The Willow Lake Trail leads five miles one way from Hozomeen Campground to the lake. The trail gains a total of 500 feet as it leads through gently rolling terrain east of Ross Lake. The lake lies at 2,870 feet.
Begin this hike from the Hozomeen Campground, which lies in the northernmost portions of the park on the eastern shore of Ross Lake. The trail leads eastward from the camping area, following Hozomeen Creek for the first mile. The trail bears right (south) and leaves the creek to follow the eastern base of a ridge line that leads southward along the shore of Ross Lake.
The trail continues along the base of the ridge for two miles to a trail junction. At this junction the trail to Hozomeen Lake bears left. Follow the right side of the fork to Willow Lake. At this point you'll be able to see Hozomeen Mountain in the direction of Hozomeen Lake.
Walk southeastward from the trail junction following Hozomeen Creek. A mile from the Hozomeen Lake Trail your route leaves the small creek leading eastward. To the right you'll see the northern base of Desolation Peak. The trail skirts the base of this mountain to Willow Lake, which is fed by two small streams draining from Desolation Peak.
Willow Lake is very shallow and marshy. There are camping sites on the western side of the lake, but if you plan to stay there be prepared for many insects. This makes a good day hike for campers at Hozomeen or boaters who are docked there. The trail continues around the eastern flanks of Desolation Peak and meets the Lightning Creek Trail approximately one and three quarter miles from Willow Lake.
Directions: From Hope, British Columbia, Exit Highway 1 west of Hope at exit number 168 leading toward FloodHope Road and Silver Hope Creek. Turn right on to Silver-Skagit Road and look for signs for Hozomeen Campground. After passing the Ross Lake Campground bear left to enter the Ross Lake National Recreation Area. Look for the signs for Hozomeen Lake Trailhead in Hozomeen campground.
Elevation: 1,886 feet
Ending Elevation: 2,870 feet
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Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Washington
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