United States Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm

5 images 1 contributors

T. Kirkendall and V. Spring

About This Spot

This is a “show case” location for the North Cascades National Park. The views start in the scenic parking lot which is dominated by the massive Johannesburg Mountain. On warm days there are frequent ice falls from the glaciers which are barely connected to the sheer cliffs. But this is only the start of the views. A wide, well graded, 3.7-mile trail climbs from the parking lot through forest to alpine meadows framed by snow and ice covered peaks. However, the best views are not found at the pass. For the shortest distance to better views, go right and head south up a steep climber's trail to Mixup and Magic Mountains. It is also the start of the renowned Ptarmigan Traverse. The best views are found to the north of the pass on Sahale Arm, reached by descending briefly before going left to climb across an open hillside to more meadows on the ridge crest. A mile from Cascades Pass, a side trail branches right, descending to Doubtful Lake. An excellent view of the lake can be found by continuing 0.2 mile up the Sahale Arm trail. Continue on another 0.5 mile to find a small tarn on the left (may be dry by late summer). The tarn is an ideal location for views. Two miles from Cascade Pass, the trail ends at the Sahale Glacier. In late-summer several tarns, perfect for reflections can be found in the talus to the east of the small camping area.

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