We left Mt. Rainier on Austin’s birthday and ended up staying the night in Seattle to see some friends and enjoy a much-needed shower. After an evening laughing and indulging great pizza, the two of us headed to North Cascades National Park for a fun-filled long weekend of jagged peaks and many lakes.
North Cascades National Park
Austin and I headed towards the mountains and Maple Pass Loop to meet a couple of friends who we had seen earlier in Mt. Rainier. This hike is one of the more well-known locations but we hardly saw a soul as we trekked up as sunset approached. The views were stunning, as we looked out at the lake below. Our hike didn’t finish until 10:30 and then we ate mac and cheese in the parking lot. It was a great first night in the North Cascades.
Cascade Pass to Sahale Arm
I did this hike three years ago and I’ve been dreaming to go back. Ideally, we would have landed a permit to backpack and camp up top but there was a little too much uncertainty for us due to needing to get lucky for walk-up permits. Instead, we did it as a sunset hike and it was exactly what I needed. I ended up hiking further than the rest of the group because..well…I wanted better views and to see Mt. Baker from the east.
The fivesome ended up not getting down from the hike until nearly midnight and then we needed to chill for a bit. So I ended up shooting a little Milky Way from the parking lot, though I don’t think they turned out too well with car lights all over the place.
Diablo Lake Viewpoint
Right off Highway 20 is Diablo Lake, a beautiful turquoise lake that is quite popular with the locals and is a great spot to pull off and enjoy the sights. Austin and I spent about 20 mins here doing touristy things before heading to Park Butte Lookout. We loved our time in the North Cascades, but we had other adventures south – but still in the cascades.
Park Butte Lookout
We added a couple of different friends to this hike as we ventured out of the North Cascades and headed towards Mt. Baker. Park Butte Lookout is another awesome fire lookout and a 3.5-mile hike up to it. Not too challenging, the fivesome enjoyed lively conversation and I was able to catch up with one of my closest buddies. If you’re lucky, you can stay in the fire lookout overnight, but I’m pretty sure you have to cast a few spells to get that lucky.
The five of us had great weather and an even better sunset. I’m really going to miss all of these lookouts once I get back to AZ.
I loved every second of my time in the North Cascades and cannot wait to get back and explore the deeper, more hidden and natural parts of the park!
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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