It’s one of the most remote and rugged parks in the U.S., and a hike into its solitude and grandeur is unforgettable. Embark with a naturalist on a North Cascades tour through the Park’s alpine meadows, across its rocky ridges, and among an endless sea of jagged peaks veneered by blue glaciers.
It is nicknamed the “American Alps,” because of the seemingly endless sea of jagged peaks and glaciers. Unlike the Alps, the North Cascade Mountains harbor an abundance of wildlife including mountain goats, black bears, grizzlies, wolves, and wolverines, with very few human inhabitants.
Anyone interested in wilderness preservation and escaping the humdrum of city life will relish in the scale and grandeur of this protected landscape. The North Cascades are home to powerful rivers that wind through towering, glacier-capped peaks and we will embark on this journey to experience it all. We might meander along the forested shores of Diablo Lake or push on up to Cascade Pass for a stunning view of some of the largest glaciers in the National Park. We will also visit a historic hydroelectric dam to see where Seattle’s electricity is generated, and connect with how this vast, protected watershed impacts the daily lives of millions of Washingtonians.
After a long day’s hike we will be sure to indulge ourselves at Cascadian Farms with their fresh organic berries and ice cream. There is also the option of visiting the local Glacier Peak Winery whose wines honor in their taste the beauty of the Skagit River Valley. This river also attracts hundreds of migratory bald eagles that feed on chum salmon and steelhead, so depending on the time of year we may see them in action!
7:00am: Depart from Seattle
It’s an early start, but one we recommend to squeeze the most we can out of a single day! We’ll meet you wherever you’re staying in the Seattle area, with our French-press, freshly ground local coffee, tea, pastries, and fruit in tow to enjoy at a stop along our way to the National Park.
10am: Arrive in North Cascades National Park
From here, your day can go so many ways depending on your interests, weather conditions, guide recommendations, and more.
You may poke around the Visitor Center, take dozens of photographs at the view points for Diablo and Ross Lakes, hike up Cascade or Rainy Pass. The day is yours to discover!
12-1p: Lunch at a scenic vista of your choosing!
4:30p: Begin journey back to Seattle
A day traveling through the Skagit Valley wouldn’t be complete without a local stop for some fresh berries or ice cream. As you make your way back to Seattle, experience the shift in topography from the craggy Cascade mountains through logging country and out to verdant, agricultural valleys.