Ross Lake National Recreation Area : Things You Should Know Before Visiting

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Most tourists all over the country and Canada want to visit North Cascades National Park. What a tourist finds out when he gets there is that the National Park is the least accessible part in this corner.  Majority of tourists spend their  time checking out the more popular Ross Lake National Recreation Area with parts of the area accessible from right off WA-20 North Cascades Highway. Ross Lake NRA among others includes Gorge Lake, Diablo Lake, and Ross Lake. You will enjoy a couple of small hikes and take a look in some overlooks during your visit to the place. The Ross Lake NRA also has ample facilities  for paddling, fishing, camping, and great hiking opportunities.

Few excellent campgrounds to try in the NRA are Colonial Creek off WA-20 North Cascades Highway or Hozomeen, accessible by a gravel Skagit Road from North from Canada. If you are the one who loves  solitude like Jack Kerouac, you would want to walk your way to the top of the majestic Desolation Peak. The view of Ross Lake from the peak is quite impressive. However hiking to the peak requires stamina and good preparation.  You have to hike 6.8 mile on 4400 foot elevation after roughly 16 miles on the relatively flat East Bank trail. Of course there are other ways to go to the pick like crossing the Ross lake via boat. But hiking is real thing to do.

The Ross Lake Resort is an attractive place to stay in Ross Lake NRA. The scenery  is too amazing to be put in words.  You can  reach the resort  by hiking to it or taking a ferry from the Diablo Lake. The price of ferry ticket is $16 dollars and it will take around one hour via ferry from the Diablo Lake, which is situated near Newhalem. It is to be kept in the mind that  resort is open from June to October only. You have to book well in advance.

The only flip side about the place is that the entire National Park Service Complex consisting of of North Cascades National Park, and the Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas is not the most accessible place to go. During the winter the highway is closed.  To experience the hidden  cool treasures of the area you have to  take time and plan well. It requires  effort to get to them. At the end you will take immense satisfaction that your effort is worth it.

5 top Reasons to Visit North Cascades

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The  North Cascades is famous  for it spectacular and crggy peaks, rugged mountains, stunning lakes, the dense lively forest and breathtaking scenery all around. Nothing match the thrill of taking a bike or car and disappearing into the wilderness of the mighty cascades. Here are  5 top reasons why everyone should visit North Cascades.

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Huge slide closes North Cascades Highway: 40 Students Temporarily Stuck

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A huge snow slide has closed state Route 20 near Newhalem. As a result the North Cascades Highway aka State Route 20 is closed for visitors in both the directions.  There are around  40 students from Henry M. Jackson High School in Everett who had gone for 3 days field trip to the North Cascades Institute and are now temporarily stuck at eight miles east of the slide. [Read more…]

Backcountry Reservations to Start for Cascades Visit

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North Cascades National Park sets to make a grand debut in backcountry permit reservation system from March 15 this year. In an announcement authorities said the increased numbers of tourists has made it hard to get first-come, initial serve permits in some of the areas in the region.
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Skagit Valley Snow Geese and Swan Eco Tour

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The Skagit Valley Snow Geese and Swan Eco Tour is now going one. The festive-cum tour held from October to March every year. It is during this time NW Washington thousands of geese and swans are found in plenty in NW Washington, especially in Skagit Valley. 

The Skagit Valley Geese & Swans Eco Tour is one of its kind tours. It takes you around  farm fields of Skagit Valley  in search of the snow geese &  flocks of tundra and trumpeter swans that stay ever beyond winter there.  They go from field to field throughout the day.  You’ll also  be taken to  the Fir Island Farm Snow Goose Reserve.

During this educative cum eco tour you ll learn many things. You will be happy to learn to identify geese and swans, and also distinguish between the tundra and trumpeter swans. You ll learn whey they migrate to the region during the winter and why they overwinter. You will acquire knowledge about their reproductive systems, diet habit, the environmental threat they face and the conservation efforts being taken to preserve them. 

You will love the cackling cacophony of the highly gregarious geese. The unmistakable honking of the swans against the stunning backdrops of farm fields and historical barns will delight your auditory and visual organs. The place with its afar snow capped mountains are great for photo ops. Not only that you will also go on tour looking for the famed bald eagles, raptors and other species in ope fields. 

The Skagit Valley Geese & Swans Eco Tour is a not only and eco tour but also an adventure for a sole traveler, a small group of friends or family.  The organizers can customise your need. Just inform them your interest  and level of birdwatching, they will help you. Binocular facilities are also available. 

So you are interested in  more birdwatching?  Go for the Skagit Birdwatching Eco Tour. It includes the time looking at geese and swans plus a few more hours looking at the great  variety of sea-birds, sea-ducks, shore-birds, waterfowl that overwinter in the Skagit Bay, the Salish sea and  Fidalgo Island.

Skagit Valley Tulip and La Conner Daffodil Festivals Are Here!

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It is season time in North Cascades. After Eagle Festival, soon you will witness Skagit Valley Tulip festival and La Conner Daffodil festival in upcoming months, i.e., March and April. These festivals have been voted  as top spring trips in 2016 by none other than National Geographic. 

18 fields and 2 fields come to life during this season in one of the most colourful displays you have ever seen. These festivals are world famous and trains from Seattle and Vancouver are scheduled specifically for this purpose. 

The two extrtanvaganzas including local activities in Mount Vernon and La Conner while the colourful tulips and daffodils are blooming all around. May be you don’t know. There are some six hundred fields within a I5 mi radius covered with beautiful flowers. You will experience sea of tulips and daffodils all around. 

During the Tulip and Daffodils tours, you’ll be taken to exquisitely arranged tulip gardens at RoozenGaarde and Tulip town. Both of these places have extensive tulip fields of varying colours. A great opportunity for photography aficionados to capture some dream snaps. Delicious  foods can be purchased at these venues and restaurants and delis all around. Don’t forget to enjoy the locally famous salmon barbecue. 

The back farm roads drive is favourite for many. If you are going to the festivals don’t miss this. Nothing matches the  experience of driving with sea of colourful tulips all arounds, swans and geese flying overhead and Mt. Bakers playing hide and seek game with you as you drive along. 

The tours also comprise of audio video presentation of tulip and daffodil sector in Skagit valley and other parts of the world as well. You will get a good lesson on origin, history, horticulture, varieties, characteristics,  human cultures and meaning f the tulip. Tulip is incidentally called ‘peace’ flower. 

The 2 hours tour also offers a visit to the historical waterside towns of La Conner or Anacortes, or a visit to Deception Pass bridge, which is North West Washington’s most visited attraction.  If kids are with you, a special stop can also  be scheduled just for them from Wednesday to Sunday. 

Tips by Newhalem.com

It should be an easy and exciting tour. Since it is a month long festival accommodation should not be problem. Nevertheless book your accommodation sufficiently in advance. If you are going from Seattle or Vancouver from Canada there are special train called Amtrak Cascades train. You can stay at Annacortes, La Conner, Bellingham or Mount Vermon because the tours pick-up location are in these places. 

You can book your tickets from here

5 Reasons to Explore North Cascades National Park

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North Cascades National Park has many  favorite naturally occurring things— amazing colored alpine lakes, vast evergreen expanses, awesome rocky mountainous peaks, and stunning waterfalls sliding down in every direction. My visit to  the place last year was not my first, nor  it will not be our last, as I have strong attachment to the place. It is  where my adventure really began, when I went there 5 year ago. The place allows you to many things. So, it is my favourite. 

Okay, here is 5 reasons to explore North Cascades National Park

  1. Glacier Lakes: The brilliantly  green alpine lakes in the Cascade Range have  still waters upon where your can self-paddle boats and glide beneath captivating views in every direction. However, you will need to take your own boat and can set out from one of the designated areas found throughout the park. Diablo and Ross Lakes are two popular areas from  you can launch on backcountry and day-paddles. Rentals are also available in some places like Ross Lake. 
  2. Photo Ops Spots: With beautiful snow-capped peaks, rocky ridge lines, hundreds of glaciers, waterfalls, valleys, wildlife, and lakes, there are so many ways to capture great snaps.  The landscape was so photogenic that it inspired well-known writer Jack Kerouac to nestle himself atop Desolation Peak for 63 days in the summer of 1956. Late he wrote his experience in his Novel The Dharma Bums and Desolation Angels.  My favorite place for photo ops was Mount Shuksan. 
  3. Backpacking: Hikes are more fun towards end of your travel. You can tent up and relax for an evening or two  in a backcountry setting. Most of the backpacking routes in the North Cascades region take you to crystal alpine lakes  including the famous Ross Lake, Thornton and Monogram Lakes. Hikes gets difficult in this area because of the steep terrain and also due to backpack your carry. So it is better to plan properly.
  4. Waterfalls: The waterfalls in North Cascades are too many to count. Whether they are falling down  forcefully from the hill high or peaking out of the vegetation as you drive along through the mountain roads, you cannot  go far without spotting a runoff from the Cascade Mountain Range. Ladder Creek Falls near Newhalem  is the most popular and the most visited as it is  easily accessible.
  5. Hiking Spots: There are around some 500 Kilometers of hiking trails in North Cascades National Park that provide more pathways of pure hiking bliss. A jungle of wilderness like that which you will explore in the North Cascades is remarkable in different  ways. The earth in the forest is thickly covered with leaves, pine  and cones that, always wet in this marine environment, mash together and devour the sound of any foot step that falls through it. When you are hiking in this area, you are not on a landscape, you are into. This place is paradise for those wishing to roam through an gusty woodland wilderness.

To have an wonderful times you need to plan properly. If your plan is for few days only it would be better to carry a light backpack and all essentials like camping gear, proper sporting shoes, torchlight, lotions to ward off flies etc.

Have Dam Good Chicken Dinner and Visits Ladder Creek Falls By Night

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The small town of Newhalem stands with a lively past.  Once this quiet town hosted hundreds of tourists who dined joyfully and danced under the stars. Visitors had dinner at Gorge Inn and then had a stroll through Ladder Creek Gardens.  They marveled at the “wonders of electricity” , which illuminated the falls and provided an electrifying ambience.  [Read more…]

North Cascades Will Once Again Become Home to Grizzly Bears

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Federal officials have released a comprehensive draft plan recently for restoring grizzly bears to the North Cascades. If plan materialises the North Cascades will once again become home to Grizzly bears. [Read more…]

Where to Spot Bald Eagles in North Cascades?

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The Eagle Festival, 2017 has come up to life and is going full throttle in North Cascades area. The entire region is bustling with activities with swarms of visitors flocking the area. Majority of visitors come to see the peculiar bald eagles that come to the region during the January months. Here is where to spot Bald Eagles in North Cascades. [Read more…]