north cascades national park / 7.23.16-7.26.16

I know I say this about everything, but this area was so incredibly beautiful, and I challenged myself in ways that others will probably laugh at- but personal accomplishments for me. I set out on my first backpacking trip, to Green Point near Ross Lake.

It was about a 4 mile hike out, and another 4 miles back (8 total), and a beautiful hike it was. We walked over the Ross Dam, and were able to get beautiful views of the lake and the cascades from afar. Once we got there, the campsite is right on the lake (which means lots of mosquitos and yellow jackets, so be ready with bug spray in the summer), and nice flat platforms to set up your tent, for perfect views of the surrounding trees and the lake. 

All you need to camp here for free, was a wilderness permit, which you obtain from the Ranger Stations (these are also free). The campsite also had bear proof containers to keep all your stuff, which was nice because we didn’t need to carry a bear box out with us. Green Point was a place I would recommend for a beginner backpacker, considering the hike wasn’t that far, and I would say it is moderate (a lot of uphill going back to the parking lot). The campground area includes an in-ground toilet, and they do allow dogs- however, they have no potable water available so you need to carry out your own or have a filtration system to be able to use the lake water.

The following day we were able to find a spot at a campground, which was nice after a night in a tent. On the way to the campground, we stopped at Diablo Lake, which is easy to get to as it is right off the main highway (the 20). That night we stayed at Colonial Creek Campground for $16, and the following night stayed at Mineral Park National Forest for $12. 

Our hike on the last day was amazing as well, even though we rushed through it more than we would have wanted, because they did not allow dogs on the trail. I have found this is the case with a lot of national parks in the states, and it is really a bummer. Regardless, we sped up the trail, as fast as we could possibly go, anxious to return to our little pup in the car.

North Cascades Pass is the most beautiful hike I had done thus far- well not really the hike itself, but the view once you get to the top is unforgettable. The hike is about 8 miles total, all uphill to get the glacier so I would say this hike is moderate it you are able to take your time. Once we got to the top, the trees opened up and we were met with warm sunlight. At one point we were actually kick-stepping past the glacier, and Ian and I felt like we were in another country, like we were in the alps or something.

The combination of the flowers, the greenery, the blue skies, and the sharp- dark, contrasting glacier was beautiful- and definitely one of the top hikes at North Cascades (it was one of the top recommendations on my Fodor’s travel National Parks Book). An unforgettable hike and view at the top, a huge recommendation in my book!