Forum Index > Trip Reports > Cascade Pass - Sahale Arm 7-15-06
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
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Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostSun Jul 16, 2006 10:59 pm 
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Pictures are at the end of the report.  If you're new... read on.

Trailhead located at the end of the Cascade River road 20+ miles outside of Marblemount off Hwy 20, this trail is truly spectacular.   up.gif

I've had a few friends and acquaintances take this trial and reported high praises... and it's well ranked in the 'Don't waste your time in the North Cascades' book.  Accordingly, I've always wanted to do this route, but the excessive mileage outside of Marblemount + my aging passenger car played a big part in me avoiding the trip in favor of other trails with less gravel mileage.

Surprisingly, the road is really only gravel for about 12 miles and it's in great condition.  The parking lot made it clear that this is a popular destination and lots of people bring their passenger cars up here.

The drive up is a bit slow, but the views toward the end are unimaginable.  Views from the trail get better and better as you go higher and higher.

Our hike lasted about 6 hours total, covered about 9 miles round trip and we covered about 2,440 feet of elevation gain.  Our turnaround point was about 1 mile up Sahale Arm... just to the point where you can clearly see Doubtful Lake.  At this point it was 3:00pm and my hiking buddy had a long drive home, so we left the rest for another day.

On a previous hike I discovered the beauty of corn lilies (I think that was the name of them) and they were in abundance on this hike, particularly after you leave Cascade Pass and continue up Sahale Arm.

Lots of flowers in bloom and the bugs were pretty reasonable (except for one damp spot where we stopped for a few pictures).

The Ranger hanging out at Cascade Pass was very polite and informative.  They do keep an active watch for people camping in unauthorized locations... or without permits and will issue tickets for such infractions.  Additionally, another Ranger was patrolling the parking lot looking for vehicles without the Northwest Forest Pass.

We learned that there have been a few reports of a black bear up on Sahale Mtn over the last couple of weeks.  We didn't see any bears, but we did see lots of squirrels, Marmots and a pika.

Now... some pics... which don't do this trip justice even though the  weather couldn't have been better.


Fence along the road

Mushroom (I think) on trail:

Corn lilies and Ladybug:

Pic of the traverse across toward Cascade Pass:

Marmot Napping on rock (can't see the adult & two little ones)

Field of flowers

Doubtful Lake and Sahale (our turnaround):

From Cascade Pass:

Waterfall and Mountain along the road on the return trip:

I'm glad I finally visited this trail.  Next time we'll have to get an earlier start to make it further up Sahale.

Thanks for reading.

~E

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob



Joined: 16 Dec 2001
Posts: 22739 | TRs
Location: Cle Elum
Backpacker Joe
NWH Joe-Bob
PostSun Jul 16, 2006 11:04 pm 
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Nice pics Elbis.  Thanks.

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"If destruction be our lot we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen we must live through all time or die by suicide."

Abraham Lincoln
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Foist
Sultan of Sweat



Joined: 08 May 2006
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Location: Back!
Foist
Sultan of Sweat
PostMon Jul 17, 2006 12:26 am 
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Yes, you must go back and camp at the toe of the glacier!  Watch that whole icy panorama glow pink at sunset.  Amazing.  I need to do it again...
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Edd
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Edd
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PostMon Jul 17, 2006 7:01 am 
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Hey Elvis, there is a chance I may have passed you  sat. I didn't leave my  car until about 2:45  sat, and was told I would have to camp at basin creek camp, a zillion miles away. On my way up though I met a party bailing, and happened to run into the ranger on the pass and got my permit changed for high camp. After that I decided to head up to Cache col and check out the Ptarmagan traverse route, before headeing up to high camp, so I may have missed you. You are right though the flowers on the arm are prime and beautifull. Glad you had a great trip.

Ed
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1803 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostMon Jul 17, 2006 9:30 am 
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Thanks everyone for the comments.

It would be cool to camp on Sahale... maybe I'll consider that for next summer.  Generally I stick to dayhikes... but I've made a couple exceptions in the past for special circumstances or opportunities.  Tent nights simply don't float my boat, generally speaking.  Yeah... I have issues.  biggrin.gif

Edd -  it is likely that we passed each other... but I'm not sure who you would have been of course.

We were amazed at the number of people heading up the trail as we were descending.  We reached our vehicle just a few minutes after 5:00pm and even during our final 30 minutes many people were heading upward.  Some with no packs or small packs and others that were well loaded with gear.   uhh.gif   We trusted that each had their own plan and agenda so we left them to their own.

Up at Cascade Pass, just before we began our descent, an older gentleman inquired with us about the location of the Chuckwagon in Mount Vernon.  We gave him directions and he reported that some newspaper recently published a list of 'best burgers' and Chuckwagon was at or near the top.  I warned him that he might get a great burger... but don't expect much for service.

Down in the parking lot, we met a more-mature-than-I couple from Concrete who have lived in Skagit County for 4 or 5 years and chose today to come visit Cascade Pass after hearing about it for years.  They weren't about to set out on the trail, but had a lot of questions about it.  We gave them all the details they could imagine wanting and maybe one day they'll venture past the parking lot.

We dined at Clark's Cabins (our first time there) on the return to civilization.  Certainly a decent double cheeseburger (no better or worse than Chuckwagon, IMO) and similar service to our other experiences in Marblemount.   embarassedlaugh.gif

~E

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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mkirsh
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Joined: 17 Jul 2006
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Location: Marblemount, WA
mkirsh
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PostMon Jul 17, 2006 2:15 pm 
NW Forest Pass and Cascade Pass
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FYI - That ranger you saw probably wasn't checking for NW Forest Passes at the Cascade Pass Parking lot.  NW Forest passes are no longer required there or at any of the trailheads along the Cascade River Rd.
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Edd
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Edd
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PostMon Jul 17, 2006 5:43 pm 
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mkirsh wrote:
FYI - That ranger you saw probably wasn't checking for NW Forest Passes at the Cascade Pass Parking lot. NW Forest passes are no longer required there or at any of the trailheads along the Cascade River Rd.

No  he wa accually not checking at all, when I met him he was accually at the pass heading up to high camp, and there you defiitely  need a permit to spend the night. I met him again on my way back from Cache col, and I am sure he checked for passed while he was up there. You are right though you don't need a permit to dayhike, but to spend the night in the park you have to have one. Nor  do you need a NW forest pass to park at cascade pass.  agree.gif

Ed
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Edd
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Edd
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PostMon Jul 17, 2006 5:52 pm 
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I was mainly in blue with somewhat camaflage shorts, whith a blue/day /night pack. I also like dayhikes but since I have been taking more pics I like the morn and eveneing light. Also some much cool stuff to see in that area. Surprisingly most of the people at high camp didn't even summit, so I had most of it to myself for a hour or so. There is a not to bad scramble route down, but I waited for some friends with a rope for rappeling.

Ed

Oh yeah the egg burger at clarks ain't to bad, but you are right most all marblemount food is pretty simular.
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1803 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostMon Jul 17, 2006 9:15 pm 
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Re:  Rangers checking permits...

Ok, maybe each of my posts needs some kind of error in it.   doh.gif

BUT... while were were hanging out at Cascade Pass with the Ranger (and others), his radio squawked off and another Ranger was in the parking lot, and was going to be 'checking it' for the next hour or so.

Maybe that's their code phrase for "Lunch Break".
hockeygrin.gif

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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Edd
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Edd
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PostTue Jul 18, 2006 5:39 am 
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Edtt
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1803 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostTue Jul 18, 2006 8:44 am 
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Not having been to the 'high camp' on Sahale before... would someone mind pointing out its approximate location on my Sahale picture posted above (you can use the 'double click' feature, ya know).

Just curious.

Thanks in advance.

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"Ill habits gather unseen degrees, as brooks make rivers, rivers run to seas."  ~John Dryden
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The Guy From Bend
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The Guy From Bend
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PostTue Jul 18, 2006 3:18 pm 
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I modified the Sahale image to show the high camp(s).
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore



Joined: 15 May 2003
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Quark
Niece of Alvy Moore
PostTue Jul 18, 2006 4:15 pm 
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You certainly have an affair with hellibore.  up.gif

I have my fling with skunk cabbage, you're enamored with hellibore.

Good job!

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"...Other than that, the post was more or less accurate."

Bernardo, NW Hikers' Bureau Chief of Reporting
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Elvis
Shuffl'n



Joined: 09 Jun 2004
Posts: 1803 | TRs
Location: del Boca Vista
Elvis
Shuffl'n
PostTue Jul 18, 2006 4:57 pm 
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Thanks TGFB & Quark.

Those Hellibore's (or whatever their real name is) fascinate me to no end.  Maybe I should make a calender.  clown.gif

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