North Cascades National Park is a beautiful park located northeast of Seattle, Washington next to the Canadian border. It is also home to Ross Lake National Recreation Area and a power plant located on the river. It's an odd mix to be sure!
The terrain is extremely steep. The Skagit River is about 400 feet above sea level and the mountains soar to around 9,200 feet. If you're looking for a flat hike, you will more than likely be confined to the parking lot.
The environment is exactly what you would expect in the Pacific Northwest; large trees, lots of moss, and streams flowing down the mountainsides.
The Picket Range
I'm not a fan of the power plant on the Skagit River, but I do understand that it provides a very large amount of the power for Seattle and surrounding areas. What I do appreciate is that they have done a lovely job turning the area on the mountainside (Ladder Creek) around the plant into a beautiful, natural garden. Again it's steep walking but really lovely!
Other hikes, vistas and flowers in the park.
I did several hikes and thoroughly enjoyed my two days in the North Cascades. Here's a public service announcement: do have plenty of food/snacks/water along. The only store and restaurant inside the park closed due to a computer problem, so I didn't have any food except for a couple of Kind bars and a little bag of beef jerky that I brought on the plane. According to someone I spoke with, it happens fairly often.
See you down the road at Olympic National Park!