United States



Washington – The Evergreen State

National Parks

North Cascades National Park, Washington


North Cascades National Park is in Washington State, USA and is well known for its North American Alps, conifer-clad mountain ranges, picturesque lakes, cascading waterfalls, and glaciers. This park is usually overshadowed by other two national parks, Mount Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park, but North Cascades park is really a hidden treasure of Washington state.

These photos are from a two day trip to North Cascades National park in late August 2013.

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Quick Facts and Tips

  • Best Time to Visit
    • Summer Months: July to August when wildflowers are blooming.
    • Spring and Fall Months: Pleasant, but most park roads will be closed.
  • Fly into: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington USA
  • Clothing
    • Comfortable pants, hiking shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, capri, sweatshirts, comfortable walking/hiking shoes, and rain gears. Spring and fall will be cool, so dress in layers.
  • How Many Days
    • Main Attractions: 1-2 days
    • Doing Hiking/Camping: 3-5 Days
  • What to Expect
    • Vast wilderness of conifer-clad mountains, Glaciers, Mountain Ridges, Wildflower, Clear Lakes, Waterfalls, Green Valleys, Wildlife
  • Be sure to check the Park Website for alerts on road closures and current trail conditions.
  • Entrance Fee: Free.
  • Take food, water, and start early in the morning, so you can spend the day touring, as there are only few restaurants throughout the park.
  • Weak/no cell phone signals, highly recommend to have maps downloaded or printed.
  • There is a lot to capture, so keep your camera ready. Make sure that the camera is fully charged and also keep backup batteries and memory cards.
  • Places to Visit
    • North Cascade Highway: Diablo Lake, Rainy Lake, Liberty Bell, Washington Pass, Ross Lake
    • Mt Baker Highway: Nooksack Falls, Picture Lake, Artist Point, Mt Baker Wilderness Area
  • Best things to do
    • Drive the scenic North Cascade Highway. Stop at all the lookouts to enjoy and capture the beauty of nature.
    • Enjoy the beauty of the unique and intense turquoise color of Diablo Lake at Diablo Lake overlook. Astonishing views are easy to access, right at the parking lot. There are some picnic tables, so that you can relax and relish the gorgeous Diablo lake views.
    • Enjoy hiking to the beautiful Rainy lake. The hike is in the lush green woods and winds through wildflowers, waterfalls, and streams.
    • Visit Washington Pass Overlook, the last point of interest on the eastbound of North Cascade Highway, which offers a stunning view of Liberty Bell Mountain.
    • Enjoy the drive through the scenic Mt Baker Highway and visit Picture Lake and Artist point. Artist point is the starting point for many great trails in the Mt. Baker area.
  • Popular Hikes on North Cascade Highway
  • Popular Hikes on Mt Baker Highway
  • Nearby Attractions
National Parks

Best Trails in North Cascades National Park, Washington


Popular Hikes on North Cascade National Park, Washington

  • Rainy Lake Trail: Easy and paved 2 miles round trip that offers gorgeous views of the lake with snow capped mountains and waterfalls in the backdrop. Trail is best used from July to October. Picture and more info here.
  • Washington Pass Trail: An easy paved 0.2 mile trail from the parking lot leads to an observation deck overlooking the highway below, Liberty Bell Mountain, and many of the surrounding ridges and peaks. Picture and more info here.
  • Nooksack Falls Trail: A short and marked trail that offers 88 feet glacial falls in two segments down the North Fork of the Nooksack River. Picture and more info here.
  • Picture Lake Trail: A short and sweet paved 0.4 mile loop trail that features an awesome reflection of Mount Shuksan on the Picture lake. As the name suggests, Picture Lake is truly picture perfect. Try to get there early to catch sunrise at Picture Lake. Picture and more info here.
  • Chain Lakes Loop Trail: Trail begins at the Artist Point where Mount Baker Highway ends. This trail offers stunning views of Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, and Iceberg Lake. This spectacular day hike is a 6.5 mile loop trail considered moderate and leads through sweeping views of mountain vistas and waterfalls along the lake shores and heather meadows. The trail is very narrow and is very high up so keep your eyes on the trail. Picture and more info here.

Picture Lake, Washington

Mount Shuksan Reflection on Picture Lake, Mt Baker Highway

Location: Picture Lake, Mt Baker Highway, North Cascades National Park, Washington, USA.

Date and Time: Around 3pm on August 31, 2013.


Rainy Lake, Washington

Rainy Lake, North Cascades Highway

Location: Rainy Lake Trail, North Cascade Highway, North Cascades National Park, Washington, USA.

Date and Time: Around 5pm on August 30, 2013.


Diablo Lake

Diablo Lake, a gorgeous turquoise reservoir in the Cascade mountains of northern Washington

Location: Diablo Lake Lookout, North Cascade Highway, North Cascades National Park, Washington.

Date and Time: Around 4pm on August 30, 2013.