We’ll meet in Seattle on the morning of Day 1 and shuttle through Marblemount into the heart of the National Park. Here we will hike on the Diablo Lake Trail, first above the lake, and then down across the suspension bridge below the massive Ross Dam. Our overnight for the first two nights are on the west side of the park at the quirky Buffalo Run Inn. Day 2 it is straight to the high country from the Cascade River. From the trial head we’ll begin to climb gently through no fewer than 33 switchbacks to the crest of Cascade Pass at 5400′. The views along the way are remarkable as we traverse flower-filled meadows and cross countless sparkling streams. Dominating the landscape at the summit is Johannesburg Peak with its spectacular hanging glacier.
It’s back up the Skagit River on Day 3 to hike a point to point route over 4th of July Pass and down Panther Creek. Our trail is through a wild and beautiful forest along the frothing blue waters of the creek, rushing and tumbling toward the bottom of the valley. From the end of our hike we continue east into the old western style community of Winthrop and the charming Mazama Inn.
A hidden gem of a trail awaits us on Day 4 when we hike up Tiffany Mountain for 360 degree views. We follow Freezeout Ridge much of the way up, until we reach the meadows containing a showy display of early summer flowers of paintbrush, asters, & lupine. We continue to the summit where views extend north up to Canada and south down to Coulee Country.
On Day 5, we’re headed for the Pacific Crest Trail to take us to Grasshopper Pass. Following a shuttle to Hart’s Pass, we’ll climb above timberline early into this 11 mile day, and we’ll remain above the treeline with magnificent views of the surrounding high peaks the entire way to the Grasshopper summit.
On our final Day 6, we head back through the park to the west side for a final climb to the summit of Sauk Mountain and an unbelievable 360 degree panoramic view of the Cascades to the east, Mt. Baker to the north, the Pacific to the west, and on a reasonably clear day, Mt. Rainier to the south. We return to the Seattle area for the conclusion of our North Cascades hiking tour.