After our glorious morning hike to Blue Lake to see the larches, Adrienne drives us a short distance to Washington Pass for more gorgeous mountain views.
Unlike Blue Lake, the views at Washington Pass are only a short walk from the parking lot.
The larches here in Washington are alpine larches. They only grow at high altitudes. It makes them harder to get to, but you basically can’t get a bad picture of one. And it’s kind of a neat contrast, seeing exactly where they stop growing.
A bit tired from our hike, we find a sunny place on a warm rock to take a nap. It’s heavenly.
But we have a long drive ahead of us. Since it’s better to do most of it in the daylight, we finish the loop and head back to the parking lot.
This mountain is called Liberty Bell. Photography classes come out here all the time (I did one many years ago) to practice their landscape photography. Unfortunately she’s back lit today, but you can still kind of make her out.
On the way back, we stop off at Diablo Lake. The water is turquoise-green due to rock that was ground into a fine powder by glaciers. The powder sits suspended in the water, preventing light from traveling very far.
As a kid, we would drive past this lake on our way to eastern Washington for camping, and it would always blow my mind.
We make one final stop, at the National Park sign on our way out.
And with that, our awesome day exploring the North Cascades has come to an end. I’m so glad we made the effort to get out here, even though it required taking time off work. The very next day, we were hit by a strong storm system, drenching us with rain and covering the mountains with snow. Talk about good timing! Once the snow piles up over the next month or so, the road through the park will close and won’t open again until next May.