Archive For The “Cascade Mountains” Category

Beckler River

Beckler River

Our first wilderness camp site was exactly what we were hoping for: secluded, with an interesting view and an opportunity for walking or hiking. After an initial test run of our camping gear at Bay View State Park, we went to look for a wilderness camp site at the Beckler River, near Stevens Pass in…

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Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing

Snowshoeing didn’t initially appeal to us as a winter sport. The gear seemed cumbersome, and our perception was that we’d be mostly walking along level ground through snowy woods or meadows. While we enjoy winter scenery, that just didn’t strike us as very exciting. We had wanted to do more winter hiking, but were finding…

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Umbrella Falls Snowshoe

Umbrella Falls Snowshoe

Umbrella Falls spills 59 ft (18m) down a sloping wall near the headwaters of the East Fork of Oregon’s Hood River. The trail to the falls is a popular summer hike, and in the winter is part of a system of marked snowshoe trails at the Mt. Hood Meadows ski area. We hiked to Umbrella…

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Tucker Sno-Cat

Tucker Sno-Cat

Distinctive bright-orange Tucker Sno-Cats have been operating at Timberline on Mt. Hood since the beginning of skiing in the area. They are so synonymous with the ski resort that the local Mt. Hood Brewing Company named a beer after the pair: the Timberline Tucker Double IPA. Featured on the label, and above, is a refurbished…

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Timberline Snowshoe

Timberline Snowshoe

The Timberline ski area at 11,249 ft (3,429 m) Mt. Hood has the longest ski season in North America, operating from October through August in ideal years. From a maximum altitude of 8,540 ft (2,602 m), the winter vertical drop is 4,540 ft (1,383 m) and in the summer it’s 2,616 ft (797 m). The…

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Government Camp, Oregon

Government Camp, Oregon

Government Camp, Oregon is the main settlement near the ski resorts at Mt. Hood. The town’s name derives from a government convey of munitions destined for Oregon forts that camped there in 1849. The convoy was following the Barlow Road, a toll road that was the last overland segment of the Oregon Trail before reaching…

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Artist Point Snowshoe

Artist Point Snowshoe

Artist Point, at altitude 5,100ft (1,554 m) is a popular summer destination at Mt. Baker. A paved road leads right to the top, for spectacular mountain views. And a short hike along Kulshan Ridge leads to an even better viewpoint atop 5,247 ft (1,599 m) Huntoon Point. The road to Artist Point is unplowed and…

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Table Mountain Snowshoe

Table Mountain Snowshoe

10,786 ft (3,288 m) Mt Baker has two major commercial ski bases, White Salmon and Heather Meadows, but also is a busy backcountry ski area. Rising above the Bagley Creek basin, the steep slope of 5,742 ft (1,750 m) Table Mountain is particularly popular and was covered with ski tracks when we visited. On our…

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Bellingham

Bellingham

The waterfront city of Bellingham city lies just 21 miles (34 km) south of the U.S.-Canada border and is the closest major center to 10,786 ft (3,288 m) Mt Baker. We’d passed Bellingham many times in trips by car, and boat, to and from Canada, but had never spent much time there. On a weekend…

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Kendall Peak Lakes Snowshoe

Kendall Peak Lakes Snowshoe

During a late-season heavy snowfall at Snoqualmie Pass, we returned to the Gold Creek Sno Park, this time to hike towards Kendall Peak Lakes. The season for this snowshoe hike typically extends to early March, but it was still viable mid-April with the several inches of fresh snow that had recently fallen. We were among…

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Snow Lake Snowshoe

Snow Lake Snowshoe

Snow Lake is the most popular summer hikes in the Alpine Wilderness area of Wenatchee and Snoqualmie National Forests. The trailhead is just a one-hour drive from downtown Seattle, and reaching a viewpoint over the lake is an easy a 2.3-mile (3.7 km) hike from the trailhead with a modest elevation gain of 1,200 ft…

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Mazama Ridge Snowshoe

Mazama Ridge Snowshoe

On our second day of snowshoeing at Mr. Rainier, we descended along the Lower Lakes trail from Paradise village along a marked intermediate snowshow trail. From there, we climbed up the south end of Mazama Ridge and followed it north, continuing back to the parking lot by retracing the previous day’s route up. Conditions were…

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Panorama Point Snowshoe

Panorama Point Snowshoe

Panorama Point, on the flank of Mt. Rainier, is 6,964 ft (2,123 m) above sea level and aptly named. Mt. Rainier fills the sky to the north, the Nisqually River descends southwest, and southward the Cascade Range extends to the horizon, with clear views to 8,363-ft (2,549 m) Mt. St. Helens in Washington and 11,250-ft…

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Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park

Mt. Rainier is the highest mountain in Washington at 14,411 ft (4,392 m) and is clearly visible at vantages throughout the state, including Seattle. The height makes it a popular, but difficult, mountaineering location. Each year about 10,000 attempt an ascent, but only about 5,000 reach the summit. Most ascents take 2-3 days, and the…

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Gold Creek Sno-Park

Gold Creek Sno-Park

The Gold Creek Sno-Park, on the eastern side of Snoqualmie Pass, is one of more than 120 state-maintained public winter recreation areas in Washington. And being so close to Seattle, it is one of the more popular. A Sno-Park is simply a parking lot cleared of snow. Some support non-motorized use only, but two-thirds are…

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Skyline Lake Snowshoe

Skyline Lake Snowshoe

The snowshoe route to Skyline Lake at Stevens Pass is a popular one for its spectacular mountain views. The trail is reasonably short at 3 miles (4.8 km), but with an elevation gain of 1,100 ft (335m), it’s not a quick in-and-out. The mountain views along the way to the lake are excellent, but are…

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Winter Hiking

Winter Hiking

One of the many reasons we loved spending time in Norway was the countless boat-accessible view hikes. Washington state’s mountain hikes aren’t nearly as close to the water, but they do compete well with Norway for fabulous scenery. When we’d previously lived full-time in Seattle, we spent most of our free time on Dirona and…

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Franklin Falls

Franklin Falls

Franklin Falls, just west of Snoqualmie Pass, gush 70 ft (21m) over a cliff into a pool below, with a narrow hiking trail that leads almost underneath. The falls are spectacular in the spring runoff, but even more so after particularly cold winter weather, when icicles encrust the cliff face. They reminded us of frozen…

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