More than 300 miles of maintained trails provide ample opportunities to explore North Cascades National Park. Short hikes—some are wheelchair-accessible—abound around Colonial Creek Campground and Newhalem; pick up flyers describing these and others at the visitors centers. Trails below 3,000 feet are generally open by mid-April or May; higher up, you may meet snow in July, so be prepared.
Some of the park’s most spectacular scenery can be seen at Cascade Pass. Drive to the trailhead at the end of Cascade River Road, a 23-mile mostly gravel road from Marblemount. The first two miles of the seven-mile round-trip hike climb steadily through forest and meadows to the 5,400-foot pass at 3.7 miles. Allow about five hours for this hike.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition