This multi-day expedition-style kayak tour along Ross Lake, the vast, 23-mile long reservoir, provides paddlers (novice and experienced alike) the opportunity to tour the Ross Lake National Recreation Area and witness some of the North Cascades National Park’s most stunning scenery from the cockpit of their kayak. Surrounded by ancient forests, fed by fast-moving creeks draining glaciers of the steep, dramatic North Cascades, Ross Lake is a kayak touring dream trip. Advance your expeditionary kayak touring skills, see new places, and forge new friendships. Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. In fact, the only road access to this lake is via Canada. Most of our paddling will take place along the rugged, roadless, mostly wilderness, shorelines of the US. Although most people never see them, grizzly and black bears, mountain lions, and wolves can be encountered along the lakeshore.
Participants can expect to learn and practice the following kayak skills with experienced facilitators:
• Wet Exit*
• Lifting, Carrying, Launching and Landing
• Efficient Forward Paddling
• Reverse Paddling and Stopping
• Moving the Kayak Sideways
• Preventing Capsize
• *To be instructed during pool session, night of pre-trip meeting.
We will learn and practice Leave No Trace skills to minimize our impact on the environment. Participants will receive an official Leave No Trace Awareness certificate for participation in this program.
Itinerary: We’ll depart Thursday, around 1pm, camp Thursday night at a campground along the North Cascades Highway, visit the National Park ranger station in Marblemount Friday morning to fine-tune our float plan, put in on Diablo Lake, paddle 5.5 miles towards Ross Dam, portage around the dam around lunchtime, gain access to Ross Lake, camp along Ross Lake Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights, and travel back to Pullman Monday. We may have opportunities for short hikes in the North Cascades National Park.
Sign up early and receive $25 off your registration. Participants who register in the first 30 days will pay a discounted price of $150 for members and $250 for non-members. On May 8th, registration will return to its original cost of $175 for members and $275 for non- members.
Trip rating is level 3:
• We will be paddling on a big, cold lake with conditions that could change quickly. As such, some kayaking experience is required. If you haven’t been paddling in a while (or ever), please try to get some paddling in prior to the trip. Getting out on a sunset paddle or renting a kayak might be good options.
• This trip requires that participants are in good physical condition and be able to paddle 10-12 miles/day for 3-4 consecutive days. If you have any questions, please consult your physician.
• Participants must be able to demonstrate proficiency (after instruction and practice) in wet exits and T-rescues at mandatory pool session/pre-trip meeting.
Trip cost includes: kayaking gear, camping equipment, transportation, permits, portage fees, and adventure facilitators (food NOT included).
The Pre-Trip Meeting and Pool Session will begin promptly at 5pm on June 11, at the Outdoor Recreation Center and may go until about 10pm. Please bring a swimsuit. We will travel as a group to the pool.
In order to minimize our environmental impact, maintain facilitator-to-participant ratios, meet permit criteria, and transportation logistics, ORC trips are often programmed for small groups (typically up to 6 participants with 2 facilitators). Late cancellations can seriously impact our ability to accommodate others and recover costs.
• Cancellations made up until 2 weeks prior to the registration deadline will receive a full refund.
• Cancellations made within 2 weeks of the registration deadline receive 50% refund.
• Sorry, no refunds are given past the registration deadline.
Pre-trip meeting and completing of pool session which will take place at the pre-trip meeting starting at 5pm on June 11th.