FAQs for Ross Lake Low Water Lake Levels 2019

Why are the campsites closed to boaters?

Lake levels on Ross Lake reservoir are predicted to be significantly lower than normal during the summer months of 2019. Levels are expected to be 15-25 feet below the full pool of 1602.5 feet.

These temporary closures are in effect for public health, safety, and resource protection. The low lake levels impact the park’s ability to pump out the vault toilets, the exposed lakebed provides difficult terrain and hazards from unstable trees, and visitor use within the exposed lakebed could impact park resources.

What is closed?

  • all campsites accessed by boat on Ross Lake are closed to overnight use;

  • the exposed lakebed to the full pool line unless in designated areas; and

  • the boat ramps at Hozomeen to trailered boats.

Will the campsites remain closed the whole summer?

Lake levels and on-going management assessment will determine when sites will reopen. If campsites are opened, they will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Will I still be able to use campsites along Ross Lake for my hiking trip?

Yes, on a limited basis, campsites will be open for permitted hikers on multi-day trips in Ross Lake National Recreation Area. Without using these campsites, the hiking distances for through-park hikers is too far for most people.

Can I launch my boat at Hozomeen?

Access to the Ross Lake at Hozomeen will be limited, as all boat ramps will be closed. Designated areas will be established to provide access for canoes, kayaks, and other small boats. All vessels and gear will need to be carried to the water’s edge to avoid damaging the lake bed. All water craft must be removed from the lake by nightfall. Driving, camping, walking, or building fires on the exposed lake bed is prohibited.

Will Ross Lake still be open for day use?

Yes. Boaters should be aware of an increase in the risk of encountering submerged trees and logs. Day users should be prepared to haul their boats and supplies across muddy flats or up steep, loose terrain to access trails. Bring extra lengths of line to secure boats to stumps, trees, or rocks. Not only is the water well below the normal shoreline, the reservoir could rise significantly in a 24 hour period. While trails may be usable, there could be up to several hundred feet of exposed rock, dirt, and wood between the water and the normal shoreline at full pool. The extent in any given location is dependent on topography.

Will Ross Lake Resort be open?

Yes. Ross Lake Resort will be open and plans to continue normal operations for the summer. Water taxi service is available for day hiking and boat rentals are available for fishing. Any impacts to operations due to low water levels will be noted on the Ross Lake Resort website. Customers can also contact the resort at 206-486-3751.

Will I get a refund for my permit reservation?

Every effort will be made to refund campsite reservations on Ross Lake.

Why is the lake so low?

The unanticipated low reservoir level is due to lack of rainfall, a decline in snow pack, and the protection of chum salmon redds resulting in a drawdown by Seattle City Light.

Will Diablo and Gorge Lakes be affected by the drawdown?



Last updated: June 19, 2019

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Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


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