on our second day at north cascades, we knew we wanted to find a fantastic hike. derek researched for awhile and we settled on a hike that isn’t actually in the park, but just outside in the national forest, on sauk mountain. the road to the trailhead was very rustic. bumpy, winding, internetless. as we got closer to the top, we were pretty disappointed to find ourselves in thick fog with little visibility of the views.
so, the hike is pretty steep, about 3 miles round trip (out and back), with an elevation change of 1000+ feet. it was a series of 26 switchbacks zigzagging us up the side of a mountain. the fog made it seem scarier than it was, like if you fell, you would fall into an abyss.
i forged ahead with the girls, making a game out of the switchbacks, calling them levels and pretending rocks and roots and other obstacles were video game bosses we had to defeat. isaac and derek stayed back a little, working through some worries about the aforementioned foggy abyss.
when we were almost at the top, the trail sort of wrapped around the backside of the peak, so we found a spot where we had pretty fantastic views in all directions and had some snacks. (isaac, still mad about being dragged on a hike where he might fall into the abyss, refused to be in the photo).
once we arrived (via what i’m pretty sure was not the trail), we found a spot to hang out and take it all in and have a snack. that’s when we noticed this pretty little lake nestled on the other side of the mountain.
on our hike back down, the fog was entirely gone, giving a more realistic view of the trail. you can see the switchbacks pretty clearly here. and realize that falling would not result in death in the foggy abyss. 🙂
we also got a pretty great view of mount baker, which has been taunting us since we were over at sequim. it’s in that puff of clouds that disappears behind the side of the mountain we are hiking down. in person, it could be distinguished from the cloud by the bright white snow on the peak. in this pic, it’s not as obvious, i guess.
so, this concludes our north cascades time.
we drove the long long drive back to camp.
and the next day, made our way to monroe, washington, where we would base out of for a bit of seattle and big city exploring…