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Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?

4 posts
Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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Hello everyone,

I thank you all so much in advance for your time in replying.

We are traveling around the PNW and have planned 2 nights at Marblemount (Buffalo Run Inn) to get a taste of the North Cascades. We knew we couldn't do much within that time, so we had planned:

Day 1: arrival, dropping bags and driving up to Cascade Pass to hike as much as possible (I don't think we could have reached the Sahale Arm, but we were willing to go a bit further than the Pass).

Day 2: Drive the Cascades Highway stopping at viewpoints (Diablo and Ross Lakes overlooks), then hike the Maple Loop Trail and finish at Washington Pass overlook.

I picked the Cascades Pass and the Maple Loop trails because they were the most recommended, but also because they sound like full day hikes for our family of 4.

Now that Cascade River Road is closed to the Pincer Creek fire and it doesn't look like it will open in the next couple of weeks, I am trying to find an alternative full day plan for Day 1.

Can you recommend a similar hike or plan? A full day one not too similar to Maple Loop?

Thank you so so much!

12 replies to this topic
San Diego...
12 posts
1. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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We are in the same boat. Going to be in the area in less than 2 weeks. Maybe Park Butte/Railroad Grade for your first day? Another option might be Thornton Lakes and Trappers Peak. Good luck!

Bellevue, Washington
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2. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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Park Butte is awesome -- fantastic views of Mt Baker, a lookout cabin, and pikas if you're lucky, but two cautions to consider: 1. Recent reports from wta.org suggest that the stream crossing is tricky right now, and 2. You need to be prepared to carry out waste (ie, no digging catholes for poop).

Another option is Sauk Mountain. It's even closer to Marblemount, but is shorter than Park Butte. The Sauk Mtn road sounds pretty rough right now though.

Oregon/Washington
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for Portland, Sunriver
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3. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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I too love Park Butte, but do be cautious of the steam crossing that was mentioned. They remove the bridge at the end of the season, so check on the timing of that as well.

Seattle
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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4. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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Two trails I would suggest:

Cutthroat Pass from the Rainy Pass Trailhead is a lovely hike on the opposite side of the Highway from Maple Pass Loop. It offers great scenery, first through forest and then wide-open at the top. It is a section of the Pacific Crest Trail, and we have met through-hikers along here.

East Bank Baker Lake: this is a lower-elevation hike through old-growth forest, crossing rushing creeks on bridges, with an opportunity to swim in the lake at the turnaround point, a small hike-in campground at Noisy Creek. The trail runs for 14.5 miles from north to south, but the hike we like is an 8-mile RT out-and-back from the north trailhead.

https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/baker-lake

Both these hikes are good for hikers with rental cars, as the trailheads do not involve a long approach on a rough, potholed gravel road.

4 posts
5. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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Thank you! I hadn't considered the hikes around Mt Baker, and Park Butte looks beautiful.

So glad I asked.

Have a great trip! We'll be there around the same time.

4 posts
6. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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Oh!!! Both of these sound fantastic.

I appreciate your reply so much. Now I have beautiful hikes to look forward to. And thank you for considering our car situation.

Bellingham...
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7. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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Just an aside: none of the hikes mentioned are "around Mount Baker". You'd say that about trails that are accessed farther north, off Hwy 542 (the Mount Baker Highway). Not a biggie, just mentioning it as an fyi for your traveling knowledge. : )

~ Colleen

Seattle
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for Grand Canyon National Park
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8. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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Read the most recent WTA trip report on the Park Bute trail stream crossing before you decide on choosing that hike. It might be OK going across in the morning, and uncomfortably high when you re-cross it in the afternoon. Not recommended for children or dogs, and best done by wearing water shoes or other footwear you can get wet, and wading through, with poles for stability.

4 posts
9. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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Thank you!

Yes, we plan to bring our poles and water shoes, and our kids are 13 and 14, so we might venture in.

We seem to be out of luck with our hike choices… ONP has closed Hurricane Ridge this week too 🙊

Seattle, Wa
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10. Re: Cascade Pass Closed - Recommendations for alternative plan?
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Hurricane Ridge has reopened. The roads that are still closed are unpaved campground/hiking access (Obstruction Pt and Deer Park).

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