6 Best Hiking Trails in North Cascades

The North Cascade region is full with hiking trails. The current blog post will explore 6 best hiking trails in the North Cascades for tourist hikers.

Skagit River Loop


Anybody, irrespective of their ages, can go for hiking along this trail. The hiking path is well maintained and smooth. This trail is a 1.8 miles round trip along the Skagit river. The area is well populated by eagles, otters, salmon and dippers. You would want to enjoy the view of  mosey through maple and yew trees. Information and guide for the hiking available at North Cascades National Park visitor centre in Newhalem.

Thunder Knob


You are in for a surprise! A gentle stroll over the log bridges constitute the tour. Tourists are taken for hike around moss enveloped  ledges to a little promontory just above the Diablo lake. At the middle of the trip you will get a stunning view of 9,065 feet high Jack Mountains, which is most well known mountain in the Skagit valley. The trip starts from west end of Colonial Creek Campground and constitutes 3.8 miles round trip.

Sourdough Mountain Lookout


Hiking across is a Sourdough Mountain Lookout trail is a lung buster as this is one of the most challenging hikes int eh North Cascades regions. This steep trail does not disappoint you. Along the road you get an awesome view of flower-filled alpine meadows. You can take this 11.4 miles trip from Diablo, off highway 20.

Trapper Peak


Trapper peak trail demands a pair of able feet for the trip. The hike is through a steep narrow-spine and 5, 964 feet high. Upon climbing you can see dramatic view of Pickett Range, Newhalem town on the bank of Skagit river and the ever-sparkling Thornton Lakes. You can take the 10.6 mile adventure from Thornton Lakes near Newhalem.

Hidden Lake Lookout


This is on of its kind hike in that you will trudge across talus slopes and snow fields. The trip is not easy but has reward. Once you make up your mind and take the trip, you will encounter the National Forest Fire lookout positioned nearly 7, 000 feet high on the way during the 9 miles round trip. This is not all. You will have glimpse of the majestic Eldorado Glacier and Mount Rainer along. The hike starts from Sibley Creek near Cascade river road.

Big Beaver–Little Beaver


The hike lasts several days. Tourists are made to travel through two deep, remote valleys filled with old growth timber and glacier-fed creeks. there are black bears, cougars and spotted owns to be spotted on the way. the trip stretches a 37 miles round trip. The trip can be taken from Ross Dam.

5 Things to Do in North Cascades

The North Cascades is full with varied tourist attractions like dams, trails, lakes, waterfalls, powerhouses, wildlife, peaks, beautiful sceneries, opportunities for sporting activities and adventure. Here are 5 top things to do when you are in North Cascades.

Take a Road Trip


Road trip especially from USA side offers stunning sceneries. On the ways you will be greeted with changing landscapes and terrains. Sometimes smooth stream of water from waterfalls cross over to the other side of roads.

The ideal place to start your road trip is Marblemount on highway 20 towards east. Be sure to stop at Newhalem and Diablo. Visit the Newhalem Visitor center, which has some great exhibitions. You can go for a quick walk to explore plenty of trails nearby. Diablo is another great place to stop by. Drive slowly over Diablo Dam Bridge and you will enjoy it. You can also pull up at Diablo Lake Overlook and can immerse yourself in the experience of viewing the stunning Diablo lake. At Diablo there is exhibits in the honor then senator M. Jackson, who helped to create the park.

Continue your journey towards east until Washington Pass Overlook. You would feel mesmerized with the stunning views surrounding you. The view of Majestic Bell Mountain is too stunning to be believed. The Washington Pass Overlook is highest point on Highway 20.

Go for Hiking


There are many great trails in North Cascades for hiking. Unfortunately due to heavy snowing many of these trails remain closed in most part of the years. It is thus important to enquiry status of trail before you head for hiking. You can get the info from nearby visitor centers.

Newhalem is the most popular stops for hiking. Ruby Creek Trail, which is 18 miles east to Newhalem, is a popular destination. The other trails are the 1.5 km long Canyon Creek Trail and Diablo Lake trail. Once you weill hike the Diablo Lake Trail you will get a sweeping view of Diablo lake, Colonial and Pyramid peaks. These are some easiest trials for hiking especially with family and kids.

If you are adventurous type then Sourdought Mounntain Trail (10.4 miles) is good for you. The journey is strenuous but worth a try. You will be rewarded with a sweeping view of valleys and peaks including the majestic Mount Baker.

Inspect Flora/Fauna


North Cascades region is full with diverse species of Flora and Fauna. There are over 75 mammal species including pikas, douglas squirrel, gray wolves, marmots, grizzly bears, river otters, cougars, mountain goats, bobcats, a dozen of species of bats and the famous Columbia black-tailed deer.

There are over 200 bird species in the area. Keep looking into sky and trees and you will sure to spot bald eagle, spotted owls, swallows, warblers and hummingbirds. The Skagit river banks are home to rare Pacific salmons besides Chinook, coho, pink, sockeye and chum.

The peculiar weather, topography, geology and hydrology of the region is responsible for large number of plant species found the in the National Park. There are around 1500 vascular plant species. Among others the plant species include white bark pine, California hazelnut, alpine willow, western yew, douglas fir, red aider, big leaf maple western red cedar etc. The National Park is a great spot for nature lover.

Take Photos


During summer waters of rivers and lakes in North Cascades appear emerald or turquoise. Color of water in the region usually is green. The peculiar color is due to soil composition of the region, which is high on glacial flour concentration. Summer is great time to capture the essence of the place in photos.

Go on Excursions


There are some excellent spots in Cascades to go for excursion. Leavenworth complete with wineries, spas, shopping and museums is a great attraction.

Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, which covers an area of some 1.7 million acre is an ideal place to go for activities like picnic, boating, driving, winter sports and camping. The National Forest has ample facilities for above activities. If you go on a guided excursion then you should contact The North Cascades Institute at Rockport. This non-profit institute offer guided excursion free of charge.

Going to North Cascades Area is really exciting because major parts of the year the place remain closed due to heavy snowing. The ideal time to visit is summer. So, plan your trip accordingly. There are also facilities for differently abled tourists.