Best Easy Day Hikes North Cascades  by Erik Molvar

Best Easy Day Hikes: North Cascades Guide Book

by Erik Molvar (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes North Cascades  by Erik Molvar
Best Easy Day Hikes North Cascades features concise descriptions and easy-to-follow maps of 23 easily manageable hikes through this remote mountainous land clad in glaciers, azure lakes, and sparkling waterfalls—from the broad, green Skagit River to panoramic vistas such as those atop McGregor Mountain.

© 2009 Erik Molvar/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: North Cascades" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 23.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 23.

This trail makes an excellent short day hike from High Bridge, visiting waterfalls and a narrow gorge on Agnes Creek. The trail begins in the woodlands, providing superb examples of the influence of microclimates on forest communities: The dry, sunny hillsides at the mouth of the Agnes Creek valley are home to drought- and fire-tolerant species such as Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, manzanita, and kinnikinnick. As the trail progresses into moist pockets of shade, red cedar, grand fir, and mountain ash become the dominant trees.
Stehekin, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5
This trail penetrates a remote and forgotten corner of North Cascades National Park, offering an easy stroll through the ancient forests along one of the wildest of the Cascades rivers. The trail begins as an old road that wanders along the riverbanks, which are robed in a young forest of hemlock, cedar, and red alder. Plentiful rainfall creates favorable growing conditions for club moss, which hangs like a shroud from the branches of the vine maples. Soon there are views of the water.
Concrete, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.2
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This valley-bottom trail follows Robinson Creek into the Pasayten Wilderness. The roaring waterfall on Beauty Creek makes an excellent day-hike destination and is open in early summer when the high country is still locked in snow.
Mazama, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.9
This trail offers a modest trek in the vicinity of Washington Pass, climbing into the larches of the timberline to reach a deep lake surrounded by impressive walls and pinnacles of granite. The trail begins by running eastward through the subalpine forest beside the highway. It soon turns south, climbing moderately through a sparse growth of large mountain hemlocks. Gaps in the trees offer early views across Washington Pass; the tawny summit is Cutthroat Peak.
Mazama, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.4
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Perhaps the best-loved trail in the North Cascades, this path has a long climb for an easy hike, but the trail gradient is modest and the trek is suitable even for small children and elderly hikers who are in good health.
Marblemount, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.4
This trail follows the eastern shore of Lake Chelan from the Stehekin visitor center all the way to the mouth of Prince Creek. The lakeshore along this trail was heavily damaged in 2007 during the Flick Creek Fire, which burned 8,000 acres of timber after
Stehekin, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10
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This easy stroll provides rewarding mountain scenery on its way to a marshy lake at the foot of McGregor Mountain.
Stehekin, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.2
This wide and well-engineered trail makes an easy day hike to Cutthroat Lake. Because the sensitive heather parks that line the lakeshores are extremely susceptible to damage, camping is forbidden within a quarter mile of the shoreline. Hikers who seek a
Mazama, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.8
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This short but vigorous day hike climbs to the summit of a small knob that commands views of the Skagit Valley and Mount Baker. A spur trail down to Blue Lake makes an easier destination.
Concrete, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
This hike offers a long day trip to a lowland lake below the striking crags of Hozomeen Mountain. It is a popular day hike for visitors who find themselves in the Hozomeen area. Heavy concentrations of mosquitoes plague the area between mid-August and mid-October. The trail begins beside a historic customs cabin and ascends briskly through the timber above the Hozomeen Campground. The forest soon thins to become a sparse growth of spindly Douglas firs and lodgepole pines, the sure sign of an old burn. The thin and stony soil is covered with mosses and foliose lichens, which are related to the caribou moss of the Arctic tundra.
Newhalem, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.8
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This trail climbs from Rainy Pass to Lake Ann, a pleasant cirque lake surrounded by steep cliffs and slender waterfalls. It offers a wilder and slightly more challenging alternative to the Rainy Lake Trail.
Mazama, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.8
The Rainbow Loop offers a somewhat challenging day trip that climbs onto the middle slopes of the mountains for views of the Stehekin Valley and the peaks that guard it. For visitors who lack the time or inclination to tackle the more challenging trails. Just after the trail completes its initial climb and begins traversing southward, a bedrock overlook below the trail provides panoramic views of the Stehekin Valley, with the river winding through its forested bottoms. The steep-walled peaks beyond the river are outriders of Sisi Ridge and Tupshin Peak. After a long, level stretch, the trail begins climbing once more. There is another viewpoint at the edge of a grassy hillside, after which the trail climbs to the top of a timbered platform.
Stehekin, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.6
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This short, paved trail starts at Rainy Pass and contours along the mountainsides to enter the glacier-carved cirque that bears Rainy Lake and the impressive waterfall that feeds it. This is a short, level trek that is well-suited to wheelchairs. There ar
Mazama, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
This trek follows a little-used connecting trail that links Slate Pass with Robinson Creek via a gem-like but nameless saddle. There are several unmarked intersections along the way, and the trail may be somewhat challenging for novices to follow beyond t
Mazama, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10
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This hike descends to cross Ross Dam and then follows the far shore of the lake to a scenic overlook. The Ross Dam Trailhead sits on a bluff high above the lakeshore, and from its large parking lot, the path wanders downward through storm-wracked Douglas firs. The path passes a small cascade on Happy Creek, then drops across an open and rocky face that yields views of Pyramid Peak to the southwest. The route then leads across the top of the dam, its curving façade of concrete rising 320 feet above the Skagit River.
Newhalem, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
This trail makes a short but vigorous ascent to the summit of Sauk Mountain on the seaward edge of the North Cascades. Views are surprisingly inspiring from here, encompassing Mount Baker and Puget Sound as well as the glacier-carved peaks of the Cascades. A spur trail makes a long descent from the heights of Sauk Mountain to reach Sauk Lake, where there are several camping spots. Hikers who are in good physical shape can visit both the summit of Sauk Mountain and Sauk Lake in a hard half-day of hiking. The trail begins at the timberline, and zigzags steadily up a wide but steep couloir. Avalanches have swept away the trees here, clearing a space for a magnificent display of alpine wildflowers.
Rockport, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
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This trail follows the west side of the Stehekin River to a backcountry campground at the head of Lake Chelan. For the most part, the trail runs through a diverse bottomland forest, but there are periodic views of the Stehekin River and the surrounding mo
Stehekin, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7
Stetattle Creek marks an ancient tribal boundary. To the Skagit people it was a dangerous hinterland, beyond which was the domain of their enemies the Ntlakyapamuks, or Thompson Indians. Modern visitors can approach the lower reaches of the creek as an easy introduction to the coastal forests of the Cascades; more adventurous souls can penetrate deeper into the hinterlands for a more challenging day trip. The early reaches of the trail offer an easy stroll along the streambank. As the houses of Diablo fall behind, a riparian woodland closes in around the stream. This diverse forest community includes hemlock, cedar, bigleaf maple, and red alder. The damp climate provides superb growing conditions for epiphytes, plants that grow from aerial perches on the trunks or limbs of trees. Of these, spikemoss is particularly abundant, and licorice fern can also be found.
Diablo, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.6
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This hike follows a section of the Pacific Crest Trail across ridgetop meadows. A sea of barren peaks stretches to the far horizons, and brilliant constellations of mountain wildflowers border the trail. The trek begins with a moderate climb through the alpine meadows on the shoulder of Slate Peak. The summit of the peak is visible ahead, crowned with a fire lookout tower. During the Cold War, the top of the peak was razed and flattened to make space for a radar installation; when the new fire lookout was built on the site, it was built so that the floor of the cabin was at the altitude of the original summit.
Mazama, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.2
This trail was originally blazed by prospectors bound for the gold-bearing veins along Skagit Queen Creek. A number of hard-rock claims were staked, shafts were blasted into the mountainsides, and by 1905 the first of a series of mining consortiums was in
Newhalem, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.9
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