Top 20 Washington State Trips

Diablo Lake Overlook

Diablo Lake Overlook

Visit the Diablo Lake Overlook for an amazing photo opportunity.

The Diablo Lake Overlook is 2.5 hours from Seattle in the North Cascades National Park.

This national park is the most glaciated mountain system in the Continental US, with 312 glaciers. 

Directions to Diablo Lake Overlook

The Diablo Lake Overlook is 11-miles east of Newhalem on State Route 20. It's referred to as the Diablo Lake Vista Point on Google Maps. 

Unfortunately the Diablo Lake Overlook is not well marked with a sign, but you will see the lake and parking lot from the highway.  State Route 20 is closed over winter, so plan your trip for the warmer months (learn more about highway closures).

Pristine Diablo Lake is ringed by dramatic mountains up to 6,000 feet in elevation.  The Diablo Lake Overlook offers a bird's eye view of both Diablo Lake and Diamond Peak.  During summer months you can hear the constant flow of snowmelt and water descending from the lofty heights of these majestic mountains. 

The Desolation Peak fire lookout above Diablo Lake is also famous as the location author Jack Kerouac spent the summer of 1956, and was the setting for his novel Desolation Angels.

How was Diablo Lake formed?

Diablo Lake was formed after the construction of Diablo Dam in the late 1920's to harness hydro electric power from the Skagit River. 

Drive down to the lake's edge for a boat tour and overnight lodging.

A 1-hour Diablo Lake Boat Tour is available near the Environmental Center at the lake's edge. 

The North Cascades Environmental Center also has Family Stays and Base Camp Stays, with food and accommodation included.  The Family Stays includes fun hikes, outdoor games, canoeing, fireside storytelling and nocturnal walks.  There's also Base Camp package geared towards adults.  Learn more about these packages.  

Things to do near Diablo Lake

Beautiful Baker Lake is 1-hour west of Diablo Lake on the highway.

Camping is also available at the Newhalem Creek Campground 9-miles west of Diablo Lake, or you can travel one hour east along the highway to the Western-themed township of Winthrop for a wide range of lodging options.  Some of the restaurants have riverside patios with music.

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