I spent the summer of 2016 without a car, and so on a couple of occasions missed out on some nice weather windows during the weekend. Not so in mid-August, when my friends who were staying in Portland, OR (and who had visited earlier in the summer) planned another trip to Seattle. After returning from Crater Lake the previous weekend, I felt obligated to find a comparably scenic destination, and so the plan was to head to the North Cascades for the weekend.
Since we didn't have an overnight hiking trip planned, I spent time researching a good car camping spot. One difficulty on sunny August weekends is the relative scarcity of campground in the North Cascades, at least those that do not require reservations. Since my friends needed to drive up Friday evening, the plan was to leave Seattle early on Saturday to scout out some potential spots, hopefully opened up by people only staying one night (Friday-Saturday).
So we woke up and left early Saturday morning, heading north and then east through Arlington and Darrington to WA-20 and Marblemount, the last significant town one drives through on the way to the park. Much of this drive is scenic, especially the portion just west of Darrington where there is a good view of glaciated Whitehorse Mountain. From Marblemount we took the Cascade River Road, hoping to find a spot at one of two campgrounds along the road: Marble Creek and Mineral Park.
Despite a misleading "campground full" sign at Marble Creek, we snagged a campsite there and continued along to the end of the road and our intended destination, the Cascade Pass Trail. Cascade Pass is one of the more iconic destinations in the North Cascades, as the... To see the full trip report you must login as a paid member. Use the Login Page. (message p3)
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