Big Beaver Trail
Most hikers start at the Ross Dam Trail, which begins at a parking area near milepost 134 on State Route 20. The trail drops steeply for .8 miles (1.3 km) to a gravel service road. Go left on this road for a short way, then turn right down an incline to the top of Ross Dam. Cross the dam and continue north along the west shore of Ross Lake. A scheduled drop off or pickup by Ross Lake Resort's water taxi service (206-386-4437) can be arranged.
Along Ross Lake
The trail up Big Beaver Valley begins just beyond the steel foot and stock bridge. Note that the creek is closed to fishing in the first quarter mile upstream of the mouth to allow spawning of native rainbow trout from Ross Lake.
Ancient Trees and Beaver Marshes
Watch and wait, patience may be rewarded with sightings or sounds of beaver, otter, ducks, black bear, or deer. Careful observations will reveal marsh birds, Common Yellowthroat, Barrow's Goldeneye and possibly tree nesting ducks like Common Merganser and Wood Duck. In 1991 the rare, unspoiled Big Beaver marsh land was designated a Research Natural Area - a place to observe and learn from ongoing natural processes.
McMillan: Man and Mountain
Thirteen miles (21 km) from Ross Lake, hikers arrive at the forested saddle of Beaver Pass. From here, hikers can continue for one mile (1.6 km) downhill to the Little Beaver Trail junction. The semi-loop hike from Big Beaver to Little Beaver landing on Ross Lake is 34 trail miles. A boat taxi from Little Beaver can be prearranged to complete a loop trip. There are no connecting trails from Little Beaver landing.
Pets and firearms are prohibited in the National Park; however, hunting is permitted in Ross Lake National Recreation Area. Washington State hunting and fishing regulations apply. Be sure to stop at the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount (360-873-4500 ext. 39). A permit (no charge) is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Rangers have maps and current information to assist you in planning a safe, fun trip.
For Additional Information Contact:
Cascades National Park
For more information visit the National Park Service website