Local Sights Around Diablo and Diablo Lake

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Driving Directions | Current Road Conditions

Ross Lodge Picnic Shelter

The Ross Lodge Picnic Shelter is located in Diablo, a City Light company town at the base of Sourdough Mountain. The lodge was built in 1938 as a dormitory and dining facility to support the construction of the Skagit Project. In the 1980s, as the need for worker housing diminished, a portion of the original dormitory structure was demolished, and the remaining portion of Ross Lodge was boarded up and left vacant. A 2013 rehabilitation project restored the lodge so it could be used as a conference and meeting center. A rustic outdoor shelter built in the original location of the dormitory structure now provides a shaded picnic area for the public.

Diablo Dam

Did you know that you can drive across Diablo Dam? When Diablo Dam was completed in 1930, it was the tallest dam in the world. Given its innovative design, remote location and challenging topography, it was a major engineering feat. Adorned with concrete arches and ornamental lights, it remains one of the more artistic and graceful dams today. Visitors can drive across the dam to a marked parking area where they can take in the surrounding mountain scenery and sometimes see water spilling through the gates in the dam. Looking downstream, visitors can view the deep, narrow natural gorge that made the site ideal for placing a dam. Above the dam are the turquoise waters of Diablo Lake, the reservoir impounded by the dam and the gateway to many other recreational opportunities.

From milepost 127.5 on North Cascades Highway/State Route 20, turn onto Diablo Dam Road. Drive over the dam and park in one of the marked spaces on the other side. The road over Diablo Dam also provides access to the Diablo Lake Ferry, the North Cascades Environmental Learning Center and the National Park Service’s Diablo Lake Trailhead.

Diablo Lake Ferry

Formerly known as the “Fishermen’s Ferry,” City Light offers a ferry service across Diablo Lake twice daily from June through October. The ferry travels between the West Ferry Landing near Diablo Dam to the East Ferry Landing on upper Diablo Lake near Ross Dam. The ferry transports guests staying at the Ross Lake Resort (www.rosslakeresort.com) and also provides access to Ross Lake for hikers and campers heading to the surrounding backcountry areas.

To get to the West Ferry Landing, proceed along the road from the end of Diablo Dam until you arrive at the signed and designated parking area for the Diablo Lake Ferry. The East Ferry Landing is located on the south shoreline near the east end of Diablo Lake and can be reached only by foot via the Ross Haul Road or by Ross Lake Resort shuttle. The East Ferry Landing cannot be reached by private vehicle.

Fares (Cash Only)

Adult Passenger (3 bag limit per person)$10
Child Passenger (Ages 6-12)$5
Ages 5 and underFree
Additional Baggage$10

Normal Daily Schedule

DeparturesArrivals
Diablo 8:30 a.m.Ross 9:00 a.m.
Ross 9:00 a.m.Diablo 9:30 a.m.
Diablo 3:00 p.m.Ross 3:30 p.m.
Ross 3:30 p.m.Diablo 4:00 p.m.
Note: No gasoline or boats are permitted on the ferry.
Due to operating restrictions, the Diablo Lake Ferry is only running for Ross Lake Resort guests. Face coverings are required. Modified daily departures (one-way only) are from:

-Ross to Diablo at 11 a.m.
-Diablo to Ross at 2 p.m.

North Cascades Environmental Learning Center

Photo Courtesy of North Cascades Institute

One of the jewels of the North Cascades and a hub of discovery for all ages, the Environmental Learning Center is an award-winning educational campus built on the shores of Diablo Lake. One of the key recreational and public benefits provided by the Skagit River Hydroelectric Project, the learning center is managed in partnership by North Cascades Institute, the National Park Service and City Light. Activities based at the Learning Center include many school and youth programs and classes for adults, teachers and families – and of course, Skagit Tours!

More information about the programs offered by North Cascades Institute, including registration, can be found at www.ncascades.org.

Based on guidelines from Washington State and regional health authorities, the North Cascades Institute has cancelled all programs and events and closed the Environmental Learning Center campus through the end of August.

Stay Connected

Skagit Tours: (360) 854-2589 | skagittours@seattle.gov
Seattle City Light Recreation: SCL_Recreation@seattle.gov
National Park Service: nps.gov/noca
North Cascades Institute: ncascades.org


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