your paddlesports destination

Ross Lake in British Columbia - Weekend Trip Report

by cebs

Trip Overview

My 5 year old son, wife (7 months pregnant) and I took off for the 4th weekend. We expected it to be super crowded and were prepared with second choices. We got to Hozamen and found lots of people but far from crowded. We got a nice spot and set up our bug net and tarp. We made a nice fire and prepared to put in the next morning.

It rained hard during the night and got down to about 45F. We found ourselves one bag short and I shivered all night so the next day I got up early and drove into Hope. Hope is a great small town with a well stocked affordable sporting goods shop that opens at 8:30 in the summer.

Now fully outfitted, we packed the boat and took off south. It was cloudy with a light sprinkle. As we headed south the wind picked up and as we approached the narrow by Jack's point small white caps started up. We kept it close to shore and used the points as wind breaks when we could. We stopped about an hour into the paddle for a break, repositioning of some stuff and lunch.

After we rounded Jack's point we hit a stiff wind and almost bailed on our original destination of Cat Island. There were two other sites close but once we could see the island in the distance we went for it. With a packed boat and choppy waters it was a chore keeping everyone fairly dry. My wife and son are troopers but no one wants a pregnant wife and 5 year old cold and cranky.

We got to Cat Island and found only one group with 3 sites open. We picked a view site on the windward side. Gathering wood on the island was not allowed so the boy and I went 200 yards to the east shore of the lake and filled the boat with drift wood. We then made a nice fire and dried out and warmed up.

The next day was sunny and warm. We explored the waterfalls on the West side and then took a trip up Lightening Creek. We found a nice spot to eat and skip rocks, stripped a huckleberry bush of all the ripe ones and then walked the east bank trail a bit.

The night was warm and dry with a billion stars although I would have never seen them if my son didn't wake me up to go potty around 2 am. The sun didn't set until well after 9pm and it wasn't dark until 10:30 or so.

The next day was a packing day. The warm weather was still with us and the wind was nil. We packed up and paddled to North towards the car making side trips to see Artic Creek Falls and No Name Creek Falls.

This time Jack's point was easily navigated and we stopped for a potty break about the same spot as the way up. The wife got stung by some wasp but once she calmed down the swelling subsided. The 90+F cooled a bit as it got a bit cloudy and just as we pulled in to unload it started a slight sprinkle. We played in the water in between trips to load the car and had a nice slow ride back into Canada and in the US with plenty of time to make it to the fireworks.


Excellent camp ground with sand tent pads and outhouses. No water provided.


Wilderness Systems Pamlico 160T


Free backcountry permit


Cross the US Border at Sumas for easy customs. Go east on the trans Canadian to the 2nd Hope exit. Turn South on Silver Sagit road. 40 miles of mostly dirt and gravel road will take you back into the US and to the Hozameen campground.


Trip/Wilderness planner provided by the North Cascade ranger station. A more detailed map would have helped but not necessary.
  • Skill Level: Intermediate
  • Water Type: Flat/Sheltered Water
  • Group Rates: No

Locations on this Trip