Washington Journals

North Cascades Area and Seattle

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An April 2007 trip to Washington by Kim M.

North Cascades National Park Photo, Sedro Woolley, Washington More Photos
Quote: My husband and I took a brief, 5-day trip to camp and sample the area.

Goodell Creek Campground

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Hotel

North Cascades National Park Photo, Sedro Woolley, Washington
Quote:
The off season in the North Cascades is fairly quiet, people-wise. It is not so quiet nature-wise. When we arrived in late April, we found that recent floods had washed huge gullies in certain areas of the park and that our camping choices were pretty limited. Eschewing the lakeside sites at Colonial Creek near the deep gullies, we landed eventually at Goodell Creek Campground. The 21 sites were vacant with the exception of one camper, so we had our pick of spots. Because it was raining, as it will on the wet side of the mountains, we opted for a site near to the river but not too near, with a somewhat raised tent pad. It didn't hurt that it was also directly across from the restroom. We had plenty...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 4, 2007

North Cascades National Park

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Attraction | "Thunder Knob Trail"

North Cascades National Park Photo, Sedro Woolley, Washington
Quote:
We discovered the Thunder Knob trail by default, really, after a conversation with the rangers at the Colonial Creek visitor center. It was basically the only trail not still under snow at the end of April. As we were travelling light and did not have the equipment to venture into the snowbound areas, we decided to give Thunder Knob a try. The trailhead for the 3.6 mile hike is located on Hwy. 20 not far from the visitor center. We found plenty of parking, especially as it was off season. The trail winds briefly between some wooded campsites and then sort of diffuses out into a broad, rocky wash. We muddled around a bit and eventually found the trail again. It crosses two narrow log bridges and con...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 4, 2007

North Cascades National Park
810 State Route 20
Sedro Woolley, Washington 98284
(360) 854-7200

North Cascades National Park

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Attraction | "Trail of the Cedars"

North Cascades National Park Photo, Sedro Woolley, Washington
Quote:
I'm not sure how we found out about the Trail of the Cedars, but we ended up there one afternoon after strolling around the tiny townsite of Newhalem. There is a long history of hydroelectric power in the Skagit River valley, and Newhalem is a power town. Housing a mere handful of employees of Seattle City Lights and the National Park Service, this little one-street berg quietly hides a fun little walking trail. Maintained by the power company, the little trail crosses the Skagit River and winds gently through the forest on the other side. Interpretive signs teach the history of electricity in the valley, as well as some of the more prevalent tree and plant species. There are even amusing ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 4, 2007

North Cascades National Park
810 State Route 20
Sedro Woolley, Washington 98284
(360) 854-7200

North Cascades National Park

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Attraction | "Public Art"

North Cascades National Park Photo, Sedro Woolley, Washington
Quote:
Before our trip we were familiar with Seattle's "10% for Art" initiative, but we were very surprised to see the same value placed on public art in the tiny power town of Newhalem. Little more than a single street of homes, this tiny town boasts several outdoor sculptures. The most imposing and intriguing, in my view, is the "Temple of Power". This strangely beautiful sculpture is actually an Edwardian-style gazebo constructed using old electrical fittings. It is especially captivating while the trees are in bloom. Nearby, there is a bronze sculpture of salmon moving through a stream. I don't remember the name of this one, but it is located just behind the restrooms. The salmon are realisti...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 4, 2007

North Cascades National Park
810 State Route 20
Sedro Woolley, Washington 98284
(360) 854-7200

North Cascades National Park

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Attraction | "Washington Pass"

North Cascades National Park Photo, Sedro Woolley, Washington
Quote:
Washington Pass, the highest point Hwy. 20 crosses on its way between Marblemount and Winthrop, remains closed during winter due to snowy, treacherous conditions. In the spring, plows and blowers work steadily to uncover the roadway and reopen the pass for motorists. We were fortunate that the pass opened the day before our arrival in late April, and we were able to drive up and hike around a bit in the remaining snow. On our first day through the pass, winter still remained solidly, with temperatures in the mid-30s. The snow was over 6 feet deep, and I was able to make vertical snow angels along the road where the plows had cut through. It was raining, and thick, white mist rose off of t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 4, 2007

North Cascades National Park
810 State Route 20
Sedro Woolley, Washington 98284
(360) 854-7200