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Where to stay? What hikes to do?

Watertown, New York
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Where to stay? What hikes to do?

I am in the process of planning a trip to Olympic, Mount Rainier and North Cascades. We have about 8-10 days sometime in late July. I was thinking about spending about 3-4 days in Olympic, 2-3 in Mount Rainier and 2 in North Cascades. Does this seem good? When visiting National Parks, we usually just like hiking and photography.

I found some good places to stay in Olympic and Mount Rainier, but I can't find anything in North Cascades for a family of 4. We like to stay under or close to $150/night and do not want too much driving to and from hikes. The only hike I am sure that we will do is Thornton Lake, which I believe is 11 east of Marblemount on Route 20.

Any suggestions on where to stay for 2 nights and another good hike to add to the itinerary?

Everett, Washington
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1. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

Sugggestion. Go to Amazon.com and under books search or the following:

"The Mountaineers" cascade hikes

"The Mountaineers" olympic hikes

The series of books put out by The Mountaineers is probably the best reference for hike options in Cascades. Whether the "short hikes" books or the 50 or 100 hikes or even the hikes with small children. Very informatative about various trails. At one point I had a dozen of them and when we left the Puget Sound area gave them all to my son there who still uses them.

Once you have some hikes picked out the location for lodging might fall into place. Unfortunately the North Cascades is remote enough that lodging options are limited without driving. Darrington might be an option. The Darrington Motor Inn (formerly Stagecoach Inn) is well reviewed on TA. A great (but tough) hike from there with phenomenal view of Glacier Peak is at the end of the Suiattle River road and up Miners Ridge to Image Lake.

desiwalls.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/ima…

Another route into the North Cascades might be to go to Chelan on the east side and take the boat up to Stehekin as a base for hikes.

http://stehekinvalley.com/

indiana
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for Glacier National Park
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2. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

I have also been kicking around the idea of North Cascades. My plan is for mid July, is that late enough in the season to be able to do some hiking without encountering problems with snow? For what's it worth, I have found Buffalo Run Inn near Marblemount. Mixed reivews but probably ok for a couple of nights. My plan was for two nights there, two at Freestone Inn near Mazama and then two nights at Chelan. I figured that way I could see both sides of the park without traveling back and forth. Does this sound feasible or would it be better just to pick a place and do the drive everyday? Thanks

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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3. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

How far are you planning on driving into the Park? I have always stayed in a tent in the North Cascades. It is true there are not a lot of options for places to stay. If you are planning on crosssing over the Pass you might want to consider a cabin in Winthrop, which is very different then the west side of the Cascades. My favorite hikein the area is a little further North above Bake Lake. I like Watson Lakes.

Edited: 22 October 2010, 21:14
Concrete
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4. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

Hello,

We are located near the town of Concrete in the North Cascades we have 5 fully equipped log cabins for $145 to $155 per night and are AAA three star rated, We are 18 minutes from the Baker Lake recreation area and 20 minutes from thorton lakes and many more hiking opportunities. We are located on a 580 acre cattle ranch and nature preserve. Pleae visit our website and our reviews on trip advisor at www.ovenells-inn.com We are a great place for families and only 3 miles from the town of Concrete. We hope you enjoy the North Cascades. Please visit www.cascadeloop.com for great information also.

lilB-Chicago
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5. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

I have a similar question -- we're planning on spending a few days in the North Cascades in mid-May. We'd like to stay someplace on the west side of the park, simply because it'll be a shorter drive from Seattle. Are there good places to stay on the west side of the park? What are the good hikes on the west side of the park? Thanks in advance!

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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6. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

For starters keep in mind there will still be plenty of snow in May for a lot of hikes. We are still getting snow at around 3,000 feet and right now have plenty of it. May will be early for some of the best hikes.

Jackson, Michigan
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7. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

I've stayed at the Skagit River Inn a few times, pretty basic but it worked for us. I really enjoy the Cascades Pass hike, though as others have pointed out it may be a little too early.

Seattle, Wa
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8. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

Nothing will be accessible in mid May. In fact, the North Cascades Highway may still be closed--they are predicting the latest opening in 20 years due to heavy snowfall. There will definitely be no hikes accessible--the only road into the park, Cascade River Road, will still be buried. The Cascade Pass hike that poster #7 mentions is not typically accessible until mid-July.

lilB-Chicago
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9. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

Thanks for the messages -- it sounds like mid-May is just too early for the North Cascades, so we will try heading to the Olympics this trip and hit the NCNP next time!

Atlanta, Georgia
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10. Re: Where to stay? What hikes to do?

We are also considering a trip to North Cascades NP, but the 2nd full week of August 2011. Considering the large snowpack this year, is it likely that the trails will be open then? Any suggestions for a 4 - 5 day visit itinerary, or is that too much time to spend? We are day-hikers and canoers, not backpackers or fisherman, but are looking for scenery and possibly wildlife. We have visited the Olympic peninsula several times as well as Rainier, Victoria and Vancouver Island, and thought we would try going east. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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