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The Eastbank Trail leads 16 miles north/south along the eastern shoreline of Ross Lake. This is a good family hike or easy backpack for early season.

Eastbank Trail leads 16 miles along the eastern shore of Ross Lake, making it one of the longest trails in the recreation area. Because the entire trail lies below 3,000 feet, it makes a good early season trek. This route is best completed by a one way hike. A water taxi from Ross Lake Resort provides initial transportation to several lakeside points along the trail. You'll find several scenic camping sites on the shoreline between Lightning Creek and Hidden Hand Pass.

This description begins at Lightning Creek. It is possible to take a water taxi from Ross Lake Resort to Lightning Creek Landing as well as several other sites south along the Eastbank Trail. You may wish to include the Desolation Peak climb into your trip. If so have the taxi deliver you to Desolation Landing. A permit is required for all overnight trips in the backcountry of Ross Lake National Recreation Area.

From Lightning Creek Landing ascend the shore to the trail and turn right (south) on the main trail. You'll cross Lightning Creek almost immediately and see a spur trail leading to a horse camp on the lake shore. Continue past this spur trail approximately one and a half miles to the next spur trail leading to two more camps along the shoreline.

The trail leads southward but leaves the shoreline to follow a path slightly in land. Two miles from the trail to Ponderosa and Dry Creek Camps you'll reach the Devils Dome Loop Trail leading eastward. There are two camps along the lake at Devils Creek.

Leaving Devils Creek the trail descends approximately 300 feet to the lakeshore. The trail follows the lakeshore closely for three and a half miles to Rainbow Camp. Rainbow Camp is equipped for boat-in campers and backpackers. From Rainbow Camps the track leaves the shoreline for under a mile reaching May Creek and May Creek Camp. Shortly after crossing May Creek the trail crosses another small drainage then heads west to the lakeshore again. The trail leads along the lake for less than a half mile.

In less than a mile the trail reaches a cluster of campsites at Spencer, McMillan, Roland Point and Roland Creek Camps. The trail crosses Roland Creek and begins to ascend while turning further inland. In the next three miles the route ascends nearly 750 feet to Hidden Hand Pass. This high point on the trail is 12 miles south of Lightning Creek.

On the southern side of the pass the trail descends 600 feet along a small stream to a trail junction. At this intersection a short spur trail leads west to the Ruby Arm of Ross Lake. The trail leading to the east ascends Jack Mountain. Follow the Eastbank Trail through the intersection leading south. From this intersection the trailhead is almost three miles away. The trail descends slightly along the Ruby Arm, eventually reaching Ruby Creek and a trail leading to the right across a bridge and to Highway 20. You'll need to park your shuttle car at the Eastbank Trailhead near mile marker 130 or hitchhike the four miles to the Ross Dam parking area.

Directions: From Ross Dam, Travel eastward on Highway 20 4 miles to the Eastbank Trailhead. Park your car at this trailhead and shuttle back to Ross Dam if you are using a water taxi to make a southward hike on the trail.

Elevation: 1,605 feet

Ending Elevation: 1,640 feet

Difficulty: Easy

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Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Washington

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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