Ross Dam - North Cascades, WA
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Hikenutty
N 48° 43.927 W 121° 04.055
10U E 642094 N 5399478
Quick Description: The Ross dam is one of a cluster of three dams on the Skagit River operated by Seattle City Light. It was the last and largest of the 3 dams built and was built in 3 stages from 1937 to 1953.
Location: Washington, United States
Date Posted: 8/7/2008 3:54:15 PM
Waymark Code: WM4D0X
Published By: Groundspeak Charter Member BruceS
Views: 45

Long Description:
The following excerpt if from "Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State":
Reaching the narrowed extremity of the navigable lake, the boat turns slowly, giving an excellent view of ROSS DAM (formerly called Ruby Dam). The ultimate elevation - 1,728 feet - is marked by a white lline on the granite cliff above the clearing. The first step in the construction, to an elevation of 1,380 feet, has been completed. Ross Dam will form the largest unit of the Skagit Hydroelectric development. Besides generating 480,000 horsepower itself, it will permit capacity operation of the lower plants, thus making possible a total production for the project of 1,120,000 horsepower, at an invested cost of $76 per horsepower, the lowest yet projected. The dam will be 635 feet high and nearly twice as long, second in size to Boulder Dam; and it will create a lake 3 miles wide and 34 miles long, extending through the primitive area of Mount Baker National Forest northward across the Canadian Boundary.
The Ross Dam, named for James Delmage Ross (1872–1939), the superintendent of the Skagit River Project, was built in 3 stages. Construction started in 1937 and didn't end until 1953. The lake that the dam created actually ended up being 23 miles long and about 1.5 miles wide. It runs through the Ross Lake National Recreation Area up into British Columbia's Skagit Valley Provincial Park. A ferry can be taken to the northernmost US part of the lake and then you can backpack out.

The coordinates given are for the top of the dam. The dam can be reached by hiking down a short .7 mile trail. Hikers can walk out onto the dam for great views of the dam itself, the Skagit River on one side, and the start of Ross Lake on the other. The Ross Dam Trail starts just off of the North Cascades Highway (there is good signage for the trail and a large parking area).

Book: Washington

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 515

Year Originally Published: 1941

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