Saturday, August 23, 2014

North Cascades National Park

Here we are in Newhalem Campground.  Jim and Gayle, Debbie, Suzanne,

and me.

It’s a beautiful spot with deep sites in a deep forest, providing ample visual privacy.  All this and the bonus of screaming-fast wi-fi!  It was even dead quiet here for a couple of days until the onslaught of young families.  To be expected on a summer weekend, I suppose.  The serenity should return tomorrow.   

With a campground elevation of only 500 feet, we sit in a valley of this mountain kingdom surrounded by sheer skyscrapers of stone.  These perpendicular peaks are something to behold - rising straight up, decorated as they are with glinting glacial fields like showy strands of pearls.  In fact, this National Park boasts more remaining glaciers of any other national park in the lower 48. 

On Thursday, Gayle, Debbie and I explore a few of the trails accessible from the campground. The River Loop Trail runs partially along the crystal clear fast-flowing Skagit River.   

The forest is a moss-draped emerald wonderland.

This trail leads to the Visitor's Center only .5 miles from camp.

Yesterday all 4 girls tackle Thunder Knob Trail, an out-and-back hike of just under 4 miles.  

The trail winds over the river 

and through the woods

up, up, up ... culminating in this pay-off view of Diablo Lake.

Back in the car after the hike, we stop at the Diablo Lake Overlook about 10 miles from the campground.  What majesty! 

The turquoise color of the water is a result of eons of glacial stone-grinding.  

The road to the left, Highway 20, bisects the entire width of this half-million acre wilderness.

This morning, Debbie and I watch the film at the Visitors Center - an excellent production that makes one want to explore this protected wilderness further.  A quote from the film:

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.
~Chief Seattle~


  1. What a sweet day my buggy will get there!!! Until then, I got the 2nd best thing, you!!

    1. Yes, you have to make it this way. You can actually be outside during the summer!

  2. Beautiful country that I have visited many many times while living in the PNW. My friend many years ago helped build that visitor center. During the winter they will close Hwy 20 up by Concrete Wa. Not sure now but there use to be only 13 people that would stay there during the winter. Hwy 20 is one of my all time favorite highways.

    Thanks for the photos.

    1. Steve,

      Can't wait to see the rest of Highway 20 on the way east!

  3. What an amazingly beautiful place. And so nice to have friends to explore it with!

  4. WOW. That is just stunning.


Let's chat !