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North Cascades National Park, WA

The high jagged peaks, countless cascades, permanent snow fields, gorgeous meadows, and numerous mountain lakes adorn North Cascades National park, making it one of the North America’s most beautiful mountain scenery.

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Newhalem is the main entrance to the park. Stop by at the visitor center to check out the trail status and animal activity before heading out into the wilderness.

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We started the day at the park with a 4.2 moderate round trip hike to the Pyramid lake. The hike passes through pine forest to reach up to the lake. It is a 1,500ft altitude gain on the trail.

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We got a camp site at Colonial creek camp site, which is at the banks of Diablo lake. The color of pristine glacier lakes are worth staring at.

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Sunset view from Diablo lake overlook was worth staying in the wind, after the Ross lake dam hike of 1.5 miles.

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This time of the year, there are plenty of small day hike trails open that lead up to some awe-inspiring views. Instead of a long or multi-day backpacking hikes, we chose to do multiple small hikes with best views of the park.

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The 4.4 miles round trip hike with an altitude gain of 1050 feet, through subalpine forest and meadows led to a deep, blue mountain lake.

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The 4.4 miles round trip hike with an altitude gain of 1050 feet, through subalpine forest and meadows led to a deep, blue mountain lake.

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Just like most of the parks, Cascades also offers ample campgrounds, back-country campsites and some privately owned lodges. But, we went for one of the popular campgrounds. No reservations was made, it was completely first come first serve basis.

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Planning Tips:

– Last minute camping is possible but mostly no shower. Camp sites get cold at night, so bundle up.

– Plenty of short hikes available for those who don’t want to go far into the wilderness. Pick up the trail status at the Visitor center.

– It is bear country and storing food in the car or bear canister is imperative.

– Nearest grocery is 30-40 miles away in the town of Newhalem. So, plan accordingly if you intend to stay in the park for a few days.