Tuesday, July 18, 2017

North Cascades National Park, Washington

North Cascades National Park contains some of America's most beautiful mountain scenery - high jagged peaks, ridges, slopes, and many waterfalls. Glaciers can be seen on the highest mountain peaks. We took a trail behind the Visitor Center, which turned out to be longer than we had intended and Jim was quite tired and his back started hurting before we finished.  It took us down to the Skagit River, but there were no good views of the river.  I got a better shot of the river from the River Trail that is across the street from our campground.

I saw this tree growing over a truck and how far the roots went down and around just to get to the earth.

At one point we came to an area that burned. The trees were dead but the flowers, ferns and other vegetation are growing all around.

The main road going through the park is Highway 20 and is part of The Cascade Loop, which is about 290 miles. We did not drive the entire Loop, driving only about 60 miles of it, from Rockport to Washington Pass Overlook.  

Our first stop was Gorge Creek Falls and Lake, the lake being formed by the Gorge Dam.

Gorge Lake

Gorge Creek Falls is typical of the many cascades throughout the Skagit River Gorge, plunging water that follows cracks and fault-lines created as the mountains shift and rise.

Our turnaround point was Washington Loop Overlook. This mountain could be Liberty Bell at 7,740 feet.

The road looped around the pass and headed east along the Cascade Loop.

Glaciers have caused dramatic to the mountains and valleys. The immense Cordilleran Ice Sheet advanced south several times toward this overlook, taking turns with smaller alpine glaciers to sculpt these mountains over the last few million years. The most recent ice age was 27,000-11,500 years ago.

There are a few recreation areas located within the park, which offer boating and hiking opportunities. One could spend the whole summer here just traveling around the Cascade Loop fishing, viewing wildlife and hiking the many trails.

As I was standing at this overlook there was a man and woman there; the man was explaining to the woman that the peak in the center of this picture, far in the distance, is where Canada is. We are very close to Canada. In fact, Ross Lake Recreation Area is only accessible through Canada.

This is the very end of Ross Lake, the head of it starting in the Skagit Valley Provincial Park in Canada.

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