The Magnificent North Cascades

The North Cascades offer some of North America’s most spectacular mountain scenery, with more peaks that rise 3,000 feet in the last horizontal mile to their summits than any other range on Earth. But these mountains—in addition to their dramatic topography—also offer sublime intimacies: incandescent moss gardens, snow-melt pools reflecting the sky, twisted Krumholtz trees clinging to the fractured rock, and lichen-filigreed alpine boulder fields. Alpine wildflower gardens flourish in the sweeping meadows, tender blossoms swaying in the summer breezes. These delicate details are made all the more beautiful and poignant by the unutterably harsh environment in which they are found, at the base of ice-polished towers and pinnacles scoured by the dervish winds. In the high country, the season is short but wildly exuberant. And not to be missed.

John D’Onofrio is the publisher /editor of Adventures Northwest. His new book, Hiking Mt. Baker & the North Cascades (Hancock House) is available at local bookstores and online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.