Down Lake, Stehekin to Chelan

There are many overnight options in Stehekin ranging from the luxurious cabins at the Silver Bay Inn, to “glamping” in tented camps at the Stehekin Ranch 20 minutes away from the boat launch.  There are also a few privately-owned “log cabin” options which include a van as transportation, but these were all way beyond my budget constraints.  The National Park Lodge seemed to be the “Goldilocks” of accommodations, offering Continue reading

Up Lake to Stehekin

I feel like I have started every blog post since early summer with “Back when I was here in 2014….”   This will be the last time I do this, as every stop from this point forward will be forging new territory.  But as I was saying….“Back when I was here in 2014,” I planned to explore the southern approach into the North Cascades National Park.    While touring the Newhalem Visitor Center, I learned of a town on the southern edge of the park, Stehekin, only accessible by hiking, float plane, or boat ride 50 miles up Lake Chelan. Continue reading

Over the Rainbow on Maple Pass

My last “real hike” (defined in this case by wearing a pair of hiking boots) was July 25th.  It was on that 5 mile loop that I stepped on a large volcanic rock and rolled my foot backwards, thereby injuring my fascia and aggravating a chronic case of plantar fasciitis.   It would be until mid-September before I could walk more than a mile or two without severe pain.  While in Port Townsend, I was finally able to complete Continue reading

The Best Things in Life Are Free — At Least in the North Cascades

Highway 20 is Washington State’s longest highway. Known as the North Cascades Scenic Highway and part of the Cascades Loop, it runs right through the heart of North Cascades National Park, earning its billing as “The most beautiful mountain highway in the state of Washington.” Continue reading

High on Maple Pass

Though I am enjoying the beautiful “enchanted forest” of Newhalem Creek Campground, I am feeling the urge to “get high.” I know there are some incredible mountains around, but it seems as if most of them are hidden. Newhalem is only 500 ft in elevation, so any type of vista is tough to find through the thicket of trees.

It’s now the weekend, which means I have all day to hike. I am more of an endurance hiker than a speed hiker, so I like to do “big hikes” and take my time. Continue reading

North Cascases National Park — Its Electrifying!

In trying to make everything fit in before my planned September week-long vacation in Glacier National Park, I have to do a little mid-week travel, something I rarely do. But since I work Central Time Zone hours while on Pacific time, I am able to squeeze out a couple of extra hours of daylight. North Cascades National Park is an easy 76 mile drive from Anacortes, so I make a run for it mid-week, with the hopes of exploring the least crowded of our National Parks over the weekend. Continue reading