North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park is one of the most majestic landmark that I have ever witnessed. North Cascades National Park is situated in northern Washington, just 109 miles from Seattle, WA or 139 miles from Vancouver, BC. Due to the current Canada border closure, flying into Seattle would be ideal. The park has three mountains towering over a luminous turquoise river. Tourist travelers are limited or sparse throughout the park. To put this is perspective, most of the time, I was the only vehicle on the road. I am surprised that this is listed as one of the least visited national parks. North Cascades has so much to offer and this secret will not be a secret for long.
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Driving to North Cascades National Park:
The drive to North Cascades with a breeze from Seattle to the National Park. It took approximately three hours to get to the North Cascades Visitor Center. The roads are well paved despite of the amount of snow the area receives each year. My advise is to always check the NPS website prior to departure to verify road closures. There are two main routes to reach North Cascades but Route 20 is generally closed from November to June due to snow and repavement. My first attempt to North Cascades was through Route 20 because of its scenic nature but the road was closed at Lake Baker even in July. It was not all loss since we were able to explore Lake Baker. Later on my trip, we took the Mountain Loop Highway WA-530 East to WA-20 East and was able to enter the park with no trouble.
Entering North Cascades National Park:
North Cascades National Park offers free entrance. There is no ticketing booth, but you are welcomed by the North Cascades National Park sign. There were a couple of cars that pulled over to snap a few photos by the sign.
North Cascades Passport Stamps/Cancellation:
Due to covid, many of the visitors centers were closed. We visited the North Cascades Visitor Center only to discovered that the facility was closed on Tuesdays and Wednesday but open Thursday to Monday from 9am to 4:30. It was not all lost. The gift shops were open, and we were able to purchase stamp stickers for our books. I talked with the cashier, and he disclosed that the Wilderness Information Center was the only facility open daily from the hours of 7am to 4pm. Note that operating hours vary based on seasons.
North Cascades National Park:
The most recognizable landmark in North Cascades National Park is Lake Diablo Vista Point. We slowly made our way there with several stops along the way. We stopped at Gorge Creek and hiked the mini trail that consist of 1/5 mi paved road and another 1/3 mi unpaved route. The trail took us to view the Skaigit River and the Gorge Creek Falls. From there, we headed to Lake Diablo Vista Point that is located just past the Hidden Ground Campground. There was ample of parking during my visit around 3:30 pm. It was quite windy at the top. The view was spectacular. I have seen photos of it but photos do not do it justice. The view will forever be ingrained in my mind.