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"The North Cascades are Calling!" Less than three hours from Seattle, an alpine landscape beckons. Discover communities of life adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fire in the east. Explore jagged peaks crowned by more than 300 glaciers. Listen to cascading waters in forested valleys. Witness a landscape sensitive to the Earth's changing climate. Help steward the ecological heart of the Cascades.

Super easy, good for kids. Amazing views

hiking
4 days ago

Really nice hike and beautiful views.Easy.

hiking
4 days ago

Nice hike with a beautiful pay off.

hiking
12 days ago

Nice moss on trees. Good variety of trees.

hiking
12 days ago

large parking lot at trail head. Black bear was blocking trail about 2 miles in, standing over whatever it was eating and squared up to our group of four. After a very brief staring contest, we backed off and returned to trail head. Best part of trail was that it's flat and shaded - good for covering ground on a hot or rainy day.

on Thunder Creek Trail

hiking
14 days ago

July 19, 2018: This is a nice walk but leaves you feeling like you should have gotten more bang for your buck. We did about six hours on the trail with an 11- and 13-year old, covering about 16-17 km round trip. Overall the trail is fairly flat, but I rolled my ankle a couple of times on rocks or roots—we were wearing running shoes. At the beginning the trail seems like it had a lot of potential as the river is near by, but after the 4th of July trail turn off, the trail stays under the canopy of trees and out of view of the river, although you can hear it. About 6-7 km in, there’s a couple views of the mountains overhead. The variety of plants is outstanding, but there was rarely a peep from birds. The little streams you cross along the way are nice and provide a great place to stop and enjoy a sandwich. My wife thinks we should have taken 4th of July as the park trail pamphlet suggests that it is the trail with the views.

Went last night and had a blast great walk

Nice hike with some climbing not too steep. Beautiful views of lake and surrounding mountains.

Nice wooded walk. But not a whole lot to see. We were going to go up 4th of July but visibility was poor so we did this instead

on Thunder Knob Trail

hiking
25 days ago

Nice hike and views but road noise from Hwy. 20 on much of the trail.

hiking
26 days ago

My 5 stars are for the trail and spectacular views, but I agree with a previous reviewer that this is not an easy trail for everyone. I am a very fit 70-year-old and found it quite a challenge. It took me 2 hours to reach the summit and 30 min to come down.

Great trail with amazing views. Had two bear sightings in the first 10 miles. There are a number of downed trees currently obstructing the trail. There are also a number of Creek crossings, some of which are a little more iffy than others nothing was impassable or too bad as long as you're careful though. Elevation gain is easy, I'm guessing the rating is just because of how long the trail is.

Hike this last week... the view is beautiful

backpacking
29 days ago

Just backpacked to Thunder Camp and day Hiked to Fourth of July Camp via Fourth of July Pass and McAllister Camp via Thunder Creek. We’re some bears in the area but trails are well kept

Nice, simple and easy hike. Views of the lake are pretty but not as great as the lookout point just further down the highway. Trail head was tucked back in the campground so it gets a lot of traffic.

Wonderful valley pass hike through refreshing forest along powerful rivers. A few beautiful mountain viewpoints, the best being at Fourth of July Pass, and plenty of strenuous up down up down hiking along Panther Creek. The trail is maintained by boots from other hikers, so it can be a bit tricky to follow at times, but if you have a good eye for following trails you will be fine. The most difficult part of the trail to follow was near the waterfall after Fourth of July Pass where there is a bit of a scramble. I marked the trail with a cairn where the vegetation ends and the rocky river scramble begins, but just make note of where the trail ends/begins when you enter that area. There were some mosquito, but I didn't need any insect repellent and only got a few bites. Most of the hike is in forest along powerful rivers, but there are some parts more exposed to the sun, especially on the ascent to the Fourth of July Pass from Thunder Creek. There are individual campsites scattered along this trail. The beginning of the trail is popular with day hikers, but that ends around Fourth of July Pass and then it's just you and the forest river valley.

hiking
1 month ago

If your looking for a destination hike like some lake trails provide this is not it. I had high expectations of a glorious view of pyramid peak from the lake. It wasn’t there. The lake is more like a deep pond with some logs floating about. What was cool about this hike was the old growth forest that you will reach about half way into the hike.

We were a bit disappointed that there was no shore to access the lake to do a little fishing. Much smaller lake than we were anticipating. Pretty much up hill most of the way .

hiking
1 month ago

Did this hike on July 3rd. It was a beautiful day in the NCNP, easy parking. We clocked 7.8 miles round trip and 1750 ft elev gain. The best way to do this hike is to look up the ferry schedule and hike in one way (wish we had known this ahead of time.) Cost is $10 cash per person. I even saw several people with dogs planning to take the ferry, but I don't know the rules.

hiking
1 month ago

"Easy' may be relative and needs to be qualified. For families with small kids and elders this trail may pose some challenge depending on their physical abilities. Relative to an urban park trail which most people would consider "easy", this trail is a climb and rocky/uneven all the way through. The view is worth while but the "kid friendly" tag probably best applies to elementary-school-age kids and up. May be do-able with younger kids not on a carrier, but YMMV.

Easy hike with beautiful views at the top. Did see a large black bear on the way down close to the trailhead, ran off when it saw us.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked this on 7/4. Couldn't make it to trappers peak due to a late start. Was able to view the now thawing lake from a ridge. Plenty of snow here, poles and micro spikes would be helpful. Would recommend trying this a couple of weeks from now once the snow has completely melted.

Was able to drive to the trailhead in a Mazda but a high clearance vehicle would have been nice.

The trail cuts through the forest for the most part, nothing very exciting there. The last 3 miles are mostly uphill.

Went all the way up to Trappers Peak on 6/24. Snow free until half a mile from the ridge. That half mile section has small snow patches that are easy to navigate through. Once you hit the ridge the snow is pretty solid. There are bare patches along the trail to Trappers Peak but also some dicier snow travel. The lakes are still frozen although the lower lake is beginning to melt around the edges. Very few people and absolutely gorgeous views from the ridge.

backpacking
1 month ago

Only negative about our 4 night, 5 day adventure was people. Very crowded 2 night stay at lightning creek complete with uptight powertripping stay at home moms who thought they were entitled to the best spots. Had a magical final evening at Hozomeen lake all by ourselves. Reserved a 200 dollar water taxi to take us back within 5 mi of hwy 20 where we were parked. I highly recommend this as a first time backpacking trip.

Backpacked to 4th of July Pass via Thunder Creek trail. Very clean and scenic trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Great Trail. Little bit of Traffic but not bad. Took our dog on the leash, that's the great part! Had a blast! Make sure to Gas up in Marblemount first! There's Colonial Creek Campground just down the road from the trailhead too!!

I hiked this trail mid June. I have mixed feelings about this trail as my motive is to move away from noise and buildings when hiking. You hear the highway during much of this hike and the power lines kind of ruin the views. The trail does have some value as it offers a gradual climb (easy enough for most hikers) starting in a peaceful forest. The only sounds are the many song birds. You will cross a few snow melt streams without any problem. The avalanche presents some boulders to climb. This is a very short area, though. Take notice near the end of the boulders a low cave like area that looks somewhat filled in, yet blows cold air. Great way to cool off. Next, is a short off trail look out near a power line tower. I spotted some warblers there. The trail moves close to the gorge edge. Here you are exposed to the sun and need sure footing as the drop off can be dangerous. There are a few limited views along this part which include the lake, mountains, and cliffs. Just before the trail descends to Ross dam is a lookout. The view from route 20 is actually better then this one.

backpacking
1 month ago

Backpacked out to Roland Creek campground (about 7 miles in) and back, pretty unimpressive to be honest. It starts out pretty nice, but fades to generic green tunnel with no vantages, distinctive features, or anything of note really for the majority of the hike, although Roland Creek itself at the end is nice.

That said, it looks like the trail might get a bit better if you go a bit farther than I did.

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