• Activities:

    Canoeing, Chillin, Photography, Rafting, Kayaking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Adult Beverages
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Lake
Scenic

I'm enamored with lookouts and viewpoints just like every other outdoor enthusiast, however there is something exhilarating about being on the water. The scale is amplified and you achieve a different perspective of the landscape. Paddle the turquoise waters of Lake Diablo, explore the hidden coves and dock up on the islands in the center of the lake; a new angle on one of the North Cascades Highway's most recognizable locations.

Pack up your canoe with supplies for the day and launch from Colonial Creek Campground Area to begin your journey. As you approach the bridge to cross the lake, pull off to the parking area, there is signage for the boat launch area where you can easily carry your equipment down to the water's edge. To arrive at the point you will navigate highway 20 for approximately twenty miles, just remember that access is restricted during winter months.

Once you're on the water your route is at your discretion. If you head out towards the center of the lake there are a few small islands to tie up on and explore, which make for phenomenal places to enjoy a snack and shoot photos. You will find small coves nestled around the curvature of the lake's perimeter and 360 degree views no matter where your boat takes you. As you head to the middle you can catch a glimpse of the Diablo Dam and famous overlook point in the sky above. When your arms tire, just float along in the sun and enjoy the sensory overload as Diablo stuns you with gorgeous scenery from every direction.

Combine this with a night of camping and you have yourself a pleasant weekend in the North Cascades!

Pack List

  • Canoe, kayak, or raft
  • Life Jackets
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Photo Equipment
  • Snacks
  • Rope or line for securing your canoe on shore
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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