Ross Dam is located on the Skagit River in the North Cascades of Washington State. Accessible easily off of Highway 20, the North Cascades Highway, Ross Dam is an important historical and scenic point in the region. The North Cascade Highway is an important part of travel in the region and is known to be one of the most beautiful drives around. If you are ever lucky enough to be traveling on it, take the time to visit Ross Dam and the surrounding area. You will not be disappointed.
Fun Facts About Ross Dam
-Ross Dam was originally constructed as Ruby Dam beginning in 1937. It was renamed later in honor of James Ross, the superintendent of the Skagit River Project, after he died.
-Construction started on Ross Dam in 1937 and it opened in 1949.
-Ross Dam measures in at 540 feet high.
-Ross Dam is 1,300 feet long.
-Ross Dam is a concrete arch dam.
-The water backed up behind Ross Dam is known as Ross Lake.
-Ross Lake, Ross Dam’s reservoir, extends 23 miles behind it.
-Ross Dam was built by Seattle City Light.
-Ross Lake is home to four power producing turbines.
-Ross Dam was the last of the three Skagit River dams built as part of the Skagit River Hydroelctric Project.
-When Ross Dam reached its full height of 540 feet in 1949, the water built up behind it ended up backing up across the Canadian border. In compensation for approximately 500 acres of land that became submerged, Seattle City Light agreed to pay British Columbia $250,000, as well as $5,000 annually.
-A fourth phase of construction that would have raised the dam’s height to 665 feet was controversial during the 1960s and was not fully rejected until the mid 1970s. This expansion would’ve backed water up three more miles into British Columbia.
-Ross Dam has two spillways, each with six spillway gates.
-With all 12 spillway gates open, Ross Dam can pass 78,000 cubic feet of water per second.