June 16, 2011 – Diablo Lake

Diablo Lake, North Cascades National Park

Diablo Lake, North Cascades National Park

Thursday, June 16, 2011


This is Diablo Lake (I’ve also heard it called Emerald Lake) in North Cascades National Park. It’s not a natural lake strictly speaking, as it is the size it is because it’s dammed (which you can just barely see on the far right edge of the frame), to generate power for the city of Seattle. Whether or not it was a (much smaller/shallower) lake before it was dammed is not something I know. Actually, it’s dammed on both ends, as the next lake up the chain, Ross Lake, which is a long, narrow lake that extends just over the Canadian border, is also created via dam, and spills into Diablo.

And yes, it really is that color. The water is primarily glacial meltwater, and as such it’s filled with all sorts of silt and mineralage, which is what makes it look all milky like that. We get a fair bit of that here in the PNW (like the White River which comes out of Mt. Rainier National Park – it’s only a little tiny river, but the water looks like diluted milk, kinda weird.)

So, have a great rest of the day and all that.

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/8.0, ISO 400. Focal length: 11mm.

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  1. avatar
    Jakartalantern.com June 24, 2011

    Beautifull picture. Nice shot….

  2. avatar
    Tom June 26, 2011

    Not bad shot, you had to work hard to be here:)

  3. avatar
    helga June 27, 2011

    God, looks spectacular from up here but I’m scared of green waters. Maybe too deep, right?

  4. Reply
    OldChangKee March 27, 2012

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  5. avatar
    Shahaf Abileah February 9, 2013

    Hey Dave,

    I just did a Google Image search for “Diablo Lake” and your photo was like the #2 hit. Nice! :-)

    I’m trying to plan a last-minute trip for president’s day weekend for Pnina and I. We haven’t been to the North Cascades before so I was thinking about that. Though, I’m not sure it’s a good idea in February and also I don’t know if Lake Diablo is the best place to vist there. If you have suggestions, I’d love to hear em.

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