North Cascades Paradise
One of my favorite wild places lies in the upper reaches of Washington state. North Cascades National Park is rugged wilderness, pristine hiking and picturesque landscape as far as the eye can see. Accessible in the warmer months via historic Highway 20 (the route one Harley rider told me is the most beautiful road in America), North Cascades National Park is a destination worth visiting.
A recent Seattle Times profile by Lynda V. Mapes describes big plans for for the park, as some of Washington’s most respected mountaineers and wilderness advocates band together to campaign for expansion of the park’s boundaries.
As I sipped my coffee and perused the newspaper this morning, I was reminded of the many Labor Days I’ve marked hiking in this region. It’s an untouched
idyllic corner of America, located only 3 hours from Seattle. Created in 1968, the park houses 400 miles of trails, 300 glaciers and over 501,000 acres from the
Canadian border south to Lake Chelan.
Jim Wickwire, the first American to summit K2, says it best when describing this land, “it’s the mountains close to home that mean the most.”
Happy Labor Day, Mountaineers.