Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 13 – Cascade Pass Trail

There are lots of trails in the park but the rangers recommended this as the best one if you wanted to see mountains. It was a bit beyond what we normally do but they gushed about it so much we had to try.

The trail is 3.8 miles one way to the pass. You climb for about 2 miles through 35 switchbacks up the side of the mountain through the forest. The sections of the trail between turns were quite long and not really steep so it was doable without killing us. It just got a bit monotonous as you didn’t get many views. After climbing, the rest of the trail was a long, mostly horizontal traverse to the pass with the mountains in full view.

This is a really popular trail and it being a gorgeous Saturday morning it was packed. The parking lot was full and we had to park a short distance down the road. I would estimate there were about 60 cars. Note that the trailhead is 23 miles off the highway, 12 miles of which is on a narrow single lane dirt road. I even saw a Mazda RX8 sports car in the lot (covered in dirt).

Here is the view from the parking lot.



Part way up.




The switchbacks got a bit more open as we got higher.



The start of the traverse



A look back to the valley we had driven up. We could see the car park from here. It is about 1/4 in from the left on the valley floor. It sure seemed a long way away!



This is where we stopped.


You can see the trail continue behind Jennie for about another mile to the pass but we were getting tired and it was a LONG way back down.


Our lunch spot.



Heading back after a long stare.


Jennie spent a lot of the time taking pictures of the many wild flowers (and weeds).


Part way down we heard a loud crack and a huge boom that echoed around the valley. We looked across and saw a chunk of the glacier face (below) fall down the mountain. I wasn’t fast enough with the camera though.



The endless switchbacks.


This is the view up to the pass showing how far we got. It doesn’t look far but it sure felt like it.


The hike was definitely worth it for the views but we were beat and the hour drive back to the RV was tough.

Although, after dinner,  I did go back to the coloured waterfall.

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