Surrounded by North Cascade peaks in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area, Diablo Lake Overlook is a must-stop roadside attraction along Highway 20. It is right off the highway and has ample parking, restrooms, and a covered picnic shelter. Interpretive signs full of geological and historical tidbits are placed throughout, and the views are spectacular. There's no better place than Diablo Lake Overlook to view this beautiful body of water.
Created by Seattle City Light's damming of the Skagit River in 1930, Diablo Lake is a man-made reservoir. Diablo Dam is one of three dams (including Gorge and Ross) on the Skagit River that provide electricity to Seattle. In 2012 approximately 90 percent of Seattle's electricity was provided by hydroelectric dams, including those on the Skagit and Pend Oreille Rivers.
Above the lake, several mountains tower in the range of 7,000 to 8,000 feet. Diablo's turquoise waters are the product of glacier-ground rock silt, which is carried down from these mountains by streams. This “rock flour” reacts with light to give the lake its bluish-green hue. Bring your camera, as it is nearly impossible not to snap a few photos at this special destination.