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Wolfman
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PostWed Dec 12, 2012 8:26 am 
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I am looking for recommendations for a loop hike (or a good access straight hike) for the North Cascade National Park area. 

Desired requirements:

50 or so miles
4-5 day hike
Lots of scenery
Higher trail line (Ridge line type trail) 
Wildlife

The people I am trying to help with this are from out of state and will be flying into Seattle.  They will probably need to rent a car as I can't think of any form of transportation to get them up into that area.   If you know of something that would also be great! 


Thanks, 

Wolfman for Happy Feet
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cascadetraverser
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PostWed Dec 12, 2012 10:17 am 
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The classic trip is the Copper ridge trail.  Another would be Hanegan Pass (maybe including Copper ridge) to Watcom Pass and out Little Beaver or Big Beaver valleys.  The Paysayten Wilderness east of NCNP offers lots of ridgeline hiking (Devils Dome and/or the PCT from Canada south to name two) lots of ridgeline hiking as well.
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Yana
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PostWed Dec 12, 2012 11:59 am 
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What time of year?

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PorcupinePhobia
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PostWed Dec 12, 2012 5:30 pm 
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Assuming late summer-

McCalister pass/Rainbow Creek/Bridge creek - easiest logistics

Cascade Pass/Park Creek Pass/Easy Pass (would require car drop)

Chelan Summit trail from Prince Creek to Purple (requires Ferry ride)

Copper ridge loop with a side trip up whatcom pass, or Hannegen/Whatcom/Big Beaver (car drop)

The Ever-Berated Jackita Ridge loop
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Wastral
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PostWed Dec 12, 2012 6:48 pm 
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Honestly, NCNP, doesn't have many good hiking trails for the period/type you specify.  The trails NCNP does have are all valley walks generally up to a pass and back down.  If you are unwilling, incapable, of traveleing extensively off trail then 4-5 days on a single walk, just isn't very likely at all in NCNP.  Both suggestions given are all 2 day trips that could "maybe" possibly be extended to 3 days and then one still will be hiking a ton of valley walking which frankly is, uh, BORING.  Jackita ridge, Crater Mountain, is an exception, but really realistically is all of 2-3 days, though can hook up with other trails making it a good option if one has 2 cars or willing to hitch.  IE Jackita to PCT, PCT to Rainy pass.  A very nice area, but its also not in NCNP either.  Below is my preferred loop to introducing people to Washington.

Glacier Peak Wilderness slightly to the south, does have many trips where one can go to your hearts content for ridge etc hiking.  It has multiple loops, etc and one can either lengthen or shorten your loop according to the hikers desires and weather dictates.  My personal favorite is go up and over Little Giant pass, up Napequa river valley, over High Pass to Buck Creek Pass, Image Lake, Cloudy pass, Lymann Lakes, Spider Pass/Meadows and back to car.  For the typical hiker this will take longer than 4-5 days though.  Can shorten it by skipping the Little Giant Pass/Napequa river valley part. 

I have seen black bear, lynx, Grizzly, and deer along with the other smaller ubiquitous critters along this loop.  Nearly had a black bear "run" us over at image lake as it was jogging down the ridge from its huckleberry patch.  It had better traction than us and skidded/swerved around us and kept on trucking down the mountainside.  Why it was in such a hurry, have no idea, but it wasn't exactly running either, just loping.  Anyone who has seen a bear run flat out knows what I mean.  Don't think it even saw us until it was right upon us.  We saw it coming and were wondering which way to go...

Hey, if they are up for it, the Ptarmigan/bailey traverse are excellent as well.  Requires significant off trail patience.  Some Glacier travel as well.  If you have the experience and one other, is quite doable, with the newbies in the middle.

Enjoy

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Wolfman
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PostThu Dec 13, 2012 4:32 pm 
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Thanks for the help folks,  My understanding is that they want to do this mid to late summer, probably after most of the snow melts out.

I really like the Glacier Peak Wilderness area too, and there are a lot of fairy easy loops in that area.  I will suggest it to them.

I am giving him a link to this thread so hopefully he will chime in with some comments and ideas.

Wolfman
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