As promised (never mind it was more than two months ago), we are getting around to posting photos from our backpacking trip in the North Cascades. This is a stunning and possibly overlooked national park area that we can’t wait to get back to! While backpacking in New Zealand we met a couple from Seattle who said something along the lines of “If you like this [NZ], you HAVE to see the North Cascades.” They had backpacked all over the world and the North Cascades were still at the top of their list. The North Cascades were already on my radar due to a conversation during our travel planning with an International Studies professor from George Fox University. This is another individual who has been to the four corners of the world and when asked his favorite place he didn’t hesitate with his answer of “North Cascades.” So, it was settled, we had to get there.
We have the tradition of going backpacking on our anniversary–trying to get to a different spot each time.
Year 1 – Mt. Hood National Forest (OR)
Year 2 – John was ill so we didn’t get out this year
Year 3 – Olympic National Park (WA)
Year 4 – late celebration backpacking in Yosemite (CA)
Year 5 – Jefferson Park (OR)
Year 6 – North Cascades (WA)
The North Cascades did not disappoint and I can understand why this spot is a favorite among world travelers. We did a particularly spectacular hike, starting at the Harts Pass Trailhead (about 30 miles south of the Canadian border) and following the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) to our last camp spot, Goat Lakes. This hike boasts seven ridges and it felt like about 70% of the hike was ridge line, which is our favorite type of hike. On this hike you start at a high elevation and stay at a high elevation. Not too much work for a huge reward.
We did have to dance around some crummy weather, but we were able to get on the trail on beautiful afternoon, make it to our second camp spot before the rain came and then hunker down for almost 24 hours until the rain passed. Although it might sound like 24 hours of rain would be miserable, we loved it and took full advantage of the ample opportunity for napping and reading. Just when I was making a mental list of things to do like tent yoga, the rain cleared and we had another two days of gorgeous weather and views.
There’s just nothing that compares to getting off the grid for a few days, working hard and resting hard. It was also a good chance for us to spend time processing the fact that we are having a baby! Over the days of hiking and huddling in the tent, we had great opportunity to really start thinking about all the things that go along with having a kiddo.
Here’s what you have been waiting for… photos!
If you have any suggestions on where we should go in the future, send them our way!