloped dirt area, where it is not possible to maneuver a trailer in reverse down the uneven slope. The conditions have worsened due to recent washouts, adding to the deterioration of the area.

RV Rentals in Ross Lake National Recreation Area


When visiting Ross Lake National Recreation Area, visitors have multiple transportation options, including car, boat, kayak, and small aircraft. The north side can be accessed via a gravel road from Hope, British Columbia, while the south can be reached by launching canoes and kayaks from Diablo Lake. Restrictions on rig sizes apply in certain parts of the park, so visitors should carefully check the guidelines to ensure compliance.

Campgrounds and parking areas in Ross Lake National Recreation Area

Complex Marker Icons

Top Campsites in Ross Lake National Recreation Area

Boat-in Campsites

These boat-in campsites are located along the shores of Ross Lake, accessible by watercraft such as boats and kayaks. As the most sought-after option, these campsites offer a true escape into nature, surrounded by stunning lake views and lush wilderness. Each site is equipped with fire rings for campfires, picnic tables for outdoor dining, and pit toilets for basic facilities. The boat-in campsites do not provide electricity or water RV hookups, but water pumps are available on-site for campers’ convenience. These campsites are open during the warmer months, typically from late spring to early fall. RV and trailer sizes permitted may vary, and visitors should check the park’s guidelines for size restrictions. As of my last update, pets were allowed in the boat-in campsites, but it’s always best to verify the current pet policy before planning your trip.

Ross Lake Campsites

Ross Lake National Recreation Area does not have a specific designated campground, but it does offer 19 pet-friendly boat-in sites located along the shores. These sites are well-equipped with fire rings, picnic tables, pit toilets, and reliable storage boxes. However, there are no RV hookups for electricity or water, though water pumps are available at the site. Each campsite is conveniently situated within 150 feet of the lake, and visitors can find various kiosks and convenience stores around the resort to purchase necessary provisions. Camping reservations are available for these sites

Season-specific experiences in Ross Lake National Recreation Area


There are numerous biking trails throughout the North Cascades Complex that provide bikers with unique views of the area. The Diablo Lake Trail, Ross Dam Trail, and Pyramid Lake Trails are some of the popular routes.


Boating, kayaking, and canoeing are great ways to experience the beauty of Ross Lake. The wide lake is surrounded by scenic mountain views and grasslands, making it a rewarding boating experience.

Rock Climbing

Ross Lake offers diverse climbing terrain and challenging climbing routes, providing mountaineering enthusiasts with a rewarding experience. Climbers should be self-sufficient and climb at their own risk.

Beachcombing at Ruby Beach

Summer is an ideal time for RV campers to visit Ruby Beach and enjoy beachcombing along its stunning coastline. The beach is known for its sea stacks, driftwood, and tide pools filled with fascinating marine life. RV camping at nearby Mora Campground allows for easy access to this captivating spot.

Storm Watching

During the off-season, typically from late fall to early spring, Olympic National Park offers a unique opportunity for RV campers to experience the dramatic storms along the coastline. The powerful Pacific storms create crashing waves and impressive displays of nature’s fury. One popular spot for storm watching is Kalaloch Beach, where RV campers can park their vehicles near the shore and witness the awe-inspiring spectacle from the comfort of their motorhomes.


The North Cascades Complex has trails suitable for every hiker, offering different experiences such as mountain views and birdwatching opportunities. The Happy Panther Trail and Ladder Creeks Falls Trail are two popular hiking routes.

Hot Springs Soaking

RV campers seeking relaxation can enjoy a soothing soak in the natural hot springs found within the park. Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, located in the northern part of the park, offers RV camping and access to mineral-rich pools. Soaking in the hot springs surrounded by the lush forest and cool air of the off-season is a rejuvenating experience for travelers.


Ross Lake and Diablo Lake offer diverse fishing opportunities with a variety of saltwater and freshwater fish species, including trout, cod, and salmon. Fishing is regulated by Washington fishing laws, requiring a valid permit, and visitors must follow special regulations to protect fish populations.


Ross Lake is a year-round birdwatching paradise with nearly 200 bird species to observe. From majestic ospreys and soaring eagles to graceful swans and mallards, the lake’s varied habitats provide a rich diversity of avian life for bird enthusiasts to enjoy. Binoculars and cameras are essential for capturing the stunning moments of the park’s vibrant birdlife.