Explore n cascades - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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it's a long haul but well worth every minute of it.

Amazing trail!!

This hike offer all scenery from forest to flower fields to mountains. Absolutely stunning! One of my favorites!

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 10/27. missed the beautiful larch colors, but was still an amazing hike. Breathtaking views. Note....drove past trailhead was looking for NF-600. thinking it would be marked as such. It is actually at the Rainy Pass rest stop area.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 11/17 wonderful relatively easy hike with big payoff views. Many hikers were not prepared with traction. mini/micro spikes were needed as most of the trail was iced over. trail head easy off hwy. vault toilet.

Beautiful in the fall when the mountains are covered in snow. Not too much elevation change and you get big views for a moderate amount of effort. Definitely heavily trafficked on the weekend though!

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing, even when done as a series of day hikes.

absolutely amazing hike, especially beautiful in the fall.

Simply INCREDIBLE!! We won the permit lottery and were fortunate enough to spend three amazing days backpacking through the enchantments in late August.

Our itinerary was as follows
-Day 1 Enter through Colchuck TH-Colchuck Lake-Aasgard pass-into the Core, camping in the core
-Day 2 Exploring the core (highly recommend!), camped in Leprechaun Lake (stunning!)
-Day 3 Descended out of the core and exited through snow lake

I have hiked probably 50 ish hikes since moving to Washington and this was by far my favourite HANDS DOWN. Once you enter the core it is like a whole different world up there-alpine lakes, mountains, sheer cliff faces, moss covered rocks and small wildflowers, goats..I could go on.

Some words of advice particularly for those backpacking
-pack for ALL conditions. It snowed on our first night in August!
-start early, once you are in the core it never seems like you have enough time there
-though rare we did see a bear coming down through snow lake, so be warned
-there is plenty of water around, no need to carry much..especially up Aasgard
-Aasgard is rough, especially with a 30lb pack on. Take your time and enjoy the view
-the good camp sites fill up early. Move camp early and get established, then go exploring

I’m so fortunate to have backpacked here and I encourage everyone to do the same..apply for the lottery!!!

So beautiful especially when the larch trees are in all their autumn glory. I hiked this 10/24 and the larches were in full effect. I hiked counterclockwise and I was very happy with the decision. It was a busy trail even on a Wednesday so I would suggest off peak times if possible.

hiking
2 months ago

Completed 11/10 - although snow was on trail from the beginning, it was still very well maintained the whole way! Wore hiking boots and runners and both were fine but traction would have been great.
Frozen, snowy lake, no larch color left, but was beautiful blue bird day! Will return, but preferably larch season.

hiking
2 months ago

Yeah yes! I did this trail is incredible it’s very hard I feel proud of my health, on the top it was a big snow you must need snow shose, , the view is amazing, Good Luck for everyone!!!

hiking
2 months ago

I have hiked this trail twice before but hiked it again today on November 3rd. I went 3.5 miles and then turned back, but could have gone further given the snow. It was snowing but very lightly. People I passed said you could go further than I went—one said just one grade away from the pass. Don’t let the snow stop you on this one even if you can’t do the full loop. You can still do quite a bit and it’s still beautiful!

Note: I always go counter-clockwise.

Also, there were less than 10 groups hiking today.

hiking
2 months ago

One of the most beautiful places on earth. That simple.

hiking
2 months ago

I am a beginner and it was my second hike. I went there on Saturday around 12pm and returned at 7:15pm. It was hard for me but I enjoyed a lot. I would suggest not to add 0.7 mile for Ann lake because there is nothing to see, rather you will get nice view form the top.

If you are beginner then it’s really hard for you, as per my experience.

This trail is incredibly beautiful, even when it’s foggy. We didn’t have much visibility due to the weather, but it was so gorgeous with the fog and fall colors. Go before the road closes for winter, but beware of ice. We got to see the larches, and the whole trail was lovely.

2 months ago

Absolutely beautiful! We hiked this trail on October 16, 2018. The larch trees along with the fall colors had us using the words beautiful, amazing, breathtaking several times. We went clockwise (steeper on the way up) this made for a much easier time on the knees for the trip down. We plan to make another trip next spring!

backpacking
2 months ago

Who changed the trail routes in the core? I was just there and the AllTrails app on iphone had us traveling east on the opposite side of Inspiration Lake hill hugging Perfection Lake and then heading South we followed Perfection around the south side then over to Vivian. Now, it has us hugging Inspiration on the west side of that hill then up towars Prusik and Gnome. Who changed this? It misses Sprite Lake which is one of my favorite areas!

backpacking
2 months ago

Did this hike with a buddy the day after the first snow. We were optimistic in how much snow but surprised to be up to our waist in some spots. We spent only one night at the top of Asgard pass in our tent. Coming up the Asgard pass was extremely difficult even for us and we are in very good shape. We had to be careful not to go off track as the Cairns were difficult to see buried under the snow. GPS was a must for us. We did our best to uncover some cairns. The heavy snow started just before Colchuck and ended after Lake Viviane. Snow varies between 1foot and 3 feet in depth. Be careful of the snow drifts and falling through to the streams and rocks below. My buddy fell through a crack into a stream below and was up to his chest to crawl out. Micro spikes are a must as sheets of ice over water and rocks were slippery. The views were absolutely spectacular and surreal. We have never seen anything like it before. Especially the sunrise at the top. Words and pictures could never ever do it justice.

hiking
2 months ago

The views are amazing! So worth the trip, logged about 8 miles and got snowed out. A cold but fun night.

Awesome

Super cool trail and a good longer hike that pushed me! Packed light, had enough food and water. Wore my trail running shoes which was no issue. Stoked to see a couple mountain goats! Not to mention one was right by the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Phenomenal, bucket-list hike. A few thoughts:
-protect your feet. Thick sock and wear a second thinner one too. Take second skin. Lots of areas with rock scrambles
-I took micro spikes for snow and ice just in case. I did not come close to needing them
-take plenty of food with you so you have the energy
-Plenty of water along the trail so just take a water filtration device
-If you’re not paying attention it is very easy to miss the cairns and lose the trail
-speaking of losing the trail, I totally lost it on the way back from Prusik Peak. One idea is to
return the way you came after you see the peak
-for those curious about duration - I’m in above average shape, lost the trail that one time, took a fair bit of photo stops, hustled the last 8 or so miles, and did the hike (20.3) in just under 12 hours. (Going from Stuart TH to Snow TH)

Gorgeous fall hike with Larches just past their prime. The beauty of the N. Cascades was marred only by the numbers of fellow day hikers.

hiking
2 months ago

Was there yesterday 10/21. Not as crowded nor as amazing as it was billed to be. We were disappointed by the color. I guess we missed it. No snow or ice. A little mud. No need for traction 10/21. It was a beautiful day.

Amazing!!!! Spectacular views of the huge craggy mountain peaks, glaciers and Hidden Lake. Meadow has really pretty fall foliage coloring right now. We hiked yesterday, Oct 18th, and temps were perfect. Barely any snow - did not need crampons. Trail started getting muddy in the afternoon. Hiked at a moderate pace and took us 5.5 hrs (with 1.25 hrs spent sitting at the summit overlooking the lake).

Drive to/from trailhead off of Cascade River Rd is as bad as the other reviews say. Guessing it took us 45 min to get up & 30 min on way down. Gets dark early these days! Bring a headlamp if you're starting late!

hiking
2 months ago

October 6, 2018: Enjoyed the larches and views with the 1,000 other hikers (not exaggerating). We went the counter-clockwise gradual ascent route and there were some snow covered sections of trail just before the pass, but nothing worth digging the micro spikes out from the bottom of the bag.

So beautiful right now! I don’t think the fall colors are past their peak like another reviewer said; I think they’re in their prime. Absolutely breathtaking right now. Well worth it, and a favorite for sure.

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