Ross Dam & Big Beaver Creek


Backpack - Ross Dam & Big Beaver Creek

Ross Dam -- Big Beaver Creek

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7:00 AM at TBD
Although open to all club members over age 18, this trip is also part of the B3 backpacking Building Blocks series and eligible for B3 course credit. In addition, this backpack will have a practical instructional/learning focus and offer experience in proper gear use and camp set-up techniques.

This trip is a great opportunity to explore the magnificent Northwest Temperate Rainforest in one of its most magnificent forms, alongside the 23 mile-long Ross Lake reservoir deep in the North Cascades National Park. We’ll pass through one of the largest ancient Western Redcedar groves left on the planet, some over 1000 years old.

We will meet about 7AM (carpools to be arranged later) and drive first to the North Cascades Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount (2 hours from Seattle), where we will pick up our free backcountry camping permit. Then we’ll drive another 35 minutes to the Ross Lake trailhead, between mileposts 134 and 135 on the north side of Highway 20. From the trailhead we will cross Ross Dam and wind for six miles over gently rolling forested trail, never far from the shores of the lake and the mountain views on the other side, before reaching Pumpkin Mountain Camp, a great spot to pitch tents and head out for some exploration of the Big Beaver Landing (swimming if it’s warm!) and up Big Beaver Creek under the ancient forest canopy. After a night back at Pumpkin camp, we’ll have a leisurely start the next morning to find our way back to the trailhead and our vehicles for the trip home.

Elevation gain is less than 500 feet in total, so the trip is classified as Easy, and we should be able to maintain a steady 2 mph pace. Weather can be rainy, sunny, or all combinations of the above, so participants will need to be prepared with layers and raingear. Watch the forecast before the trip at Ross Dam weather forecast. More details about gear requirements and assistance with food planning and packing will be included in leader emails prior to the trip. The trip may be cancelled or the destination changed if weather turns poor.


Ross Dam & Big Beaver Creek

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials
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