Recommended Stay: 6 to 10 days
Round trip miles from Boise 1000 miles/Total Roundtrip Drive Time: 16 hours
Trip Cost Estimate: $650 to $1250
The North Cascades are a lot less popular than Mt. Rainier National Park, but it is equally beautiful. There are great lakes to explore and many miles of hiking trails in and around the North Cascades National Park. Outside of the National Park there are many biking oportunities.
Drive through the North Cascades National Park:
There are loads of hiking trails in and around the National Park so it can be hard to choose. Check out some of these suggestions and bear in mind that any trail in the National Park except for the Pacific Crest Trail do not allow dogs.
1)Pacific Crest Trail from Rainy Pass to Harts Pass: This trail can be started at either end and you can go as long or as short as you want. The grades are moderate on this section of the PCT. From Rainy Pass you will reach your first waterfall at about 1.1 miles and then you will really leave the trees behind and have endless ridge top views. You can take your dog on this trail as long as the dog is on leash.
2)Maple Pass Loop: This trail is the best loop trail in the park that can be completed in a day. You will be treated to ridge top views and high mountain lakes and lots of Yellows during the fall.
Just outside of the park there are lots of biking opportunities near the towns of Twisp and Winthrop.
1) Martin Creek - The trail will lead you up into the alpine lakes of the Sawtooth Range and some great views in the fall with the bright yellows of the Western Larch trees. The Western Larch is the most spectacular deciduous tree in the west. The Martin Creek trail is the prime jewel of the North Cascades and can also be used to make a larger loop if you are looking for something more adventurous.
2) Buck Mountain Loop - Just out of Winthrop is the Buck Mountain loop which is very popular because it provides some great ridge top views of the valley below with mostly easy to moderate climbing. There is a 9 mile down hill that is very fast and flowy and will definatly put a grin on anyone's face.
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