It was our first of 3 national parks to visit in Washington. It’s also the least visited of the 3, but it sure was beautiful and well worth seeing. We headed to the park not knowing much but were stunned by the sights and the weather. FINALLY, we could wear some shorts and sunscreen. The North Cascades Highway goes through the park and we spent most of our time exploring trails along this route. This park has over 300 glaciers, more than any other U.S. park outside of Alaska.

Heading up Blue Lake Trail

We’re not sure if this is bear hair, but we were told to look for hair on trees where they scratched themselves and we saw a lot on this trail.

Mountain peaks peeking

Beautiful mountain peaks in every direction. Can you spot any glaciers back there?

Blue Lake! It was cloudy by the time we got to the lake so it wasn’t nearly as blue as it could be but gorgeous nonetheless


That reflection tho

More peaks we saw on the way out

Diablo Lake is the iconic view to see in North Cascades – the blue is incredible

They say these logs keep debris from coming from the rivers into the lake. There are hydroelectric dams on the lake and the debris can mess with the water intake, so they try to minimize it.

Double rainbow over Diablo Lake as we crossed a bridge

Diablo Dam from above

We were able to drive across it. Believe it or not there was room for 2 cars to pass each other (we found out on the way back across!)

Pic from the dam while driving back across

This tiny little chapel was across the street from our campground. It’s a very popular stop on the Cascade Loop. The Wildwood Chapel was restored by a family after it was vandalized and moved to this location. It only seats 9. Travelers stop in to reflect and pray and they even have weddings here!

Big Jerry looked ready to bring the Word. We read Romans 8:28 from the Bible.

You gotta arrive early to get a seat!

Back to Diablo Lake on day #2 to see it while the sun was shining


The beginning of the Thunder Knob Trail – a surprisingly cute trail that started in a dark, lush forest and then opened up into a beautiful sunny trail to overlook Diablo Lake. We met a great family along the way from The Netherlands as we were all discussing whether to proceed because it had been reported that a bear was seen on the path ahead.

This forest will turn out to be more lush than the rainforest we will visit at Olympic National Park. (See next post.) It was so green and mossy.

A view from the trail of the bridge where we saw the double rainbow yesterday

Rewarding view of Lake Diablo from the opposite side

One of the 300 glaciers. We couldn’t get pics of them all!

It was so warm this day that we met a ranger along the way who was checking on people to make sure they were ok. OK? We were glorious! Kristi was wearing a tank top, it was finally warm after weeks and weeks of chilling travel!

Ladder Creek Falls Trail which circles the Gorge Powerhouse. We learned how the dams and lakes are used to power Seattle. It’s pretty amazing.

Water leaving the powerhouse

This trail and the falls are apparently lighted at night for night hiking and enjoyment