Visit the North Cascades Parks, Creeks and Trails. Step Into A New Adventure.

Discover 3 Water Trails

Gorge Creek Falls--Sourdough Trail~

Diablo Lake Trail ~ North Cascades Institute

Thunder Knob Trail ~ Diablo Overlook ~ Thunder Park Creek Trail


Boating can be done on Gorge Lake and Colonial Creek. Kayak's and small motorboats can be moved along the Skagit River. There is also a River raft launch at Goodell Creek Campground. A small little place very near Diablo. Secluded, quiet, small. Picnics? Yes!

The water is always cold, so dress in layers and treat water before drinking it. Be careful when crossing streams or creeks, moss covers just about everything and even a light rain can make things quite slippery. Bring a backpack if hiking more than a mile from your vehicle.

Fishing is allowed in North Cascades nation Park Complex. Washington state fishing licenses, you are required to buy. The trout is absolutely delicious fresh from the waters, into the frying pan, then hot on a plate with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Any juicy fruit makes a wonderful juice liquid to fry the fish in. Mouth watering, indeed.

Information centers are along the way in Sedro-Woolley, Marblemount and Newhalem. Here is where to find the maps and trails, and pick up any last minute supplies. We love to find out some of the history about a place, we feel more in harmony with nature that way.


Walk the Trail of Cedars

Follow the Bridge to a Tree Adventure
Follow the Bridge to a Tree Adventure | Source
Celebrate Cedar Trees
Celebrate Cedar Trees | Source
A gentle walk with the trees
A gentle walk with the trees | Source

Visit the North Cascades

Step into a new adventure of experience. Follow Highway 20 East for hikes and sights along the North Cascades. Located NE of Mount Vernon, Washington, follow highway 20 through the outskirts of Sedro Woolley, Wa. Meander up through the valleys of other small communities, growing closer to the majestic mountains.


The air is easy to breathe in deep up here.


Beginning in the Historic community of Newhalem, elaborate trails, walks, hikes, and camping spots prevail. Make it an all day adventure, or camp along the way. Many adventures and things to see, places to eat, views to delight our eyes, and walks to refresh our feet.

For flowering plants on high passes And in Alpine Meadows, spring and fall may occur in the same week. Glaciers are all around some of them with permanent snowfields, sheer walled cliffs. If you are a mountaineer and want to be challenged come to these jagged peaks and ridges of the North Cascades National Park.

At the Cascade Pass Trailhead is where most hikers enter the national parks. Trails are marked to make the steps into a new adventure interactive with nature. Many educational sign posts are along the way.

Step Into Newhalem, Beginning to Cascades Parks

Visit Main Street to gather information for camping, hiking, going on a new adventure.
Visit Main Street to gather information for camping, hiking, going on a new adventure. | Source

Stepping Easy to Adventure

Newhalem Area Trails

Cedar Trail

Newhalem Campground

Main Street Newhalem

This majestic landscape can take a lifetime to explore. It provides just about every outdoor activity one can think of with its many rivers, streams, hiking trails and campgrounds. All along highway 20 are Washington state camping facilities. Also county, national park, forest reserves and even the wilderness society provide information to enjoy, and sites to visit.

Even if you are not an outdoor enthusiast, the drive alone is worth the trip. Thundering waterfalls, that lure us with their sounds, to stop, take pictures. Creeks, rivers and streams, call us from the numerous trails.

Mountains and peaks looming into view around the curving highway that climbs farther from the little towns and communities. Soon a vast wilderness, protected for nature and providing even such things as hydroelectric power. The history is quite interesting with the Skagit River bringing power to Seattle City light since 1918. The Newhalem store provides a detailed brochure on this and many other adventures.

If you are into science instead of history, this too, is the place to take a tour. People work in and around this natural world providing workshops, classes, understanding wildlife, preservation of natural resources. To protect the ecosystem at its core.

We've only just begun, there is so much more. The North Cascades Institute for Learning is only a few miles further north. It provides a whole new learning environment, for everyone.

Skagit River

Waters of Adventure

Waterfall along Hwy. 20 near Gorge Creek, below Diablo, Wa.
Waterfall along Hwy. 20 near Gorge Creek, below Diablo, Wa. | Source
Falls at North West Cascade Institute
Falls at North West Cascade Institute | Source
Creek Trail, glacier water, flowing to the lower lakes and Skagit River.
Creek Trail, glacier water, flowing to the lower lakes and Skagit River. | Source
Creek Rushing into Diablo Lake near North Cascade Institute
Creek Rushing into Diablo Lake near North Cascade Institute | Source
Upper Skagit River
Upper Skagit River | Source

Step into an Adventure of Wilderness

Towering Peaks looking for Ruby Mountain
Towering Peaks looking for Ruby Mountain | Source
Sourdough Mountain
Sourdough Mountain | Source
Evergreen trees do not give up reaching for the sun.  Looks like it is spreading its "wings."
Evergreen trees do not give up reaching for the sun. Looks like it is spreading its "wings." | Source
Mountain flowers bring vivid color.
Mountain flowers bring vivid color. | Source
Trees surrounded by Mountain Peaks, call us to wander closer.
Trees surrounded by Mountain Peaks, call us to wander closer. | Source
Meadows full of natural flowers takes our breath away, after walking, gives it back.
Meadows full of natural flowers takes our breath away, after walking, gives it back. | Source
The variety of trees that share the space and love of the mountains, together, is amazing.
The variety of trees that share the space and love of the mountains, together, is amazing. | Source
Blue flowers dance in the light breeze as it blows across the lake.
Blue flowers dance in the light breeze as it blows across the lake. | Source

Trails Made To Walk Upon

We really enjoy all the many places along this beautiful drive that invite us to stop, get out of our cars and walk awhile. The view inviting to the eyes and the waterfalls comforting to the ears.

To us there isn't any better place to visit that appeals to all our senses. Up here there is so much to do, like fishing, rafting, photo shoots of the ever changing scenery.

What is really nice too, is yes, the drive. Winding roads of beauty on either side with mountains and waterfalls filling up the ever clear and multitude of green Skagit River.

The whole of nature around here has many a story to tell. There are many places along that house books and maps and figures and facts about all the history along here.

We love most that even with all this care of the people to beauty this place, they honor the beauty of the earth as it has been for a very long time here. We admire that.

North of Newhalem, Hwy. 20

© 2012 Maree Michael Martin

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New Adventures 15 comments

Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 3 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island Author

Thank you Peggy for the Link. I have more on this part of the country to do. I will look at your park page now. Fun!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

I really enjoyed reading this hub and seeing your photos. I would love to experience it as you have someday. I took the liberty of adding a link from this hub to the one I just wrote about The Majesty of the 3 National Parks in the State of Washington. This will be a great addition to the North Cascades part of it. Up, beautiful and interesting votes.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Ahhhh! Ruby, you have taken me back home for a visit. I am from the PNW, lived in Mt. Vernon for quite a while and so miss it. You writing about the trout in the frying pan with scrambled eggs for breakfast makes my mouth water and brings back many pleasant memories. Thank you for writing this hub. The pictures are beautiful.

Voted all ups except funny.


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island Author

Thanks for the comment on the photos. Inspires me to take more!


wheretostay profile image

wheretostay 4 years ago from Malaysia

very informative and nice photos!!


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island Author

It really is a beautiful drive in my opinion. Glad you enjoyed the photos. Gotta work on putting up more. Thanks for the great votes. I don't remember much about Orange County. As beautiful as Washington is, there are places in California I really miss. Mostly to take pictures there of course! Enjoy!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Love the photos. I'm frequently in Washington and will make it a point of visit the North Cascades next time, thanks to your descriptions. Voting this Up and Useful.


pagesvoice profile image

pagesvoice 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

Voted up, useful, awesome, interesting and beautiful. Your descriptions and photos are absolutely wonderful and stunning! Although I have traveled much of the lower 48 States, I have never been to Washington and I see, through your words, what I am missing. Thankfully in New York State we have the gorges in Ithaca and the Adirondack Mountains, along with the Finger Lakes region. Ah, the great outdoors...there is nothing like it!


Gulf Coast Sun profile image

Gulf Coast Sun 4 years ago from Gulf of Mexico

LOL lots of adjectives help.


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island Author

Seattle has a beauty to it, all its own. Thanks for your wonderful comment. I can't wait to see some of your paintings. I get lost in the beauty of trying to describe nature.


Gulf Coast Sun profile image

Gulf Coast Sun 4 years ago from Gulf of Mexico

Hi Ruby, Your picture postcard photos are an artist's delight, which I will use as references for my paintings. I've only been to Seattle but hope one day to visit your beautiful State. Kathleen


Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island Author

Yes, Billy, I have heard so many people say how beautiful this state we live in is. I decided to share it more, instead of taking it for granted.

Glad you liked it Real Adventures.

Oh Fennelseed, that is so true about Sourdough Mountain! I am going back in July to explore butterflies. Can't wait!

Yes, sgbrown, the sound of waterfalls intrigues me the most. I love camping around them in the mountains for sure. Thanks for your votes!


sgbrown profile image

sgbrown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

What a beautiful place! I love the mountains and waterfalls! Your pictures are beautiful! I would love to visit there someday! Great job. Many votes! Have a beautiful day! :)


Fennelseed profile image

Fennelseed 4 years ago from Australia

Wow, what an adventure, so much to do and see and I see what you mean about it taking a lifetime to fully explore. The wildflowers are beautiful and how about Sourdough Mountain, just like a loaf with a dusting of flour!!!

Awesome hub with information on this incredible location, with something to please everyone. I love the waterfalls and cascades and could easily lose myself in the beauty of this place.

My votes and best wishes to you Ruby, and sharing.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

Great hub of course but then what would you expect me to say since I'm from Washington. LOL Seriously, great job!

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