Diablo lake has always been on my to do list ever since I saw that crystal clear turquoise water! Not to mention the hike in itself is easy and relaxing which makes it perfect for a Sunday afternoon, or to bring kiddos!
Personally I don’t think there is a need to do this entire hike because what I experienced, and many others have said, the best views are about 1.5 miles – 2 mile on the trail. Here on the trail when you hit that area a section opens up to the right where you will get completely unobstructed views of the lake like you see above! You’ll just have to follow a small trail down that area, cross over some trees / bushes that have obstructed the trail a bit and you hit a viewpoint above the trees!
Save your time and energy and avoid the end of the trail. It is rather anti-climatic as you will just get to a view of the Ross Lake Dam. After choosing a shorter version of the hike we got back to the parking lot very quickly with enough time to relax on the rocky beach below to gain a whole different perspective of the lake. The water was freezing but it was a wonderful refresher on a 80° day in the North Cascades!
Its quite a long drive from Seattle but well worth the day to get to spend some time at this incredibly beautiful lake. The area itself offers a lot of opportunities such as camping, hiking, drive up views, and kayaking. Definitely consider Diablo or Ross lake for your next outing in the North Cascades.
For more trail info check out these two links!