Ross Lake and the North Cascades

Ross Lake and the North Cascades

Looking north over Ross Lake and the North Cascades range

There are two similar lakes in North Cascades, Lake Chelan and Ross Lake. Both are long, narrow, glacier fed lakes that lie at the base of a mountain range. The primary difference is that Chelan is a naturally occurring lake that has been dammed whereas Ross is a reservoir built primarily for power production to feed the city of Seattle and surrounding environs. Both are beautiful and bounded by majestic mountains.

We passed by this view of Ross Lake several times as we shuttled back and forth across Washington Pass. Going over the pass is an awe-inspiring trip and compels you to try it over and over again. The payoff on the western side of the pass through fifteen miles or so of mountains is this sight. Here, you are looking northward toward the Canadian border. I don’t know about this image, but on a clear day you almost certainly can see mountains on the other side of the Canadian border. As you can see from this image, even in mid-June, spring was still arriving. Only a few days before we arrived it was still snowing. You can see the high mountains still have a fresh cap of snow.

The who area is called the Switzerland of America. From this image it isn’t difficult to see why. Enjoy.



  1. Beautiful photo! The sunlight on the foreground and the shadow on the mountains, along with the puffy white clouds, make for a great sight. But the perspective is what really makes this photo. It looks like you were below the road when you shot this? If so, which trail were you on? I swear I’ve shot this same landscape before, pointing my camera at the same bend in the lake, with that same snowy ridge in the background, but near the road, and my image looks much less intimate with the water as a result.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. The shot was made from the road, well, actually the pullout. I suppose the zoom lens I was using may make the water appear closer than your images.

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