North Cascades

It’s early Sabbath morning, and I take off early for the mountains. The destination will be the North Cascades. The day before, I had researched the area, and it looks like one of the most accessible trails with the best views is the Hannegan Pass trail. So, this is the one I chose.

Driving up from Seattle takes a few hours. I get the parking permit from the ranger station, and from there, I drive further up into the mountains and down a dirt road flanking the Nooksack River’s North Fork. The trailhead is full, and I park a quarter-mile down the road.

The climb up the trail is scenic, where there are areas of fall color painting the Nooksack Range. It takes me longer than I think to actually reach the Pass. From there, I turn right and head up the knob called Hannegan Peak. The views from here are truly spectacular. Mt. Baker rises to the south. Many hikers linger here and take in the views.

Then, I head back down the trail, wash up at a trailside waterfall, and continue to the car. My shirt is dry by the time I reach the parking lot.

Further up the road, there’s a beautiful area called Heather Meadows. Scenic highlights include Picture Lake and Artist Point. I visit both. Then, I wait for the sun to set and cast alpenglow on Mt. Shuksan.

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