Desolation Peak

Marblemount, Washington 98267

Desolation Peak

Desolation Peak Professional Review and Guide

"There is nothing desolate about this peak. Au contraire, mon frère (et ma soeur)! Desolation is alive in color—shrouded in dazzling alpine flowers during the summer bloom. And the view? C’est magnifique!

Stand mouth agape, staring down at the cobalt waters of fjord-like Ross Lake (created in the 1930s by damming the Skagit River to power Seattle) cradled beneath
glacier-covered, cloud-snagging peaks."

Desolation Peak Reviews

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I'm not just rating the Desolation Peak trail but also the entire experience of canoeing, camping, and hiking. Canoeing from the north end of the lake to Boundary Bay campground was tough because of unusual wind and waves but rewarding for the same reason. We just stayed close to shore and took our sweet time. The campgrounds were nicely laid out and had separate tent, food prep, and toilet areas. We canoed the next morning from Boundary Bay across the lake to Arctic Creek falls which was absolutely spectacular. Then we went back across the lake to the Desolation Peak trailhead. The hike was steep and challenging but well worth the climb. The 360-degree views from the summit were stunning. More wind and waves greeted us on our way back to Boundary Bay but we had a nice, smooth canoe out the next morning. Fantastic trip. Plus you can bring lots of creature comforts in a canoe!
very steep climb. switchbacks take you up this long and steep hike. very nice views of ross lake. the view is worth the climb. take plenty of water. once you get to the top you have to travel another 3/4 of mile across the top to the fire lookout on desolation peak. well worth the climb. i consider myself a beginner again... and we did the entire 14 miles up and down to and from the camp site (lightening creek) in 12 hours. enjoy... kerouac did.......

Desolation Peak Photos

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Trail Information

Nearby City
5,100 feet
Elevation Gain
Trail Type
Best late Jun–Oct
North Cascades NP, Newhalem Visitor Center (summer) or Sedro-Woolley Visitor Center (winter)
Local Contacts
Green Trails, Ross Lake No. 16, Diablo Dam No. 48
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018