Make the most of your getaway trip for a Skagit Tour by exploring other popular local sights and activities in the area. From the Old Number Six steam locomotive built almost 100 years ago to the spectacular Ladder Creek Falls, there are several beautiful and historical attractions that should not be missed.
Learn more by clicking on the links below.
Skagit Project Reservoirs
The three Skagit Project reservoirs (Ross, Diablo and Gorge) provide ample opportunities for water-based recreation, including fishing (with state license), kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and motor boating.
Stay Safe on the Water
Water-based recreation on reservoirs presents potential risks, especially near dams and powerhouses. It is important to understand the hazards and safety measures for recreating near hydroelectric projects.
- Water levels and flows can change suddenly without warning.
- Be aware of unexposed hazards (such as logs) when on or near the water.
- Always wear a life jacket.
- Lookout for barriers near dams: passing these markers is dangerous and not allowed.
- Watch the weather forecast and plan accordingly.
- If someone gets in trouble and needs help, call 911 as soon as possible – but keep in mind that most of the Skagit Project is out of cell phone range.
The 24-mile-long Ross Lake is surrounded by scenic mountains and a largely undeveloped shoreline. It is also the most challenging to access. Motor vehicles may access the north end of the lake from Hope, British Columbia, via the 40-mile-long gravel Silver Skagit Road. There are boat launches at Skagit Valley Provincial Park on the Canadian side of the international boundary, and at the National Park Service site of Hozomeen on the U.S. side. There is no direct road access to Ross Lake from the south. Visitors can only access Ross Lake by first traveling by boat up Diablo Lake, or by using one of the various hiking trails. The National Park Service maintains multiple backcountry campsites on Ross Lake, most with boat docks. These campsites require permits for overnight use. More information can be found at www.nps.gov/noca.
The 4.5-mile-long Diablo Lake, with several developed recreational facilities on the shoreline and direct access from State Route 20, is the most publicly accessible of the three project reservoirs. The National Park Service provides a launch site for trailered boats onto Diablo Lake from the Colonial Creek Campground. There is also a nearby accessible fishing pier. Three boat-in camps managed by the National Park Service are located along the Diablo Lake shoreline.
The 4.5-mile-long Gorge Lake is largely undeveloped due to the steep topography of the shoreline, but a paved boat launch provided by City Light is located near the entrance to the town of Diablo, adjacent to the Gorge Lake Campground. The launch has a dock and is suitable for motorboats.
North Cascades National Park Complex
One of the most unique aspects of the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project is that its three reservoirs and generating facilities are located entirely within the Ross Lake National Recreation Area, which is managed by the National Park Service as part of the North Cascades National Park Complex. For additional information on the many sights to see in the North Cascades, please visit the National Park Service’s website at www.nps.gov/noca.