Washington state’s North Cascades National Park, Sahale Glacier Camp beckons…it’s magnificent scenery, stunning views and colorful wildflowers await you.
The trail begins twenty-four miles east of Marblemount at the end of the Cascade River Road.
The first leg of the hike ascends more than 40 switchbacks over 3.7 miles gaining about 1,700 feet to reach Cascade Pass. Here is an ideal spot to rest and enjoy the views of peaks such as Eldorado, Johannesburg, Magic, Mixup and McGregor.
The main trail continues down the eastern slopes towards Stehekin while the Sahale Arm Trail branches off to the left and starts a steep climb. From Cascade Pass it’s only 2.2 miles to Sahale Glacier Camp but you’ll gain more than 2,200 feet in elevation. Soon you reach a ridge top with another spur trail leading down 800 feet to Doubtful Lake where you can explore the oldest gold mining claim in the Stehekin region.
Continuing on to Sahale Camp the path starts a gentle, glorious ascent of Sahale Arm. Meadows here are filled with wildflowers and the views include Mount Torment, Forbidden Peak, Mount Baker, Dome Peak and in the southern distance, Mount Rainier.
The great arc of Sahale Arm now turns to head straight up the slopes to the base of Sahale Peak. The final pitch climbs up steep scree to reach a ridge where Sahale Glacier Camp is located. There are several tent pads, some on gravel and some on rock slabs, all surrounded with rock walls to protect from the wind. The trip can be made as a day hike but to experience the North Cascades true majesty it’s best to spend the night.
I’ll see you there!
Andy Porter began his love of the outdoors when, at the age of 16, he completed a month-long Outward Program in the Sawtooth Wilderness of Idaho. Since then he has hitchhiked many miles, criss-crossing the US; trekked in the Andes; lived in the steppes of Siberia and now makes his home in the northwestern corner of Washington state, where he feels completely at home. As a photographer and writer Andy tries to capture some small part of the beauty and wonder he sees. You can see more of Andy’s images here, and on his blog page, which includes many of his stories of travel and adventure.
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