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4 Day Hikes in the North Cascades

4 min read

4 Day Hikes in the North Cascades - Hiker overlooking a lake - PNW Life Header Image
The North Cascades are a beautiful series of mountains that span from the Canadian border to Snoqualmie Pass. They offer many different opportunities for hiking, climbing, and camping. This post will talk about what sort of things you can do while hiking in the North Cascades and where some great places to hike are located.

The North Cascades offer a variety of hikes that are perfect for day trips or weekends away from home. If you just want to get out and go hiking, these four trails can provide just what you need.

The Enchantments

The Enchantments are a series of alpine lakes in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. They are accessible by a trail that is approximately 11 miles long and gains 5,000 feet in elevation. This area is fantastic for fishing, swimming and spending time with family or friends. Bring your rod and reel to fish for trout! The Enchantments offer a wide variety of opportunities for hikers. You can choose from an easy hike around the lakes, or go on a more challenging day-hike to explore some new scenery.

This hike can take anywhere from one hour to eight hours depending on how long you spend at each lake. If you want an easy hike that will still provide all the beauty of this area, try it out--the last mile leading up to Lake Stuart isn't too tough while also giving a beautiful view into what's waiting ahead. Be sure not to stop once arriving: there are plenty more hikes worth exploring around these parts (all three miles away).

The Enchantments Trail Map - PNW Life
The Enchantments Trail - PNW Life

Lake Ann

Lake Ann and the surrounding area are great for a day hike. The four-mile loop will take you through beautiful forests with plenty of wildlife nearby (look out on Lake Ann's shore) or around some meadows where wildflowers and all sorts of mushrooms bloom all year round. You'll find yourself surrounded by trees as well--don't forget that there is still beauty no matter what season it may be! Be warned though, this isn't an easy hike because it has steep inclines but on the other hand, it can also offer breathtaking views! Because of this, make sure that you wear appropriate and comfortable hiking clothes during your trek! Lake Ann is also just one of many hikes in this area, and you're sure to find something else that's perfect for your time constraints or skill level!

Lake Ann Trail Map
Lake Ann Trail - PNW Life

High Lakes Loop

The High Lakes Loop is a classic choice for hiking near Mount Rainier, and for good reason. It takes you past four mountain lakes, each more beautiful than the last. The first half of the hike is a bit rocky, but once you cross the creek at the top of the valley, it is all downhill to the first lake. From there, it is a short hop to the second lake. The third lake is not too far from the second one, and it is even more beautiful than the previous two. You can see all three lakes from one vantage point, so take some time to sit and enjoy the view. The fourth lake is even farther away from the others, but it is worth every step of the journey. It sits in an idyllic spot right next to a waterfall that tumbles down into a pool below. This hike should definitely be on every hiker’s bucket list.

This hike can take anywhere from two hours to six hours depending on how much time you want to spend at each lake, so make sure you’re well-hydrated for the hike no matter the weather. You'll have plenty of options for campsites along the way if you plan ahead and pack a tent or hammock!

High Lakes Loop Trail Map - PNW Life
High Lakes Loop Trail

Snow Lake

The Snow Lake trail is a 7-mile trail with its highest point going as high as 4400 feet above sea level. Snow Lake is the most visited lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and is a popular destination in the summer, but it's also a great destination for winter hikers. The lake is located in the North Cascades National Park, which is an incredibly beautiful park that has over 500 miles of trails. Snow Lake is surrounded by snow-covered mountains. It's a popular destination for skiers and snowshoers during the winter months. The trail to Snow Lake is 7 miles long and begins at the Cascade Pass Trailhead. Once you reach the lake, you can pitch a tent and relax for the evening or continue hiking down the trail towards Cascade Pass.

Snow Lake Trail Map - PNW Life
Snow Lake Trail - PNW Life

We Can Help!

Here at PNW Journey, we’re all about bringing the fun and excitement that is the Pacific Northwest wilderness to as many people as possible. This includes enjoying the wilderness through a plethora of different activities like camping, hiking, fishing, and many more!

Through our sustainably sourced products and being a member of 1% for the Planet, one of our top priorities at PNW Journey is maintaining and preserving the beauty of the Pacific Northwest landscape for many years to come.


Trail images provided by AllTrails.com


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