East Bank trail

The first days of October and already there are amazing leaves and even snow! A friend of mine, driving cross-country, stopped in to visit me at my new National Park home. I took her and her three dogs on a hike to enjoy the beautiful new fall leaves on the East Bank Trail. It was the first snowfall of the season, the snowline was above 4,000 feet but still beautiful and snowy to look at from below.

Pyramid new snow-October

Pyramid Peak with new snow on top!

The East Bank Trail is located in the Ross Lake Recreational Area, part of the North Cascades National Park Complex.  Leashed dogs and horses are allowed on the trail. There is a hitching post for the horses at the trailhead and the trail leads down to a secluded camping spot with a beautiful pasture near the lake.

The trail starts by paralleling Highway 20 and winds its way along Ruby Creek before coming out along the Ruby Arm of Ross Lake. It’s a good trail for day hiking. Not too strenuous, not too steep, covering a lot of distance without getting boring. We were delighted with the abundance of mushrooms along the trail, the new bright fall leaves and the beautiful snow-covered mountains watching over us.

Green lichen-Kelly

Lungwort lichen along the trail.

The trail continues to the junction of Panther creek and Ruby creek. All along East Bank trail are more and more creeks running down towards the lake. Some smaller creeks cross the trail. There aren’t any bridges but the streams are all small and you can easily walk across on rocks.

Stream leaves-East Bank Trail

Water and Leaves.

After 2.8 miles the trail passes Ruby Pasture and meets up with an offshoot to the Hidden Hand campsite. There is a small overlook where you can see Ross Lake. If you’re feeling like more distance, the East Bank trail continues along the lake northwards. It eventually connects up with a number of trails. For the particularly adventurous you could follow it along to the Desolation Peak trail or even into Canada. We decided against Canada for the day and instead enjoyed the view of the lake before walking back.
Ross lake_East Bank Trail_October

Ross Lake with Snowy Mountains.
Photos by Kelly Berger.

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