These Floating Cabins in Washington Are Heaven

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An explorer looks across a lake at a row up canoes and a warmly lit cabin.

The North Cascade Mountains of Washington state are some of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the country. They’re a stark contrast to the canyons of Utah and Arizona and the deserts of California and Nevada.

Nestled among these towering peaks are floating cabins. Washington’s own Ross Lake is home to these unique accommodations.

Let’s take a look at why you’ll want to get on the waitlist to reserve your getaway at these floating cabins in Washington!

What Are the Floating Cabins in Washington? 

According to Ross Lake Resort’s website, “Many of the float logs supporting our docks and buildings are old-growth red cedar used in the original floating camp built in the 30s that became our resort. Some of these are more than 3 ft. in diameter and hundreds of years old.”

So not only are there views of the mountains, but the logs from the mountains actually hold up Ross Lake’s structures. The cabins really are floating!

There are four different options for the floating cabins. Washington’s beautiful North Cascade Mountains and Ross Lake surround the resort, so you won’t be shortchanged on spectacular scenery no matter which cabin you choose.

What Are the Different Options?

There are Little Cabins, which are smaller than the Modern Cabins, and sleep one or two people. The cost is $230 per night for one or two guests, with the option of adding one or two additional people for $17 per night per person. These cabins include wood stove heat, a full kitchen, bathroom, one queen bed, and one bunk bed.

The Modern Cabins feature a large living area, perfect for a family getaway. These cabins have a wood stove or electric heat, a full kitchen, bathroom, two to three twin beds, and one bunk bed. The cost is $250 per night for one or two guests with the same option to add additional people for $18 a night per person.

The floating cabins at Ross Lake in Washington sit against a lush green forest and a stunning green lake.
Ross Lake Resort

The Private Bunkhouse options are best suited for larger groups. They have four or five bunk beds and feature a large living area, full kitchen, bathroom, and wood stove heat. These cabins can accommodate up to 10 guests. The cost is $320 per night for up to six people. Then additional guests are $20 per night per person.

Finally, the Peak Cabins are stunning two-story cabins with an open loft with a queen bed and two twin beds. The lower bedroom has a bunk bed and twin bed. Peak Cabins come with a full kitchen, bathroom, large living space, and wood stove heat. The cost is $410 per night for up to four guests. It’s $22 a night per person to add additional people.

Where Are The Floating Cabins Washington?

The floating cabins of Ross Lake Resort are in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington. Spectacular views of Colonial Peak, Snowfield Peak, Paul Bunyan’s Stump, and Pyramid Peak are visible from the cabins.

It’s important to note that there’s no direct road access to Ross Lake Resort and the floating cabins. Washington state is full of remote backcountry lands, and this area is one of them. To reach the resort, you must take the Diablo/Seattle City Light Ferry at 10:30 a.m. or 3:00 p.m. or hike in.

The resort also offers a portage service if you want to bring your kayaks or canoes. You’ll need to launch at Colonial Creek Campground and paddle 5 miles to the end of Diablo Lake, where you can use the phone at the dock to call the resort for service. Water taxis also get hikers to and from trailheads and campsites.

For day-use guests, it’s best to hike in from the Ross Lake/Dam trailhead. Park on Highway 20 at milepost 134 and hike one mile down the trail. There’s a gravel road that will lead you to the lake where you can use the water taxi.

For a longer hike and to arrive at the resort by foot, you can hike across the dam to the resort. This adds about 2.5 miles to your hike.

About Ross Lake Resort

Ross Lake Resort has been providing beautiful scenery and accommodations since 1952. Open seasonally from June to October, Ross Lake Resort offers cabin stays, campsites, and day-use passes. If you’re looking to explore the North Cascade wilderness, you’ll find it here.

How to Stay

The resort has 15 floating cabins and a marina. Because this oasis is popular every year, you must join the waitlist for the year you want to stay. It’s important to have some flexibility when requesting a stay to better your chances. The cabins come fully furnished.

The campsite locations are nestled along Ross Lake. They are all equipped with bear-resistant food storage containers, fire rings, picnic tables, and vault toilets. A backcountry permit is required.

Kayaking the in the North Cascades National Park


If you’re looking for serenity and outdoor recreation, you’ll find them here. Ross Lake Resort provides boat rentals, kayak rentals, and canoe rentals to guests who want to explore the lake.

There’s also a water taxi service to help get guests from one location to another. This is a great way to get to hiking trails in the North Cascade Mountains. Fishing rods are also available for rent, and only artificial lures and flies are allowed.

How Far In Advance Should You Book The Floating Cabins in Washington?

As mentioned before, you must get on the waitlist for the year you want to visit. At the end of each season, the waitlist is cleared.

You’ll want to sign up with specific dates in mind and some flexibility. Accommodations also need to be specific.

You can also watch the last-minute availability calendar online for any cancellations. Sign up every year to better your chances of booking a reservation for the floating cabins. Washington is quite popular during the summer, so persistence is key.

What Is There to Do in the North Cascade Wilderness? 

Hiking, birding, wildlife viewing, fishing, and kayaking are just a handful of outdoor activities you can do while visiting the North Cascade Mountains. Waterfalls, lake views, and towering peaks abound in this wilderness area.

If you’re not able to participate in active outdoor fun, there are also beautiful drives, including the North Cascades Highway, which offers 132 miles of stunning scenery. If you stay in the heavenly floating cabins at Ross Lake Resort, you’ll have plenty to see and do during your stay.

Ross Lake

Is Staying in Floating Cabins in Washington Worth It?

Ross Lake Resort’s floating cabins provide an oasis right in the middle of the North Cascade wilderness. Although the waitlist process is cumbersome and tricky, it will be well worth it to book your getaway.

If you can, get your name on the list every year, and when your time comes, you’ll be ready to escape to Washington. What are you waiting for?

Will you put the floating cabins on your bucket list? Have you ever been there?

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