All good things must end as does our trip through the National Parks of Washington. We took a few days to drive up north to the North Cascades Scenic Highway and spent some time in the “Alps of Washington State”. Although there is no single big mountain like Mount Rainier, these steep jagged mountains are amazing. We spent two nights in Newhalem campground which is near the small town of Newhalem. This is a company town built to house workers at Seattle City Light.
The North Cascades Scenic Highway runs through the Lake Ross Recreational Area and is full of places to pull over, take a short hike, and enjoy the scenery. The lakes all have the same beautiful turquoise color that you find in other glacier fed lakes and there is nothing quite like it.
Before you arrive at Newhalem you pass through the small town of Marblemont which is also the last place to get food and gas before Eastern Washington. From Marblemont we were able to access a mostly dirt road that traveled out some 25 miles into North Cascades National Park. As this park is 97% wilderness, there are very few roads into the park itself. This road takes you to a trail head with awesome views even if you don’t take any of the trails. One trail possibility for a future trip that leaves from this area is called Cascade Pass. They have discovered remnants of fires and utensils used by Native Americans over 9000 years ago. They believe this was the main pass used by people to travel between western and eastern Washington.
Once we continued east we made it to the town of Winthrop for a quick stop. This is a western themed town full of people looking for sunshine, river rafting, and shopping in an old time atmosphere. It was a fun stop over.
After this we headed to Leavenworth for some Bavarian fun in the sun. This town is a great stop to enjoy all things German. We even got to listen to accordion music while enjoying our Schnitzel and Spatzli dinner.
We hear it is something to see for Octoberfest and tree-lighting ceremonies in the snow. Another wonderful Washington get-a-way to check off our list. Next up is a lot of family and friends fun before our Washington trip comes to an end.