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Trip Report

Lake Hozomeen

North Cascades

Trip Report By

Hiked Jul 26, 2012

Type of Hike

Day hike
A couple years ago we hiked the Ross Lake East Bank trail to Desolation Peak and absolutely loved the area. This year we decided to head to the north end and explore the Hozomeen area. But not wanting to hike 31 miles or take a boat from Ross Dam, we opted for a 4 hour drive through Canada and along the 38 mile gravel road back south into the US. The gravel road was very drivable with minimal potholes and no dust though we did take it slow at about 30-40mph. Upon arriving back in the US at the Hozomeen Campground, the ranger explained our camping options. Winnebago Flats was packed with RV’s and though it was on the shore of Ross Lake, we headed farther south and camped in the lower campground (not on the shore but in the trees) where there were only a couple other families camping. Each evening a young black bear wandered through the brush around the camps turning over rocks and foraging for his preferred diet. He seemed to ignore us and we all ignored him but seeing him reminded us of the importance of using the bear boxes for storing all food and toiletries. The weather was sunny with little to no wind so the first day we canoed down passed Little Beaver Camp to Arctic Falls and back (about 15 miles round trip). Since the lake was smooth, paddling was easy and thus allowed us to travel this distance though we were a little sore afterward from using muscles we weren’t accustomed to using for such an extended period of time. Ross Lake is a gorgeous place to canoe when the water is calm. The next day we hiked to Hozomeen Lake which Craig Romano perfectly describes in his Day Hiking North Cascades book: “If it weren’t such an expedition to get here, no doubt this hike would be one of the busiest in the North Cascades National Park.” It is an easy 7.2 miles round trip gaining just over 1200 feet in elevation. There are two nice campsites, one by the lake and one up in the trees just before the lake. Though there were some mosquitoes all along the trail, we were pleasantly surprised to find none at the lake. We spotted 3 loons at the far end of the lake which were easily identified by their periodic call echoing over the lake. We really liked the trail and lake and hope to come back and camp here someday. While camping at Hozomeen Campground, we also hiked the Obelisk Trail on the US/Canada border (short, only ¾ mile, but slightly steep) and the Chittenden Meadow Loop in Canada (very, very buggy and muggy). There is also a nice trail that follows the shore of Ross Lake between Winnebago Flats and the South End Camps and it was also fun to wander the day use area just over the border in Canada.