North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park ultimate guide. This hiking + camping guide will help you plan your weekend getaway the budget friendly way. | HerLifeAventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #northcascadeshighway #northamericatravel #hiking #camping #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #northcascades #washington

North Cascades National Park covers more than 2 million acres, of federally designated wilderness, making it one of the largest parks in the lower 48 states. I’ve put together this ultimate hiking & camping guide to help you plan your North Cascades National Park getaway and make the most of your time there.

Blue lake hike in North Cascades looks like a rainbow reflection. North Cascades National Park ultimate guide. | HerLifeAventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #northcascadeshighway #northamericatravel #hiking #camping #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #northcascades #washington
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The area is referred to as a complex, and is comprised of three National Park Service units- North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area, + Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. In addition, other protected lands including several national forests and wilderness areas surround the park.

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Rugged mountain peaks of the North Cascades Range, the most expansive glacial system in the contiguous United States, and numerous waterways. Go camping in forests with the highest degree of flora biodiversity of any American national park.

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Listen to cascading waters in forested valleys. Go hiking through landscapes filled with life that have adapted to moisture in the west and recurring fire in the east. The jagged mountain peaks are crowned by over 300 glaciers. This fragile landscape is especially sensitive to our Earth’s climate change.

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Getting to North Cascades National Park

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North Cascades National Park is located about 3 hours outside of Seattle. The nearest airport to the North Cascades is Seattle Tacoma International airport (SEA). You can rent a car (Click Here to Save 10%) at the airport, and drive about 3 hours outside of Seattle to the park.

Camping + Where to Stay

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There are a number of options for accommodations while visiting the different areas within the complex. Camping is the most budget friendly, and is my preferred accommodation type when visiting national lands. Campsites at Colonial Creek, Goodell Creek, and Newhalen Creek campground are $16 per night. Gorge Lake is $10 per night. Hozomeen campground is free. Backcountry camping (boat-in and wilderness) requires a free permit. More Information on Camping

Ross Lake Resort 206-386-4437 
Rockport, WA 98283
www.rosslakeresort.com

North Cascades Lodge at Stehekin 1.855.685.4167
www.lodgeatstehekin.com

Pro Tip: Go camping at Colonial Creek campground. The campground is by the Visitor Center + the only area with cell service. However bring an extra battery charger because the sites are rustic. There are hiking trails within walking distance. Pyramid Lake trail is shorter, and the Thunder Creek trail which is longer.

Click here to search for other accommodations available in surrounding communities to the North Cascades National Park Complex.

Blue Lake Hiking Trail

Blue lake hike in North Cascades looks like a rainbow reflection. North Cascades National Park ultimate guide. | HerLifeAventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #northcascadeshighway #northamericatravel #hiking #camping #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #northcascades #washington
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Blue Lake trail is an extremely beautiful hike that takes you through alpine forests, a wild flower filled meadow, and towering mountains. You’ll end at the iridescent blue lake with crystal clear water below the glacier.

Length: Moderate, 5.3 miles (8.5 km) roundtrip, elevation gain 958 ft (292 m).

Location: North Cascades — Stehekin, Washington

Getting There: From Burlington, drive east on Hwy 20, the trailhead will be located at mileposts 161 + 162 on the south side of the road.

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Wander Wisely

Rainy Lake Hiking Trail

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Length: Paved & Easy, 2.0 miles (3.2 km) roundtrip, elevation gain 124 ft (38 m).

Location: North Cascades — North Cascades Highway – Hwy 20

Getting There: To go hiking from Marblemount follow Hwy 20 east for 20 miles to Gorge Lake Bridge. Continue for another 0.75 mile to the trailhead, on your right. You will see parking across the street from the trailhead.

Rainy Lake hike waterfall outside Seattle. Rainy lake hike in North Cascades emerald colored lake. North Cascades National Park ultimate guide. | HerLifeAventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #northcascadeshighway #northamericatravel #hiking #camping #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #northcascades #washington

Thunder Knob Trail

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Look up and see the ridge of Sourdough Mountain and the snowfield of Davis Peak. A short trail leads to another viewpoint, looking across toward Jack Mountain and down toward the narrow channel of Diablo Lake.

Length: Moderately Easy, 3.6 miles (5.8 km) roundtrip, elevation gain 425 ft (130 m).

Location: North Cascades — Colonial Creek Campground

Getting There: To get there, take State Route 20 to milepost 130, Colonial Creek Campground is 24 miles (39 km) east of Marblemount. The trail head is at the entrance to the campground on the north side of the highway. **Bonus if you’re camping here!

Diablo Lake hiking trail overlook North Cascades National Park

Pyramid Lake Hiking Trail

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The hiking trail starts beside Pyramid Creek and a beautiful cascading waterfall. Catch some cool breezes, and then almost immediately you’ll get to work ascending. The hiking trail is difficult and slow, covered in large roots, loose rocks, some scrambling, and up hill most of the way. When under the thin canopy of lodgepole pine, you’ll hear the silence of the woods and the trees creaking as they sway in the wind.

Length: Moderate, 4.5 miles (7.2 km) roundtrip, elevation gain 1500 ft (457 m).

Location: North Cascades — North Cascades Highway – Hwy 20

Getting There: From Marblemount follow Hwy 20 east for 20 miles to Gorge Lake Bridge. Continue for another 0.75 mile to the trailhead, on your right. You will see parking across the street from the trailhead.

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Not sure what to pack? Check out my National Park packing Guide!

National Park Camping Hiking Packing Guide



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North Cascades National Park Park Complex ultimate guide. This hiking + camping guide will help you plan your weekend getaway to Washington’s hidden gem. | HerLifeAventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #northcascadeshighway #northamericatravel #hiking #camping #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #northcascades #washington
North Cascades National Park ultimate guide. This hiking + camping guide will help you plan your weekend getaway the budget friendly way. | HerLifeAventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #northcascadeshighway #northamericatravel #hiking #camping #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #northcascades #washington
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2018 Year Review

Happy New Years Friends! 

WOW! Was 2018 a life changing year or what!?

One of the Many Michigan Lighthouses

For me 2018 was filled with curveballs being thrown at me constantly. By life, my career, and my family. Reflecting back over the year, and going through my photos from 2018 brings forward a lot of different emotions. My apologies for the delay in this post… at this rate I’ll be lucky to get this out before the end of 2019.

January

JThe year started with Logan and the fur babies moving in 🏡 I went from living single in my one bedroom apartment to a household of 4 with a 2:2 human:fur baby ratio. Quite the change! On top of consolidating homes, I kicked the year off ✈️ visiting my first National Park of 2018- Death Valley 🏜 camping under the desert stars with the love of my life celebrating our 1 year anniversary. Not a bad month!

Check out my post HERE on Death Valley, this park is out of this world gorgeous!

February

Not our favorite month this year! Our fur babies both had very expensive, debilitating surgeries. Putting our whole family out of commission, with no time to travel as Logan and I spent the next couple months home nursing our babies back to recovery.

March

April

April brought warmer weather and hope that winter was nearing it’s end. The fur babies were doing much better and the recovery was getting easier on everyone. I took my first trip since the girls surgery- and flew to California for business. Logan hadn’t been to California since childhood- he flew out for the weekend to explore the Los Angeles area and visit Harry Potter’s castle at Universal Studios.

May

May was a giant whirlwind! I made up for the lack of traveling the past few months. As I spent most of the month traveling. It started with Grace and I packing up her life in Chicago and heading west to Seattle. Along the way we made a few stops…

Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Check out my post HERE on Badlands National Park, the park you never knew you had to visit.

Mount Rushmore National Monument, South Dakota
Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

May was an extra special month this year. Because I turned 30!!! And almost instantly grew at least 50 grey hairs. I celebrated my birthday surrounded by my favorite travel crew.

Check out my post HERE on how to spend 8 Days Driving Iceland’s Ring Road!

Palms Book State Park; Big Spring

Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer in the midwest. Logan and I still had our suitcases from Iceland packed as we headed north for the weekend. After 10 days away from our fur babies we were looking forward to a weekend away with them to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula for the holiday weekend.

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Check out my post HERE on The Perfect Weekend in Michigan’s UP!

June

June my little sister tied the knot 💍 and made the most beautiful bride. Logan and I spent the summer weekends camping around Michigan ⛺️ and chasing lighthouses.

Lake Michigan

July

Olympic National Park

July started by exploring Seattle with Logan for the first time. We spent a couple days camping and hiking in the Olympic Peninsula. Another quick trip to Los Angelas for work, and ended with a baby shower to celebrate the future princess 👑 Charlotte Long. 

Ice Cream Taco in North Hollywood California

Check out my post HERE to read about my 3 Days Exploring the Olympic Peninsula of Washington!

August

August was 4 new Michigan State parks along the west coast of Michigan with all the family!

Check out my post HERE for the Perfect Weekend Camping Michigan’s West Coast!

September

Tulum National Park, Mexico

September I explored the Mexico for the first time! I spent a week in the state of Quintana Roo exploring cenotes and celebrating Logan & Grace’s birthdays!

Check out my posts HERE for the Perfect Weekend Camping Michigan’s West Coast!

My third trip to Los Angeles for work ✈️

Los Angeles Street Art

With little time to breathe- ✈️ a weekend in Boston visiting family and exploring the historic city

Freedom Trail, Boston

October

October Logan and I bought a 1965 Cree! Our Michigan made camper joined us for just 1 of our 3 Michigan U.P. Trips this year (Rest assured it will be on 100% of 2019 camping adventures 👏🏻). October is my favorite month in Michigan- all the leaves begin to turn colors. The green leaves turning into bright yellows, or bursting orange and reds. The whole state transforms into a magical place.

Porcupine Mountain State Park
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Munising Falls

November

Joshua Tree National Park

A work trip took me back to LA for my last flight ✈️ of the year, and an experience I’d never forget. Logan joined me after the work week for the weekend, we drove outside of the city into Joshua Tree National Park.

Check out my post HERE for more on Joshua Tree National Park!

Salton Sea, California

With the time difference across the country, we only had one day to explore before we had to catch a plane home. After we spent the day exploring the park, we stopped at the Salton Sea. It was hard to see the disaster we were witnessing in front of us. As we were driving back to our campsite, we were rear ended on the freeway. Thankfully no one was physically injured, however I couldn’t help but feel this was an omen of sorts.

December

December began a new chapter in my life 🌱that will continue into 2019. The journey hasn’t been easy and I anticipate it will only get harder with the new year. But I learned long ago that what doesn’t kill you- makes you stronger. I am so thankful for each and every person in my life- thank you all for another amazing year!

Read about my 2017 Year Review HERE for more adventures!

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Visiting every National Park in America has been a huge bucket list item of mine for years. Each National Park provides a great opportunity to learn the history and culture of the United States. The National Park Service (NPS) works to preserve important historic sites around the country for the enjoyment of future generations to come. Be sure to practice ‘Leave No Trace Principles’ when visiting our beautiful historic parks. Help ensure the protection and preservation of the precious lands and environment within these parks entrusted to us as visitors.

Here are 19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019!

Boston National Historic Park

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Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

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Click here for more on Michigan’s west coast!

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Click here to explore more of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula!

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Mount Rushmore National Monument

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Badlands National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Click here for more on Badlands!

Rocky Mountain National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Click here for more on Rocky Mountain!

Bryce Canyon National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Zion National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Glen Canyon National Recreation Area

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Grand Canyon National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Yellowstone National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Grand Teton National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Yosemite National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Death Valley National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Click here for my weekend in Death Valley itinerary!

Channel Islands National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Click here to read more on Joshua Tree!

Olympic National Lakeshore

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

Click here to read more on the Olympic Peninsula!

Mount Rainier National Park

19 Extraordinary National Parks to Visit in 2019 | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo

What National Parks are on your bucket list this year? Comment below!

Click here for 10 Perfect Spring Travel Destinations!

10 Extraordinary Spring Destinations to add to your bucket list | HerLifeAdventures.Blog | #traveldestinations #travelideas #northamericatravel #traveltips #usdestinations #travelhacks #travelguide #adventuretravel #roadtrip #nationalpark #nationalparkroadtrip #travelpacking #wheretogo